Advantage: The Sauk language is being passed on to future generations with a new app

Advantage: The Sauk language is being passed on to future generations with a new app

Native American tribes face a problem: to maintain their native language alive for future generations. For the Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma, there are solely three folks alive right now who’re fluent of their Sac, a language that has been on the coronary heart of the tribe for generations.

Katie Thompson, the Tribe’s language director, is making an attempt to vary that.

With the assistance of the Chicago Blackhawks Basis and Native-owned Thornton Media, Thompson and different members of the Sac and Fox tribe are near launching an academic app that won’t solely educate the Sauk language, however preserve it alive.

“One of many issues close to and expensive to my coronary heart is language, and the way are we going to have the ability to use one thing that could be a software to coach not only a few folks, not simply folks inside our jurisdiction, however in every single place,” Thompson mentioned. “And since we’re out of the pandemic and we have had so many requests for digital and on-line classes, I believed the app could be nice.”

Indigenous languages ​​are typically endangered on account of insurance policies and actions intentionally undermining tradition.

Within the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, spiritual teams and the federal government constructed boarding faculties, mandating the attendance of younger Native American youngsters, as a option to eradicate the normal Native American lifestyle. They have been faraway from their communities and separated from their households for years, whereas being stripped of any component of their tradition—their names, hair, and clothes modified.

In these boarding faculties, Native American youngsters have been pressured to be taught and communicate solely English, going through harsh punishments in the event that they spoke their native language or practiced their very own spiritual beliefs. Lecturers insulted and made college students ashamed of their tradition with lesson plans to interrupt the foundations on which youngsters have been raised. For the scholars who have been later in a position to reunite with their households, it felt like they merely did not belong of their tradition anymore.

“If the kids are past faculty age — and if they’ll go residence — they might by no means be capable of discover their households once more,” Thompson mentioned. “In addition they felt alienated as a result of they now not acknowledged the Sack and Fox individual as a result of they’d grown up being instructed it was incorrect or incorrect.”

Older youngsters and younger adults had problem looking for their place inside their communities as a result of they felt like outsiders or had merely forgotten tips on how to communicate their native languages, inflicting boundaries in communication. The battle with their very own cultural oppression prompted a dominance impact inside the Native American nations. When the kids grew up and began their very own households, a lot of them taught their younger youngsters solely tips on how to communicate English.

“All they knew tips on how to discuss after boarding faculty was English,” Thompson mentioned. “In the event that they have been fortunate to have a reminiscence of the language, then they did not wish to communicate it once they had youngsters as a result of they have been afraid their youngsters could be taken away from them they usually must go to a boarding faculty.”

Over subsequent generations, the indigenous languages ​​started to fade away. Because the elders died, so did the language. For the Sak and Vox nation, the Sok language has reached a important level.

Now, with a brand new option to convey the language again to life, Thompson hopes they are going to construct a brand new technology that’s happy with their tradition and id.

Tribesmen close to and much will quickly be capable of obtain their language app and be taught the language their ancestors as soon as spoke. Once they enter the app, customers will see the faces and listen to the voices of different tribe members to be taught from them.

“They really took footage of us, with our faces and folks on the app posing,” Thompson mentioned. “In addition they recorded our voice talking the phrases. It is nothing generic. It is distinctive to us.”

Not solely will customers be capable of be taught the Sauk language, however they will even be capable of be taught in regards to the historical past, tradition, and heritage of the Sac and Fox Nation.

She added, “You not solely be taught the language, but in addition see our historical past and tradition.”

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