indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Native American Bank - Native people investing in Native communities
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Native Sun News: New Oglala leader announces language plan

Filed Under: Education | National
More on: bryan brewer, languages, native sun news, oglala sioux, south dakota
     

The following story was written and reported by Brandon Ecoffey, Native Sun News Staff Writer. All content © Native Sun News.


The Oglala Sioux Tribe’s president-elect, first-time politician Bryan Brewer, speaks Nov. 15 during the opening of the fifth annual Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Language Summit in Rapid City. Brewer unveiled a monumental — and unprecedented — policy that seeks to address renewal of the Lakota language on the Pine Ridge Reservation. PHOTO ARDIS MCRAE, NSN STAFF

Brewer hits ground running
Announces groundbreaking Lakota language plan
By Brandon Ecoffey
Native Sun News Staff Writer

RAPID CITY — Just weeks before he officially takes office, Oglala Sioux Tribe President-elect Bryan Brewer has already made an unprecedented move.

Brewer on Thursday, Nov. 15, made a pledge to make major reforms in regard to Lakota language policy and revitalization on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

The announcement of this historic action fittingly came at the opening of the fifth annual Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Language Summit held in Rapid City Nov. 15-17 at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel & Conference Center, located at 2111 N. La Crosse St. The conference’s sole purpose is the examination of ways to revitalize Native American languages.

The newly elected Oglala Sioux tribal president is calling his new policy the “Presidential Lakota Language Revitalization Initiative.”

In a statement released just prior to the formal Nov. 15 address, Brewer said: “I believe that the continued survival of the Lakota people — spiritually, culturally and politically is contingent on the survival of our language. As the incoming President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe I will not waste time debating the need. We will move with purpose and conviction and all of our resources to address this challenge.”

The initiative identified by Brewer will focus on four elements that his administration has identified as necessary for success if the initiative is going to be sustainable. The first being involvement by the tribe in the mobilization and coordination of existing resources, leading to the development of new resources to help revitalize the language.

Secondly, the initiative calls for the identification of fluent Lakota language speakers. Brewer hopes to involve them in the process of language revitalization as well as provide compensation for their efforts.

Thirdly, that the Oglala Sioux Tribe advocate at the federal, state and executive — meaning the White House — levels on behalf of Lakota language.

The final element of Brewer’s plan is the involvement of educational institutions across the reservation in the process. The extremely progressive plan by Brewer is the first of its kind in the region.

In the past, several other indigenous communities in New York and Canada have found great success in reinvigorating the use of traditional languages through the use of language immersion schools. These schools have been praised by community members and academia alike for their success in both revitalizing Native languages, and sustaining cultural practices that become threatened when traditional language use diminishes in Native communities.

Immersion schools were first developed in the 1960s but have been used in Native communities more and more recently to address the issue of Language loss. In these immersion schools the primary language used in instruction and learning is often a second language, and in the case of Native American communities the language is the traditional one of the people.

The Presidential Lakota Language Revitalization Initiative calls for the use of these immersion schools on the Pine Ridge Reservation. “It will be the policy of the Bryan Brewer administration to create maximum opportunity for Lakota language revitalization. A central piece of this policy will be supporting the establishment and operation of Lakota immersion schools,” said Brewer.

Brewer also proposed the establishment of a reservation-wide Lakota Language Commission. The commission would be made up of Lakota speakers, educators and cultural experts from each of the nine districts on the reservation whose purpose will be the development of the necessary policy infrastructure needed to implement the Lakota Language Revitalization plan.

In a break from the usual political posturing, Brewer also pledged a willingness to tweak his policies after receiving feedback from experts in the community.

“I am sharing my viewpoints today as an attempt to provide a framework — a starting point — for the purpose of laying some markers down. These ideas can be changed, modified, and the people — especially you the fluent speakers — will have the final say on the course that we take,” said the OST president-elect.

“At the end of the day the Oglala will decide what will be carried into the future and what will be left behind. Our future and the future of our languages will be decided by our actions, our choices, our prayer and how much energy we devote to saving what was given us,” Brewer said.

Brewer will be sworn into office Dec 5.

(Contact Brandon Ecoffey at staffwriter2@nsweekly.com)


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Tribes mount another fight after Trump approves another pipeline (3/24)
Native Sun News Today: Navajo elders continue long fight on land (3/24)
Editorial: Just another day of trying to keep up with the Trumps (3/24)
Elizabeth LaPensée: Video games encourage indigenous culture (3/24)
Mary Annette Pember: Native women work with youth offenders (3/24)
Tiffany Midge: Trump continues to conjure hero Andrew Jackson (3/24)
John Kane: Seneca Nation money train coming to end in New York (3/24)
Grand Ronde Tribes secure approval of school mascot agreement (3/24)
Editorial: Federal recognition for tribes in Virginia is long overdue (3/24)
Seneca Nation ends casino payments after sending $1.4B to state (3/24)
Appeals court hears slew of Indian cases amid focus on nominee (3/23)
Internal tribal disputes continue to trip up federal court system (3/23)
Mark Trahant: Indian health care gains ignored in political debate (3/23)
Native Sun News Today: Young fighters maintain Lakota tradition (3/23)
Ivan Star Comes Out: America loses its self-respect and humanity (3/23)
Rosalyn LaPier: Why water remains sacred to indigenous peoples (3/23)
Winona LaDuke: North Dakota spreads filth about water protectors (3/23)
Harold Monteau: Tribal governments are abusing their own people (3/23)
Alex Jacobs: Donald Trump in middle of the 'deep state civil war' (3/23)
Secretary Zinke announces 'doggy days' for Interior Department (3/23)
Keystone XL Pipeline route crosses Ponca Tribe's forced removal (3/23)
Indian lawmaker resigns after being charged for child prostitution (3/23)
Pinoleville Pomo Nation buys site of long-delayed casino project (3/23)
High court pick acknowledges poor treatment of 'sovereign' tribes (3/22)
Dakota Access submits another status update entirely under seal (3/22)
Court allows claim for alleged underpayment in Cobell settlement (3/22)
South Dakota tribes continue to extend Class III gaming compacts (3/22)
Cowlitz Tribe secures approval to offer liquor as casino debut nears (3/22)
Native Sun News Today: Community project continues at Pine Ridge (3/22)
Cronkite News: Copper mine on sacred site complains about delays (3/22)
Mary Annette Pember: Awareness for missing and murdered sisters (3/22)
Stacy Pratt: Visiting the gravesite of Andrew Jackson in Tennessee (3/22)
Murder charge filed for fatal shooting of Navajo Nation police officer (3/22)
Muckleshoot Tribe still seeking answers for fatal shooting by officer (3/22)
Hopland Band submits claim for county raid of marijuana operation (3/22)
Chukchansi Tribe sued for $21M by gaming development company (3/22)
Seminole Tribe accused of breaking contract with outlet at casino (3/22)
Indian Child Welfare Act survives attack from conservative groups (3/21)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs schedules hearing on diabetes (3/21)
Ponca Tribe hosts 282-mile walk to retrace trail of forced removal (3/21)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.