Nakia Zavalla: Chumash Tribe keeping Samala language alive

"This week representatives from the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians attended the annual National Native Language Revitalization Summit on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., a program organized for the celebration of our rights to continue to speak and revitalize our indigenous languages.

In addition to us lending support for the educational and advocacy events planned, I was also invited to be a guest speaker at the Library of Congress to help introduce the documentary feature, “We Still Live Here: As Nutayunean,” as well as participate in a Q&A session after the screening.

Also invited to speak was tribal member Kathleen Marshall, who works with me as a language apprentice. Our government affairs liaison, Sam Cohen, also attended with us. We presented the Library of Congress with a copy of our Samala language dictionary.

Organized by Cultural Survival, a proud member of the National Alliance to Save Native Languages, this annual summit’s 2011 goal was to convene language advocates at the Library of Congress and engage every one of the 62 members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees with Native language revitalization success stories."

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Nakia Zavalla: Summit celebrates native languages (The Solvang Valley News 6/23)

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