Film on American Indian Language Use Now Available

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Tue Feb 3 16:20:07 UTC 2009

Film on American Indian Language Use Now Available

Why Save A Language?

Tribal languages are disappearing at an alarming rate. This film reviews the
history of indigenous language loss, documents some current efforts to stem
the tide, and explores the reasons that these languages matter, not only for
the tribes themselves but for all of us.

'Why Save a Language?' is designed to engage people in thinking about
indigenous languages and why their preservation and revitalization matter.

In this film we explore: the history of American Indian language use since
the boarding school era; the rationale underlying the premise that these
languages matter; and some current efforts to revitalize surviving

The specific content is derived from a video library which includes over
100 interviews with members of 30 tribes conducted since 2001 by
anthropologist/filmmaker Sally Thompson, Ph.D., director of the Regional
Learning Project, Continuing Education, University of Montana.

Darrell Kipp, Director of The Piegan Institute of Browning, Montana, and
Narcisse Blood, Kainai educator and native speaker of Blackfoot from the
Blood Reserve in Alberta, served as advisors for the film.

For more information about the project and the film, please visit:
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