Boys pray before bedtime with Father Keyes, St. Mary's Mission School in Omak, Washington.

Boys pray before bedtime with Father Keyes, St. Mary's Mission School in Omak, Washington.

Lakota: The Revitalization of Language and the Persistence of Spirit

New programs to teach and restore the lost language and cultural heritage of the Lakota Sioux offers hope for the children who live on reservations where dire poverty, suicide, unemployment and substance abuse have become a way of life.

For more than a century the Lakota language endured a deliberate and systematic attempt to eradicate it.

As a tool of colonization, the killing of language was a means of severing indigenous people’s ties to their culture, history and spirituality.

General Richard Henry Pratt in 1878 formed the first of many Indian boarding schools designed to “elevate” the Lakota to white culture. According to the Amnesty International article titled “Soul Wound: The Legacy of Native American Schools,” more than 100,000 Native Americans were “forced by the US government to attend Christian schools.”

Read the rest of this story at Truth-Out.org.

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Lakota: The Revitalization of Language and the Persistence of Spirit

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