Why Study Languages
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Why Study Languages?


"Mi taku oyasin."  (We are all related)

- Lakota saying

1.        “The voice of the land is in our language."                                                            (Quote from Skutnabb-Kangas 2000, page 103.)

2.      "Our languages are the cornerstone of who we are as a people."                                                                                   --Mary Richards and Ida Bear, Winnipeg, Canada

3.      “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 Cantoni 1996: 95)

4.        The indigenous languages of the original inhabitants of the Americas must be revitalized and perpetuated.

5.        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.               

6.      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.

7.      Dakota is spoken in Northern Nebraska, southern Minnesota, North and South Dakota, and Canada.

8.      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             

9.      Lakota is spoken in Northern Nebraska, southern Minnesota, North and South Dakota, northeastern Montana

10.  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 beautified.                                                                                                                           -Terra Lingua website


1.        National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education web page:


2.        Index of Native American Language Resources on the Internet http://www.hanksville.org/NAresources/

3.        Living Languages of the Americas web page:


4.        TerraLingua:  Partnerships for Linguistic and Biological Diversity, web page. http://www.terralingua.org/ip%26lgs.html