July 30, 2012

Lakota Song and Dance Project

Revitalizing the Lakota language through danceWith the Lakota-speaking population rapidly aging and decreasing, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota is trying to encourage young children to take an interest in a language that is, in many ways, secondary to English.

The tribe's Child Care Service's Song and Dance Project aims to teach families how to make colorful, detailed dancing regalia and teaches the intricate dances to the children so they can perform in the annual wacipi, or powwow.

The hope is that the song and dance will help re-energize both parents' and children's excitement about their culture. It also encourages parents to take an active role in their kids' lives.

"It's putting identity and pride back into the people," said Gale Spotted Tail, director of the Child Care Services.

Dakota One phone app

New app for equipment teaches kids Dakota languageThe Marty Indian School on the Yankton Indian Reservation in South Dakota has released a new language app designed to teach children the Dakota language.

The app is called Dakota One. It includes more than 700 sound files and images in 25 categories including animals, numbers and clothing.

A news release from the school says the app is available to download for the iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone for $9.99 from the iTunes store.

The Dakota language is spoken by the Dakota people of the Sioux tribes. It is closely related to the Lakota language.