Tribes Campaign to Save Native American Languages

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) - The Luiseño language is back from the brink of extinction, thanks to the efforts of tribal leaders on the Pechanga Indian reservation in Southern California.

The Riverside Press Enterprise reports the tribe recently began funding a graduate-level Cal State San Bernardino Luiseño class, one of the few for-credit university indigenous-language courses in the country. And at a Pechanga-run school on the reservation, children speak Luiseño every day.

The newspaper says Luiseño is just one of several Native American languages enjoying a comeback. The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has hired three professional linguists to help preserve and expand use of the Serrano language. A school run by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians includes classes in Serrano and Cahuilla.

A Calif. based media company has developed indigenous-language video games, storybooks and electronic flashcards.


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