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Native Sun News Today: Northern Cheyenne college hosts language summit






A group of youngsters from the Lame Deer Head Start class participate in a presentation by the Montana Indian Language Preservation Project. Courtesy photo

Cultural and religious forces that holds the language together
Language summit at Chief Dull Knife College
By Clara Caufield
Native Sun News Today Correspondent
nativesunnews.today

LAME DEER, Mont. –– For two days in mid-November, Chief Dull Knife College on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation hosted a state-wide tribal language summit, one of several held recently throughout the State under the auspices of the Montana Indian Language Preservation Project, funded by the State. The event was attended by many Northern Cheyenne and guests from other reservations in the state.

The Cheyenne Language Summit, focused on the theme: “We will speak our Cheyenne Language Forever.”

Dr. Richard Littlebear, President, Chief Dull Knife College said, “It was a very good conference and summit, even though people from some other reservations such as Rocky Boy and Crow could not attend. Yet, it was a very good exchange of information, sharing the good works of the colleges in Montana for language preservation efforts.”

Montana Senator Jonathan Windy Boy from the Rocky Boy Reservation attended the conference giving the opening key note speech, noting the near loss of many tribal languages among Montana Tribes. Windy Boy has been instrumental in sponsoring legislation to authorize the Montana Indian Language Project. He was also a key legislator who gained an average of two million in state funds for the past two state budgets which enabled each Montana Tribe to receive each grants of approximately $200,000 to conduct language retention activities.

Governor Steve Bullock, a Democrat who recently won re-election, has also pledged to try and secure additional funding for the Montana Indian Language Project in the next State budget and even to get that program in the base budget as an annual re-occurring line-item.

A highlight of the two day summit was a presentation from the one of the Lame Deer Head Start class, Morning Star Center who sang an old Cheyenne children’s song, coached by instructors, Adeline Spotted Elk and Myra Burgess, certified Cheyenne language teachers.

“I remember that song!” said Burt Medicine Bull, Cheyenne language instructor at Chief Dull Knife College who was MC for the summit. “These little ones got it right. They are our hope for the future.”


Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: Cultural and religious forces that holds the language together

(Clara Caufield can be reached at acheyennevoice@gmail.com).

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