The beautiful Arikara language is threatened with extinction and while schools and elders have worked hard to keep it alive, sustaining our language has faced numerous obstacles:
- Fluent speakers are 65 and older on average, and their numbers steadily vanish;
- Students have not been equally exposed to the best available learning materials and language-teaching methods;
- Classroom instruction is often too short;
- There are too few language teachers to fill schools’ needs;
- Teachers need more professional training to be effective;
- Advanced students’ needs are not being met;
- The languages have not been made familiar through public signage.
…This is an excellent initiative and very beneficial to our language revitalization efforts.
In January 2014, the MHA Nation embarked on a systematic revitalization initiative to address the issues above and establish a long-term process for fluency. The elements are coordinated classroom study using new language-learning materials, and coordinated teacher training in the best language education methods in the field.
The success of the MHA Language Project – Arikara depends on widespread interest and participation among our communities. If you have questions about what you can do to help your language be spoken in the home, the classroom and in society, contact Bernadine Young Bird, at firstname.lastname@example.org