Lakota is dangerously close to extinction. Recent linguistic surveys and anecdotal evidence reveal that Lakota speakers of all abilities, on and around the reservations of North Dakota and South Dakota, amounted to fewer than 6,000 persons, representing just 14% of the total Lakota population.
Today, the average Lakota speaker is near 65 years old. These existing speakers are dying and are not being replaced by new Lakota-speaking generations. According to our recent analysis, the language stopped being transmitted to children during the mid-1950s. LLC's effort to reverse this factor relies on creating a new generation of Lakota speakers while there are still native speakers available to be teachers.
The Lakota Berenstain Bears Project was produced as with the goal of bringing the Lakota language to family television sets across all Lakota-speaking communities in North and South Dakota, and well beyond. This 20-episode Lakota language edition of the Berenstain Bears is a first of its kind - the first Native American language cartoon series EVER.
Rising Voices is a multi-platform documentary project that reveals the growing movement within Native American tribes to revitalize their languages and communities, challenging the expectations put on them by outsiders and those put on young generations by the old.
I wish there was more I could learn yearlong, so I can grasp the grammar. It makes me think a lot.
Johnson Holy Rock
(1918-2012), TLC Board Emeritus and last greatest Lakota language speaker
This is the last chance for our languages. I encourage you to support this work.
Summer Institute participant
TLC programs are AWESOME! This was a great way to learn
my Native tongue.
LLC BY THE NUMBERS
Founded:2004 Lakota Population:145,000 Average Age:17 Materials distributed:50,000 Lakota Teachers trained:480 2013 Summer Institute Attendees:140 Spending on Programs:92% Children assisted:25,000 Staff:10 Volunteers:360 Active Adult Learners:6,000 Service area:400 x 300 miles Reservations served: 9 Schools served:83