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.

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