Preserving Languages in Memory Institutions throughout the world By Sarah, Rosemary, Laura, Kristin Lost Languages
Hunter-gatherer lifestyle led to small communities Small communities grow Language develops War Smaller communities overtaken by larger Written languages vs oral langauges Loss of languages Globalization Ex: United States, Europe, Canada, Africa Introduction
United States and the American Indian 2/3 of native languages are gone 192 remaining languages are considered “extinct” or “in danger” Oral tradition in language
1492 contact Disease, war, famine, control Civilization Fund Act 0f 1819, monies given to society to “educate” Native Americans Assimilation Indian Removal Act of 1830, move out West onto reservations Brief History
Revitalization vs documentation Audio recordings School and community language programs Uniting elders and the youth of the community UNESCO 1987, 1989, 1996 Universal Declaration of Language Rights http://www.unesco.org/cpp/uk/declarations/linguistic.pdf Native American Languages Act 1992 Language emersion camps Master-apprentice programs What can be done?
Elders are distrustful Attempting to encourage youth to get involved Dominant United States culture Television in English No school programs in Native Languages Language of the Government Act, English as national language Problems
Set up by Congress 1996 1500 linear ft of paper archives, over 300, 000 images, 12,000 video images and audio clips mission statement seeks to preserve and exhibit Native culture specifically language 3 buildings comprising the NMAI is the Cultural Resources Center (community outreach) 2% of collection is modern Incorporate oral traditions and current cultural perspective http://www.nmai.si.edu/ National Museum of the American Indian
NMAI Programs Our Universes: Traditional Knowledge Shapes Our World Ongoing NMAI on the National Mall, Washington, DCOur Universes focuses on indigenous cosmologies—worldviews and philosophies related to the creation and order of the universe—and the spiritual relationship between humankind and the natural world. Organized around the solar year, the exhibition introduces visitors to indigenous peoples from across the Western Hemisphere who continue to express the wisdom of their ancestors in celebration, language, art, spirituality, and daily life. Return to a Native Place: Algonquian Peoples of the Chesapeake Ongoing NMAI on the National Mall, Washington, DCMeet the Native peoples of the Chesapeake Bay region–what is now Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware–through photographs, maps, ceremonial and everyday objects, and interactives. This compact exhibition educates visitors on the continued Native presence in the region, and provides an overview of the history and events from the 1600s to the present that have impacted the lives of the Nanticoke, Powhatan, and Piscataway tribes. The exhibition was curated by Gabrielle Tayac, Ph.D. (Piscataway).
Wampanoag Indians of Massachusetts lost for over 100 years until 1993 when Jessie Little Doe Baird started studying word stems passed onto daughter Native American Film and Video Festival, 30 year anniversary Incorporation of audio recordings, Tewa people of New Mexico http://culturalpropertylaw.wordpress.com/2009/04/16/endangered-languages-protecting-native-american-languages/ Successes