April 29, 2008

Yuman summit at Barona

Tribes aim to revive language

Summit planned at Barona reservationIn recent decades, tribes have taken steps to revitalize their endangered languages by compiling dictionaries, offering classes, encouraging children to speak it at camp and connecting fluent speakers with apprentices in immersion efforts.

Now money from tribal casinos has stepped up those efforts.

Gatherings such as the Yuman summit are key to sharing what works and what doesn't, Ray said.

The gathering is unique because it's driven by Indians, rather than academics, said Leanne Hinton, a linguist at the University of California Berkeley.

April 21, 2008

Samala lives

Ancient Chumash tongue revivedA bound volume of ink and paper is keeping a language alive.

With the unveiling of “Samala-English Dictionary--A Guide to the Samala Language of the Ineseño Chumash People,” the language of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians has been awakened from half a century of dormancy.
And:The tribe's language program initiative, which includes the dictionary and a group of five Samala apprentices, began in 2003 as a directive of Tribal Chairman Vincent Armenta.

April 12, 2008

Revitalizing Shoshone

Woman will teach Shoshone at UWAs the language coordinator for the Shoshone Tribal Cultural Center on the Wind River Indian Reservation, Teran has been working with tribal elders for almost six years to produce a written and digital-audio dictionary of the Eastern Shoshone language.

In that time she has reconnected with her first tongue, and she has again begun dreaming in Shoshone--a language that is more descriptive, colorful and emotional than English is, she said.

In addition to the dictionary project, which has been a huge undertaking for her and three tribal elders, Teran has also developed an eight-CD audio book for basic Shoshone-language instruction.
Shoshone woman devotes her life to preserving native language
Since 2002, Teran, the Eastern Shoshone language coordinator, has been working with three Shoshone elders on the reservation to compile the most comprehensive phonetic dictionary and audio record of the tribe's language yet assembled.

She has been digitally recording the elders for going on six years now, as they've painstakingly pronounced 14,000-plus words and phrases in a cramped, makeshift recording studio.

She has also been creating and producing a basic multimedia Shoshone language course for schools and tribal members.

Teran said she fell in love with media technology the moment she was introduced to that reel-to-reel recorder, and she now believes it offers the surest way to preserve and help to revive the language.
Elder says reconnection with native tongue could help bring tribal renaissance