Jan 26, 2016 - Language Circles Series: Native Youth Learn Traditional Languages

Clear Sky Native Youth Council Program Tribal Language Circles – Language Circles is a project designed to provide tribal language instruction to our Seattle Clear Sky Native Youth Council participants. Our Language Circles Series is an extension of last year’s preliminary effort to bring in professional Native linguists for purpose of teaching basic tribal language skills.

Last year Language Circle project was very popular drawing in 20-45 participants each evening. Our Language Circle Series is now a year-long project serving a diverse population of our Intertribal urban Native youth in Seattle, WA.

This year we revised our approach to expand both our reach and depth of cultural education for youth participants, we are offering 3 languages; Lakota, Lushootseed and Tlingit language. Our language series for each specified language is 6-8 weeks. Each series integrates culture, history, and traditional knowledge, for a holistic, immersive experience.

Our youth recently completed a 6 week Lakota Language series with Language Warrior Matt Remle (Hunkpapa Lakota). Mr. Remle’s style of instruction was thoroughly engaging as youth ages 7-19 learned songs, blessing, and introductions. Youth had several opportunities to share their Lakota language skills as a group, and individually.

UNEA Student’s learn Lakota from instructor Matt Remle Fall 2015.

Language Circles is a unique opportunity for our youth to attain and practice multiple tribal languages, thus broadening their language/cultural knowledge and reinforcing the value of being multi lingual. Clear Sky youth participants have benefited tremendously from tribal language instruction as demonstrated by their enthusiasm, feedback, and uncanny ability to quickly absorb the languages practiced and performed.

Urban Native Education Alliance is a non -profit 501c3, grass roots, volunteer, Native based organization located in Seattle, WA.

Our purpose is to serve urban Native youth, and bridge access and opportunities for academic success, cultural, and traditional knowledge. Urban Native Education Alliance motto ‘Thriving through Education, Culture and Tradition’ Our dynamic urban Intertribal community has as many as 200 tribes represented in our area, so the challenge of providing all languages for each tribal affiliated youth in Seattle region is unrealistic, however our language choices; Lakota, Lushootseed, and Tlingit were chosen based on Instructor availability, and our Native youth tribal affiliations. We have many Lakota youth, and Tlingit/Haida, and we want to honor our Coast Salish tribes with Lushootseed language.

Our program will culminate in a youth driven, organized and facilitated Youth Conference in April. Our youth will develop a presentation based on knowledge learned from our Language Circles. Our funding for our Language Circle Series is supported by Potlatch Fund. If you would like to learn more about our organization please view our UNEA web site at www.urbannativeeducation.org

Last Real Indians