[lg policy] Indigenous Language Institute: Native Language News

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Thu Dec 15 22:52:55 UTC 2011


 Forwarded From: Indigenous Language Institute <ili at ilinative.org>
Date: Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 4:01 PM



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In 2010, five high school students from Tewa speaking communities
participated in ILI’s Self-Study Course project that was piloted at the
Santa Fe Preparatory School where the students attended. The Self-Study Course
placed these motivated youth in the driver’s seat to select their Mentor and
to learn their native language Tewa by asking the Mentor and their relatives
“*How do you say*…?” The students involved in this ILI pilot project were:
Marissa Naranjo, Jordan Naranjo and David Naranjo (siblings from Santa Clara
Pueblo), Poqueen Rivera (Pojoaque Pueblo) and Jeremy Montoya (Pojoaque
Pueblo).





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Laura Jagles (Mentor, Tesuque Pueblo) and Benerita Naranjo (great
grandmother of Marissa, Jordan and David) with the Tewa Youth


After only one semester of learning Tewa using this method, the youth
obviously did not become fluent speakers. However, what they achieved
were quite
profound: better understanding of Tewa conversations in their family
and community
gatherings, a deeper sense of belonging, renewed appreciation of their
culture, and heightened resolve to continue learning. After the project, they
presented at language conferences in Eugene Oregon, Brisbane
Australia, Albuquerque
New Mexico, and at ILI’s Symposium 2011.

This is only one example of ILI’s efforts to assist community language
efforts.

This approach to learning should strike a cord with every one of us. That’s
how we learned as babies and infants and children. That’s how parents gave
the children conversation skills. During this pilot project we had parents,
grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, and many others who got
involved because the kids were asking "*how do you say*…?” to those who
knew the language.  A year later, the youth continue to study their
language, recruit peers to join their efforts and participate in community
language activities.

Sadly, environments where we have speakers to turn to for our endangered
languages are rapidly becoming scarce. There is *URGENCY *in our work to
help communities bring their languages back into their lives.

*Please donate to ILI.* You can take part in the work to give our youth the
knowledge they want to pass on their culture to future generations. To
donate today, go to:
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You will be directed to a secure page where you can donate online by credit
card.

*Thank you for your support!*

Inée Y. Slaughter
Executive Director
Indigenous Language Institute

P.S. The youth and the Self-Study Course project is the theme of a film in
production titled  “The Young Ancestors” by Camino Verité Films.




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