"Mi taku oyasin." (We are all
- Lakota saying
“The voice of the
land is in our language."
(Quote from Skutnabb-Kangas 2000, page
"Our languages are the
cornerstone of who we are as a people."
Richards and Ida Bear, Winnipeg,
“Your language. Your tradition.
Your family, All the relations of the World. We are not by ourselves.
We are in Unison, Watch...”
--From a poem by Damon Clarke, Hualapai [USA] (in
languages of the original inhabitants of the Americas must be
revitalized and perpetuated.
Of the more than
6,000 languages currently being spoken, fewer than half are likely to
survive the next century. When a language is gone, it is gone forever.
In the United States there are
19,000 speakers of Dakota. Including Canada, the total population of
speaker of the Dakota language is 23,000.
Dakota is spoken in Northern
Nebraska, southern Minnesota, North and South Dakota, and
Dakota is related to Lakota,
another Siouan language. In the United States, there are 6,000 total
Lakota speakers out of a total 20,000 population including Canada
Lakota is spoken in Northern
Nebraska, southern Minnesota, North and South Dakota, northeastern
The importance of language in
human life and in determining the place of humans in the world is
stressed in most past and present cultures on earth. In many religious
traditions the spoken word is creative power. …. Among peoples as
different as the Dogon of Nigeria and the Navajo of the southern United
States, elaborate theories of language exist that see language as the
means through which the world is created, organized, classified, and
National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education web
Index of Native American Language Resources on the
Living Languages of the Americas web
Partnerships for Linguistic and Biological Diversity, web