[lg policy] Tribes reclaim languages once spoken in California

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jun 15 18:34:18 UTC 2009

 Forwarded  From:: edling at lists.sis.utsa.edu

The Sacramento Bee

Tribes reclaim languages once spoken in California

Standing before a giant mossy rock and two Tsi-Akim Maidu bark houses,
Farrell Cunningham gazes skyward to find the words and spirit imparted
to him as a child.

He directs his outdoor class of about 20 Indian and non-Indian
students to the amber light piercing down into the forest of Nevada

"Ekim pokom epinin koyodi kakan" - "the sun is in the sky" - he says
in the Mountain Maidu tongue taught to him on nature walks by a tribal
elder named Lilly Baker.

She died at 96 a few years back. But now Cunningham, 33, is among a
small legion of speakers trying to preserve California's endangered
American Indian languages.

Their efforts are about to get an official boost. Lawmakers are moving
on a bill to create a special American Indian languages teaching
credential to promote efforts to teach - and recapture - some of the
nearly 100 languages once spoken by California Indians.

Full story:


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