About the Language Gathering
Envisioned Cultural Survival’s inaugural Endangered Languages Program-planning session hosted by the Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma’s Language Department in Stroud, Oklahoma, in 2007, this website is a tribute to and platform connecting surviving Indigenous language communities of North America (within the United States, initially) and the many hundreds of community-based language projects they’ve inspired. In months and years to come this permanent resource will expand to profile and connect Indigenous language revitalization efforts underway globally.
While UNESCO’s Atlas of the World’s Language in Danger demonstrates the challenging future for the world’s Indigenous languages, and pinpoints only 139 spoken Native American languages in the U.S., this site showcases and links you directly to dozens of incredible language preservation and revitalization programs across Indian Country in America, and soon will incorporate the 400+ tribal language projects documented by Cultural Survival’s Endangered Languages Program since summer 2008. Further, as Cultural Survival’s network of supporters, advisors, and partner communities spans the globe, we envision adding numerous international profiles as we are contacted by communities, and they develop and upload profile content and provide photos, videos, and other language revitalization information (to which they will always retain comprehensive distribution rights and ownership).
We believe these myriad innovative language projects and programs represent restorative nation-building efforts by American Indian tribal governments, Indigenous leadership and treaty councils, and other grassroots community-based Indigenous citizens engaged in the work of self-determination, the exercise of tribal sovereignty, and in the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The daily work of tribal language programs in America and beyond generates intergenerational healing for contemporary Native communities by aiming to return widespread language fluency and philosophical and ceremonial knowledge and values to their peoples. The work of the programs celebrated here involves painstakingly re-instilling mother tongue or heritage language transmission as a practice for future generations, in order to utilize, protect and perpetuate languages as priceless expressions of Indigenous consciousness and identity emerging since time immemorial from Indigenous Peoples’ homelands.
Initially this site features a small number among the following language organizations and funders in recognition of their many years of exemplary language advocacy, leadership, planning, and successes in supporting and training new generations of fluent speakers:
Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival (Funder-Trainer), Administration for Native Americans (Funder), ‘Aha Punana Leo (Native Hawaiian); Alutiiq Museum Language Program; Akwesasne Freedom School (Mohawk); Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians New Kituwah Academy Immersion School; Euchee (Yuchi) Language Project; Grotto Foundation (Funder); Hupa (Hoopa) Nation Cultural Center; Indigenous Language Institute’s Consortium of Language Immersion Organizations (Trainer); Lakota Language Education Action Program, Sitting Bull College; Lannan Foundation (Funder); National Alliance to Save Native Languages (Advocacy); Northern Arapaho Language Lodges; Piegan Institute and Blackfeet Immersion School; Sac and Fox Nation Language Department; Snïiiïo Salish Immersion School; Southern Pomo Language Project, Dry Creek Rancheria; Wicoie Nandagikendan Urban Immersion Preschool Classrooms; Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project.
About Cultural Survival’s Endangered Languages Program
Launched as an endangered languages advocacy and fundraising campaign in Summer 2007, the program was staffed full-time by Spring 2008, and has been overseen by a cadre of dynamic local language program directors since Fall of that same year. With an initial core mission to support local efforts to foster fluency among younger generations—thus extending the lifetime of critically endangered languages spoken only by a few elders and trainees in each community—the program has since helped to raise more than $1million in direct support for language immersion education and advocacy from a variety of private and governmental sources.
Site Design and Build by BuffaloNickelCreative.com
jessie little doe baird (Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, Wôpanâak Nation)
Marcus Briggs-Cloud (Micosukee, Maskoke Nation)
Dr. April Laktonen Counceller (Alutiiq, Native Village of Larsen Bay)
Dr. Richard A. Grounds (Yuchi, Euchee Tribe)
Past Programmatic Advisers
Kristen Dorsey (Chickasaw Nation)
Jacob Manatowa Bailey (Sauk, Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma)
Alvena Oldman (Hinono’eiteen, Northern Arapaho Tribe)
Gail Ridgely (Northern Arapaho Tribe)
Ryan Sense Wilson (Oglala Lakota Nation)
Jennifer Weston (Hunkpapa Lakota, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe)
Program Volunteers: Sunny Ashley Fitzgerald, Lisa Jackson, Lindsay Randall, Jennifer Miguel-Hellman, Maggie Tallmadge (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma), Elizabeth Segran Schneer, Meg Holladay, Kelsey Klug, Erica Adelson
Ellen L. Lutz, Executive Director, Cultural Survival, 2004-2010
Major Financial Support for LanguageGathering.org Provided by The Bay and Paul Foundations and The Grotto Foundation
Additional Sponsors: Cultural Survival, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, OurMotherTongues.org, San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians.
Our Language Revitalization Ethics
Cultural Survival’s Endangered Languages Program and this Language Gathering project are Indigenous-driven, guided, and led, with local tribally-controlled language instruction programs fostering fluency receiving primary focus (versus scientific repository efforts intended for documentation and scholarly data collection), and retaining all rights to their intellectual property.
To add or edit your language revitalization program or project profile, events, or job listings, please email LG@cs.org