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
Health Coverage for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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:
First Lady Michelle Obama shares story of hope with Indian school (5/26)
Remarks by First Lady Michelle Obama at Santa Fe Indian School (5/26)
Gary Davis of NCAIED joins Small Business Administration council (5/26)
Arne Vainio: A mother's gift carried me through many life journeys (5/26)
Native Sun News: Tribes score big in fights against energy projects (5/26)
Lakota Country Times: Education Secretary hears from Pine Ridge (5/26)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Ending Whiteclay beer sales starts at home (5/26)
Vi Waln: Rosebud Sioux youth lead efforts to bring relatives home (5/26)
Gyasi Ross: Drug epidemic sweeping through Native communities (5/26)
Jacqueline Keeler: Shameful and skewed poll on racist NFL name (5/26)
Interview with Melvin Monette about Cobell scholarship program (5/26)
Auction house in France won't stop sale of sacred tribal property (5/26)
United Keetoowah Band installs new leader after impeachment (5/26)
Kewa Pueblo builds new community around historic trading post (5/26)
Eastern Cherokee elder translates 'Charlotte's Web' into Tsalagi (5/26)
Puyallup Tribe works to keep language alive for new generations (5/26)
Iowa Tribe offers free play on poker website ahead of full launch (5/26)
Alabama-Coushatta Tribe offers gaming options closer to home (5/26)
Kaw Nation receives national award for tribal gaming initiatives (5/26)
Indian Health Service reform efforts gaining steam on Capitol Hill (5/25)
Indian Health Service announces more hires at troubled hospital (5/25)
Keepseagle attorneys open application process for $38M in grants (5/25)
Three tribes enter cooperative agreements for buy-back program (5/25)
New leader selected for HUD's Office of Native American Programs (5/25)
Indian relay racers gear up for event hosted by Muckleshoot Tribe (5/25)
Cronkite News: Tribes seek return of property up for sale in France (5/25)
Native Sun News: Anti-suicide effort incorporates tribal traditions (5/25)
Lakota Country Times: Pine Ridge youth showcase film projects (5/25)
Mark Trahant: Native vote victory for Tawna Sanchez in Oregon (5/25)
Brandon Ecoffey: Lakota people come together in times of need (5/25)
Editorial: Tribes must come up with plan for return of Black Hills (5/25)
John McCoy: Disenrollment and blood quantum are not our way (5/25)
Adrian Jawort: Addressing race relations and healing in Montana (5/25)
Fort Peck Tribes oppose new directive on transgender students (5/25)
Leader of United Keetoowah Band ousted through impeachment (5/25)
Agua Caliente Band launches software development company (5/25)
Sen. Barrasso to chair platform committee for GOP convention (5/25)
Cowlitz Tribe welcomes discussions with opponent over casino (5/25)
Little Traverse Bay Bands open doors to Class II gaming facility (5/25)
Tuolumne Band celebrates 15th birthday with casino expansion (5/25)
Former Winnebago Tribe casino employee denies theft charge (5/25)
Proposed rule brings LGBT equality to tribal housing programs (5/24)
Chairman of Quapaw Tribe endorses Democrat Hillary Clinton (5/24)
Appropriations bill blocks new federal recognition regulation (5/24)
Native American Children's Safety Act clears final Hill hurdle (5/24)
9th Circuit won't rehear Tohono O'odham Nation gaming case (5/24)
Lakota Country Times: Army promises return of tribal children (5/24)
Native Sun News: New business sprouts up at Wounded Knee (5/24)
Mark Trahant: Tulalip citizen lands role in Democratic platform (5/24)
Brandon Ecoffey: Pine Ridge unites for search of missing men (5/24)
Men who went missing found dead on Pine Ridge Reservation (5/24)
Billy Mills: Flawed poll can't justify use of team's racist mascot (5/24)
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.