Earlier this month the LLC staff and board had the opportunity to attend Tusweca Tiospaye’s 11th Annual Language Summit in Rapid City, SD. We held a booth for 2 of the 3 days of the summit, listened in on the sessions, and had a lot of great conversations. The theme of the conference was “Uniting the Seven Council Fires to Save our Language”. We met with old friends and made new ones and overall it was an amazing weekend of community.

We made connections with teachers who brought forward their thoughts about classroom materials. We took a lot of notes based on their suggestions and have a good idea of how to better support those who are in the classrooms putting in the work! There were some participants from all over Turtle Island that made us really appreciate what we have for the Lakota language. We got to hear their stories of language success and celebrate the different important paths each of us are on. It lit a spark for other languages too to see what’s possible for helpful tools to exist in their home language.

It was truly a wonderful experience to remember all the contributors to Lakota Language documentation and use. Together we built bridges and connections. The LLC staff and several others said our final goodbyes to our good friend Kevin Locke as well by attending his funeral in the beautiful Black Hills. It was an overall heartwarming weekend spent in the language. We look forward to next year’s conference.

Participants also got a preview of what is to come with the NLD 3.0! It has been a long couple of years but we are excited to get this dictionary into the hands of learners and speakers. We had the opportunity to meet some of the Elders who contributed to the NLD 3.0! The materials are held in a different light when we saw the people who help make these materials happen. Our hearts went, “Here it is! It is done!” We were also able to say thank you to the few contributors who helped make this happen. Their eyes lit up at their hard work being in their hands. Language will always be important and will sit at the center of our people but when we look at all the materials available it really leaves room for fun. Our speakers, leaders, and learners wrote and spoke these materials into existence. It really makes the future of language all that more bright.

You get the scoop here first but we are gearing up for a launch party for the NLD 3.0 in December of this year! Look out for more details in next month’s newsletter.