THE STORY OF A MOVEMENT
Language is the voice of a people and a culture.
Without language, peoples and their cultures cease to grow and start to fade away.
A Vision at the Beginning
The Language Conservancy was founded in 2005 by a group of concerned educators and linguists in reaction to the severe crisis of the huge decline of speakers of native American languages in the United States. From our inception, we have utilized best practice methods, resources, and models developed by our partner organization, the Lakota Language Consortium, to create language-learning materials.
The Lakota Language Consortium has emerged as a leader in the development of world-class methods and materials, with a strong, successful track record in creating fluent speakers. The Language Conservancy has successfully utilized many of these methods and template models, applying and transforming them for each of the dozens of languages we work to revitalize. Our vision and hope inspires us to share these tools with other indigenous language communities kindled with a desire to restore their language to pride of place.
Our Efforts Today
Today, The Language Conservancy supports Lakota and over 30 other indigenous languages. We work hard to increase funding for and provide technical assistance to each language community we serve.
TLC stands among the world’s leading voices in the movement for language revitalization. We provide a sequence of focused solutions to meet the needs of language communities, and we work to inform the broader public to engage with the problem of language loss close to home and throughout the world.
Looking Forward to Tomorrow
Worldwide, languages face the crisis of loss and extinction as never before. The wave of collapses that began in North America and Australia continues to accelerate and spread to other places. The Language Conservancy continues to utilize best-practice approaches, the methods and models we persistently refine to address the particular needs of each unique language.
The number of speakers produced best measures the fundamental success of any revitalization program. TLC strongly feels that increase in the number of speakers defines the only metric that really can make a difference in the fight to rescue a language. That’s why we work hard, day by day, week by week, month by month to help create new speakers with the passing of every year among the communities we support.
Over the long term, we strive to increase our ability to support the dynamic for change in all of the communities we work with, and to continue honing our approach to do an ever better job as we help to increase the ranks of speakers. Now and in the future, our vision remains to be able to better create ever more speakers for each of the language communities we work with.