Lakota Language Consortium
The Lakota Language Consortium is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year.

7 Ways to Celebrate Native Language

ICTMN Staff
6/18/14

In an effort to celebrate the Lakota Language Consortium's 10-year anniversary we at ICTMN have put together a handy list of 7 ways anyone can further their Lakota—or any Native language learning.

The Lakota Language Consortium has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 2004. “LLC started out with a small Board and the official support of just one tribe, but with 38 Lakota and non-tribal schools ready to participate,” says a press release sent out by the Consortium. “Today, LLC’s curriculum is taught at more than 80 schools and reaches more than 24,000 students—not counting the individual learners who pick up the textbooks and CDs for self-study. The Board has grown to eight people, with a Lakota Native majority and a mix of elders and young professionals.”

As the Consortium says, events like the Lakota-Dakota Language Summit and forums like the learner’s pages on Facebook prove there is a demand for places where learners can gather to practice.

“We have seen language activism stand up and take off running far beyond our own work—and that is a rare satisfaction,” the Consortium said.

But what can someone just starting out do? Here are 7 ideas—and many can apply to any language, not just Lakota:

Go to a Language Event like the Lakota-Dakota Language Summit or the Lakota Summer Institute where you can meet other speakers and become more fluent. Visit the Consortium’s event calendar for more ideas. There’s also the Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair held annually at the Sam Noble Museum.

Some attendees of the Lakota Summer Institute 2014, which ends June 20. (Lakota Language Consortium)

Check out the Lakota Language for Beginners page on Facebook, which is an open group that offers a place for members to download free lessons.

Download an App. There are a variety of Native language apps out for smartphones now, download one and start learning today!

RELATED: Inupiat Dictionary App Now Available

RELATED: Learning a Native Language? Ojibway Programmer Has an App For That

Darrick Baxter, the Ojibway programmer of the language app code, decided to give the source code away for free so other Native languages could be preserved with the use of technology. (Ogoki Learning Systems Inc.)

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Two Bears Growling's picture
Two Bears Growling
Submitted by Two Bears Growling on
Congratulations my friends on this accomplishment. How I wish all our many Native People all across Turtle Island could be in a place to learn Native languages. ......................................................................................................................... There was a time where our distant & not so distant ancestors were punished severely for speaking our many languages. As a result, it left these folks unable at times to even pass on the language to their children, grandchildren, etc. Now we have generations of our People who don't even know one word of their ancestors original tongue. ......................................................................................................................... I applaud anyone who seeks to learn our Native languages. Every word that we learn is regaining the power that has been kept from our many People out here. What I find sad are those Native young people who aren't even interested in trying to learn the languages of our ancestors. They are so caught up in other cultures that aren't even their own. They may or may not look Native, may or may not have that CDIB card, etc. It is as though they are trying to get away from who their own People truly are & who they are as well. ......................................................................................................................... So many people who have that Native blood in their veins out here would give anything to have the opportunity to learn the language(s) of our ancestors of the People. Some are elderly, some are young folk & some are somewhere in between. What matters is the DESIRE to learn those tongues so our Peoples can once more be the proud people we were in the times of our ancestors of long, long ago. ......................................................................................................................... Be proud of who your People are & where you come from always wanting & willing to learn our Native cultures, traditions, languages & religions of our ancestors. Learning never stops until the day the Creator calls you to join the ancestors. Until that time my friends, live your lives in a good way that pleases the Creator each moment Man Above blesses you with one more breath.
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