Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Grants aim to help preserve native languages

Expand Messages
  • Robert Schmidt
    http://www.greatfallstribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070311/NEWS01 /703110309/1002 Grants aim to help preserve native languages By KIM SKORNOGOSKI
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 16, 2007
      http://www.greatfallstribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070311/NEWS01
      /703110309/1002

      Grants aim to help preserve native languages

      By KIM SKORNOGOSKI
      Tribune Staff Writer

      Only a handful of people still speak the Mandan language, which was
      critical to the success of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

      The National Council of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial is offering grants
      to fund tribal language educational programs in the community and schools
      with the hopes of preserving Mandan and other native languages.

      "American Indian languages are libraries of ancient knowledge," said
      Darrell Kipp, founder of the Piegan Institute in Browning, which has a
      mission of researching, promoting and preserving language. "When a language
      dies, that wisdom is lost forever."
      Scholars estimate that 90 percent of the world's languages are spoken by 10
      percent of the population. Many Indian ancestral languages have already
      been lost and the majority that remain are not being taught to children.

      "There are currently 6,000 languages spoken in the world, and at least half
      are projected to disappear in this century," said Douglas Whalen, founder
      and president of the Endangered Language Fund.

      Proceeds from sales of a Lewis and Clark commemorative coin and a handmade
      Indian pouch set bankroll the $1.6 million Endangered Language Fund.

      Using interest off that money, the foundation is offering $2,500 to $25,000
      grants, starting later this year.

      Kipp is one of three people on the inaugural advisory committee, which will
      guide how grants are allocated and help execute language programs.

      "The Native Voices Endowment gives us a chance to make a difference far
      beyond the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial," said Robert Archibald, president
      of the national bicentennial council and the Missouri Historical Society.
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.