START A PETITION37,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

Program About Dying Indian Languages Recognized!

Society & Culture  (tags: culture, society, Indians, Native Americans, American Indians, education, ethics, freedoms, interesting, humans, news, rights, americans )

- 3288 days ago -
The state Education Department is honoring a group of Norman High School students for their documentary about dying languages of American Indian tribes. The program "When It's Gone, It's Gone" by 13 students in the school's Native America Club is...

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.


kat yazzie (400)
Saturday January 17, 2009, 7:35 am

Norman, Oklahoma (AP) 1-09

The state Education Department is honoring a group of Norman High School students for their documentary about dying languages of American Indian tribes.

The program “When It’s Gone, It’s Gone” by 13 students in the school’s Native America Club is also now being used in classrooms as a teaching tool.

The students interviewed tribal elders from American Indian tribes in Oklahoma about their native languages and the effort to keep their languages and cultures alive.

Most of the elders in the video are in their 80s and have witnessed their native tongues dying out as younger generations are raised to speak English.

Oklahoma has 39 federally recognized tribes, and many are losing their languages with few fluent speakers left, said Desa Dawson, director of world languages for the state Education Department.

Mosiah Bluecloud, a former Norman High School student, said working on the documentary changed his life.

“I felt sad as I listened to them talk about their children,” he said. “It kind of made me feel helpless.”

Bluecloud, a Kickapoo, decided to change his major at the University of Oklahoma to linguistics, and he wants to become fluent in his native language.

Dawson said she’s received comments from high school and college language teachers across the state who’ve shown the video in their classes and used it to start discussions about the cultural importance of language.

The video has struck a chord with people, and they get emotional about it, Dawson said.

“You express your culture through your language, and without that language, it makes it that much more difficult to maintain your culture,” Dawson said.

Sonja Rowland (55)
Saturday January 17, 2009, 7:41 am
I pray it's not too little, too late.
It's frightening how quickly things get forgotten if people don't get reminded.
Bless those students and their State Department!

Pamylle G (461)
Saturday January 17, 2009, 7:50 am
This is fantastic. Thanks, Kat.

Dandelion G (367)
Saturday January 17, 2009, 8:01 am
It is good to be bi-lingual, for Native people will be able to deal more effectively with Dominent Culture if they speak English. But they need to keep their own Nations language alive, as the last statement said, you express your culture through your language. There are some words in the Native speech that says volumns, in the Spiritual way, the flow of the words and the meaning behind the words can not come about as well when spoken in the English words, their language connects their hearts to the Source and each other.

kat yazzie (400)
Saturday January 17, 2009, 8:26 am
Dandelion, I once hear an Indian elder put it this way: "Our spirits don't speak English"...

Charles D. J (11)
Saturday January 17, 2009, 11:15 am
I'm in awe of just how 'on top' of things you are! To me, this relates perfectly to the blockheaded prejudice exhibited in the Tennessee 'English' vote. I know many people of European (Eastern and Western)extraction who bemoan the fact that they know so little about their ancestors 'way of life' and languages, yet they are totally convinced that it is too shameful to be anything but what they call "100% American." What a screwed up society we live in! Hooray for those 13 students in Norman, OK, who conducted their study and the teachers who promoted broadcasting the results. We need to convince every child of the value of being, at least, bilingual, and of investigating, perhaps, sampling and adopting some of the mores of the society of those who are native speakers of the other language. I would urge every child of Native American heritage to learn all that s/he can about her/his own tribal roots and, if possible, to learn the language of her/his ancestors.

Henry P (171)
Saturday January 17, 2009, 4:08 pm
Noted Thanks Kat

. (0)
Saturday January 17, 2009, 4:33 pm
noted thank you

sue M (184)
Saturday January 17, 2009, 5:27 pm
Got to keep fighting to keep those tongues a waggin! It would be but a fairy tale if lost.
Thanks Kat.

Joan Mclaughlin (133)
Saturday January 17, 2009, 6:47 pm
This is very important to our culture.I am not American Indian but I know right from wrong.I am trying to learn some different phrases on my own,and am passing it along to my grandchildren.We can all help just by learning even a few phrases and words.But make sure you pass the learning on to the young people,all young people.

Saturday January 17, 2009, 9:17 pm

Sarah Vermeulen (40)
Sunday January 18, 2009, 12:09 pm
The first language what we learn must be the language of our parents i mean native speaker and then we can learn other languages too. it is a crime against humanity.This is very important for the culture. The native speaker forbidden to the people is like, to take the Mother away from a child.
Please keep your language and culture and give it to your children too.
The language is a part of your own and within it is a part of your freedom. DONT FORGET IT !
Sarah V.

Dana R (2)
Sunday January 18, 2009, 5:03 pm
With all the facilities we now have to store information, we should make certain that every language is preserved in as complete a manner as possible. Such preservations should include every language known for which means exist to do so. For most there will not be found a Rosetta Stone.

Marthe B (9)
Monday January 19, 2009, 7:00 am
Hoping that all grandmas and grandpas,American Indians will go on and on talking as much as they can their first indian language because children are able to learn more than one language at a time,i experienced it with my children,they speak fluently three languages now,the world is richer and more interesting,more tolerant too when we learn about other cultures :)
Or, log in with your
Facebook account:
Please add your comment: (plain text only please. Allowable HTML: <a>)

Track Comments: Notify me with a personal message when other people comment on this story

Loading Noted By...Please Wait


butterfly credits on the news network

  • credits for vetting a newly submitted story
  • credits for vetting any other story
  • credits for leaving a comment
learn more

Most Active Today in Society & Culture

Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of or its affiliates.

New to Care2? Start Here.