Grant Activities: Dakota Wicohan is a regional non-profit language support organization that seeks to revitalize the Dakota language in Minnesota to a living language. In this grant, they will create a Dakota Public Awareness Project to promote awareness and knowledge of the Dakota language and its history to Minnesotans in 2013. Dakota Wicohan created a Dakota language documentary film which will be shown in ten communities, along with an educational booklet.
Minnesota’s most enduring languages are in danger of disappearing. Without timely intervention, the use of Dakota and Ojibwe languages – like indigenous languages throughout the globe -- will decline to a point beyond recovery.
These languages embody irreplaceable worldviews. They express, reflect, and maintain communal connections and ways of understanding the world. Deeper than the disuse of vocabulary or grammar, the loss of an indigenous language is destruction of a complex system for ordering the relationships among people and the natural world, for solving social problems, and connecting people to something beyond themselves.