UO to host 2021 Indigenous Languages Digital Archive workshop

Mar. 4, 2021

The University of Oregon will host a workshop funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities to provide advanced training in the use of the Indigenous Languages Digital Archive August 9-13, 2021. The web-based software was piloted by a team of Nuu-wee-ya’ (Oregon Dene) Community members based at UO’s Northwest Indian Languages Institute and the Linguistics Department. The workshop will be designed for hybrid delivery, and some UO representatives will be on hand at the Yamada Language Center in McKenzie Hall.

Scores of Native American communities are committed to the revitalization of their languages. In cases where these languages are awakening after a period of time without speakers, the revitalization process requires rigorous research into archival documentation of the language, and analysis of the language and cultural data contained in such documentation. The National Breath of Life Archival Institute for Indigenous Language has provided training to 117 researchers from 55 different Native American language groups since its inception in 2011. The advanced training to be provided at the upcoming workshop is a reflection of the growth and evolution of the archives-based research for revitalization movement.

The workshop will be attended by community researchers working on the revitalization of the Comanche, Haida, Hupa, Wailaki, Kiksht, Ichishkíin languages, the last two being languages of the Confederated Tribes of Warms Springs in Oregon.

The Pacific Northwest tribes in their work to revitalize their languages, and the UO in supporting such efforts, have contributed significantly to the development of what is now the National Breath of Life Archival Institute for Indigenous Languages. Since 2011, the Institute has worked with members of 55 Native American language communities across North America to carry out the research necessary to bring their languages back to use after a period without speakers.

The National Breath of Life Archival Institute for Indigenous Languages has been the result of several collaborations including the Myaamia Center at Miami University–which serves as its institutional home, the Endangered Language Fund, the Recovering Voices initiative at the Smithsonian Institution, and the University of Oregon through its Northwest Indian Language Institute and the Linguistics Department’s Language Revitalization Lab.

For more information, please visit the National Breath of Life Training Module 2 page, which explains further the topics and organization of this workshop.

Text supplied by University of Oregon