Conference focuses on keeping languages alive
Tribal leaders and educators are meeting in Rapid City, South Dakota, this week to discuss ways to preserve the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota languages.

The three related languages are found in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota and parts of Canada. But with fewer fluent speakers remaining, advocates are worried about losing a culture and way of life.

"We're really in a race against time," said Ryan Wilson (Oglala Sioux) of the National Alliance to Save Native Languages on the opening day of the summit, The Rapid City Journal reported.

Chief Cameron Alexis of the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation in Alberta said most people ages 35 and older are fluent in Nakota. But younger people can barely speak the language.

We have to get back to our roots. Our young people have to be proud of who they are," Alexis said.

The summit continues today and tomorrow.

Get the Story:
Fluent Lakota speakers running out of time (The Rapid City Journal 11/13)