Many are studying Wopanaak
By Ellen Chahey
As preliminary work, the language project has created a dictionary, some Wampanoag-based word games, coloring and storybooks, and even a three-day “immersion camp” where only the native language is spoken. A major characteristic of the language that Hicks called “complicated” is that it does not distinguish between genders but does separate “animate” and “inanimate.”
The organizers hope to create a children’s television program, an interactive website, a school, and other teaching venues to help revive the language. The goal, said Hicks, is “to get everyone” in the tribe “to the level they want” in language fluency.
Little Doe, who began the reclamation project in 1993, won a MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant in October 2010 for her efforts.