By Brandon Ecoffey
In a statement released just prior to the formal Nov. 15 address, Brewer said: “I believe that the continued survival of the Lakota people—spiritually, culturally and politically is contingent on the survival of our language. As the incoming President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe I will not waste time debating the need. We will move with purpose and conviction and all of our resources to address this challenge.”
The initiative identified by Brewer will focus on four elements that his administration has identified as necessary for success if the initiative is going to be sustainable. The first being involvement by the tribe in the mobilization and coordination of existing resources, leading to the development of new resources to help revitalize the language.
Secondly, the initiative calls for the identification of fluent Lakota language speakers. Brewer hopes to involve them in the process of language revitalization as well as provide compensation for their efforts.
Thirdly, that the Oglala Sioux Tribe advocate at the federal, state and executive—meaning the White House—levels on behalf of Lakota language.
The final element of Brewer’s plan is the involvement of educational institutions across the reservation in the process. The extremely progressive plan by Brewer is the first of its kind in the region.