Meet our 2021 Summer Intern Shania Black Bear

At LLC it’s so important that we encourage the next generation to learn how they can be a part of our mission. Summer Interns assist with a variety of tasks at LLC from general admin, to helping with events, and even assisting in product creation. This week we welcomed Shania to share a bit about herself as well as what she hopes to do during her internship period, get to know her below and see what she’s been up to so far! 

Hello! I am Shania Black Bear-Searby, I am a 24-year-old Lakota woman from Rosebud, SD. This summer for 4 weeks I am interning at The Language Conservancy as 1 of their 3 native interns. My grandpa is Ben Black Bear Jr. aka the male voice on the Lakota dictionary app. Seeing my grandpa work with LLC and TLC for so many years I am excited to become a part of the team for a while and see what goes on behind the scenes. 

Prior to coming to Indiana, I was a radio DJ on Rosebud as a part of the local radio stations Koya and Kini. During my time on Kini, I had a radio show called, “The Morning Tea” and it was a morning radio show offering commentary about things happening on Rosebud and in the world. It was a lot of fun and I am very thankful for the team I worked with while there. During my free time, I make ribbon skirts and watch anime. I am also a fan of Kpop and Lakota Language. I’ve been learning Lakota for a few years now and have loved the community I’ve been introduced to as a result. It all started with free Lakota language classes on Rosebud hosted by Allen Wilson and my grandpa. Allen brought quite a few learners into this community by speaking, laughing, and showing up ready to learn every time. I’ve worked under Allen on a few Lakota Language weekends. On the weekends I saw speakers come together and create their own communities in the bigger cities. I’ve been so happy to be a part of the language community and I’ve gotten to meet some of my very close friends through the language. 

While at The Language Conservancy so far my experience has been awesome! I’ve gotten to see how rapid word collection works which make dictionaries possible with native speakers. I’ve also peeked into how the Crow people are hosting their online Crow Summer Institute. One of the main plans for my time here is to assist with a podcast focused on some of the incredible Lakota figures that are within our communities. Coming up on the Lakota Language Consortium website there will be a blog post that I helped write highlighting the free materials LLC has to offer and a little bit about what they do. Lastly, I am assisting with the second installment of the Oókame wówapi Lakota Crossword Puzzle Book. The book is a fun supportive practice book that pairs with the Level 3 Lakota Language Textbook. I am just so excited to be here and learn more about language communities and what happens at The Language Conservancy.