Join NYU CLACS and the Language Conservancy on Friday, February 9th as we will be hosting a kick off to the Lakota Language Weekend - NYC with a free public screening of Rising Voices, a documentary about efforts to save the Lakota language. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with instructors and filmmakers.
The Lakota Language Weekend, a crash course on Lakota language and culture that’s been traveling the country since 2016, will be hosted by NYU CLACS on February 10-11. Follow this link for more information or to sign up for the workshops generously sponsored by the Lakota Language Consortium and the American Indian Community House of New York.
Like virtually all Native American languages, Lakota is considered an endangered language. The Lakota Language Consortium estimates that about 2,000 Lakota speakers are left. But the upsurge in attendance to these and other Lakota language programs has given teachers and learners new confidence they can reverse the decline, and move the language forward for generations to come.
About the film:
Florentine Films/Hott Productions, in association with The Language Conservancy, presents a new documentary project: Rising Voices/Hótȟaŋiŋpi. Five years in the making, this multi-platform project tells the story of a powerful threat to a Native culture. This threat is an insidious, impersonal villain – one that comes through TV sets and social media sites, through Tweets and comic strips and the daily news. The menace is the English language, and the victim seemingly marked for extinction is the Lakota language itself – the language of the Lakota nation, once usually called the Sioux. For the Lakota people, it’s a local problem, but it’s just one instance of a massive global one – a worldwide epidemic of language extinction. More about the Rising Voices Project on this link.
About the speakers:
• Wil Meya, executive producer of Rising Voices, and the co-founder/executive director of The Language Conservancy.
• Yvonne Russo, award-winning film producer, and director of Renelle White Buffalo Paints Lakota, a companion short film to Rising Voices.
LAKOTA LANGUAGE EDUCATORS:
• Reuben Fast Horse, magician and educator who combines magic and the Lakota language to introduce a new way of looking at the world.
• Alex Firethunder-Loeb, Lakota Language & Culture Program Coordinator at the Lakota Waldorf School n Kyle, SD.
• Naomi Last Horse, Lakota Language Instructor at Wounded Knee District School in Manderson, South Dakota, and appears in Rising Voices.
• Allen Wilson, teacher of Lakota language at Todd County Middle School on the Rosebud reservation, South Dakota.
About the Organizers:
Organizing this event is the Lakota Language Consortium, a non-profit that helps revitalize the language through teacher training, textbooks, apps, advocacy, and workshops like the Language Weekend.
In New York, the Consortium has partnered with two key advocates for endangered languages in the Americas: the American Indian Community House and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University to present the workshop in the world’s most linguistically diverse city, where more 800 languages are spoken.
This event is free and open to the public.