Saving a language before it is lost to time

Learning Lakota graduation.
Learning Lakota graduation.(KOTA KEVN)
Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 8:15 AM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Ensuring your native language is remembered is a task most people will never have to take on but for some people, it’s a very real concern. A class in Pine Ridge is teaching the Lakota language to anyone interested in learning their language.

Sunday, 13 people are now fluent in Lakota thanks to a class at the Heritage Center in Pine Ridge. These new speakers carry the task of making sure their language is not in danger of falling out of use any time soon by celebrating new speakers. The director of the class, Amanda Carlow, a director at The Heritage Center, says the need for this education is felt every day.

“We’re losing speakers every day. It was an increase of loss during Covid especially and so we’re losing fluent speakers for our learners to be able to interact with, to learn from, and to speak with so there’s an urgency of learning now while we still have fluent speakers remaining,” said Carlow.

These classes are open to anyone and start every fall.