March 24, 2011

We Still Live Here Âs Nutayuneân

Language Preservation Vision Shared for all Tribes

By Donna Laurent Caruso“If the Wampanoag could bring back their language without a single Native speaker, then anything is possible,” Anne Makepeace, the creator of a documentary about the revitalization of the Wôpanâak language said. “I think this film can serve as a cautionary tale for Native people whose languages are endangered and a model of inspiration for those working to preserve and revitalize their languages.”And:Makepeace’s film shows some of the original documents written in Wampanoag that Baird used to create her dictionary, grammar, and school lessons: deeds, letters, petitions, even notes in the margins of family bibles. Baird’s dedication is captured in the documentary; you may find yourself whispering your own first new phrases. The documentary shows how Baird learns new words using vowel and pronunciation charts, and dictionaries from one of the 40 Algonquian languages that are still spoken, such as Passamaquoddy. It also shows students in the classroom, and sometimes, learning “Wamp” does not look easy.

1 comment:

Rob said...

For more on subject, see:

Filmmaker Anne Makepeace on We Still Live Here and the Indigenous Film and Arts Festival

Community cinema: Native language gets new life