About the Nakoda Language Project
What is the Nakoda Language Project?
The American Indian Studies Research Institute (AISRI) at Indiana University in collaboration with Fort Peck Community College and members of the Fort Belknap and Fort Peck communities are working together to produce a complete K-12 Nakóda language curriculum. Using traditional stories narrated by native speakers and beautifully illustrated by Nakóda artist, Chelysa Cyr the children will be able to learn Nakóda by listening to the words of their elders using twenty-first century technology. In our first year we have been able to produce textbooks for Kindergarten and First Grade, an app with access to stories and vocabulary as well as an Alphabet book, classroom posters, songbooks and worksheets.
We have been able to accomplish this work due to the years of research at AISRI where our scholars worked with native speakers to record their stories and language. AISRI was approached by Nakóda language teachers to explore the feasibility of building upon the success of the Red Cloud Indian School Lakota Language curriculum to partner together to develop a comprehensive K-12 curriculum for Nakóda school children. AISRI scholars have worked with elders in these communities and we soon realized that our collections of narratives and stories could be used to provide the foundation of the curriculum. Our project is truly innovative in being able to incorporate the voices of the elders into our new language materials.
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