Hearing and seeing people speak indigenous languages themselves and discuss how they are related to their own lives is powerful.  The words and meanings behind our languages are not bound in archives or documentations, but rather they are alive in ourselves and in our communities.

This is a place to reflect on that and to share online videos, YouTube clips, home movies, any and all forms of expression related to these issues.


• WHEN IT’S GONE IT’S GONE – 0:17 mins

“A documentary filmed and produced by the Norman High School Native American Club. It examines the dying languages of Native Americans through the eyes of our Elders.”


• THE LINGUISTS (2008) – 1:03 mins

A documentary of two linguists, David Harrison and Gregory Anderson.
Some very interesting links with background information on the documentary and some responses to the film:

• “The Linguists: A Very Foreign Language Film” http://thelinguists.com/

• “Saving Dying Languages In ‘The Linguists'”http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=100874724

• “The Linguists Battles Language Extinction on Web”http://blog.wired.com/underwire/2009/04/qa-babelgum-pre.html(submitted by Liz Sumida Huaman (Wanka/Quechua) ’98)

• “To save languages before they are lost”http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2009/03/25/midmorning2


• A RACE AGAINST TIME – The Fight to Save NM’s Native Languages

“New Mexico’s Native languages are in a state of crisis. As generations pass before our eyes, the youth in many communities are failing to learn their native languages. This leaves many in these communities literally in a race against time to help preserve and teach their community’s native language.”

-Submitted by Aaron Sims (Pueblo of Acoma) ’09


Youtube Videos


“My children as you journey throughout life from generation to generation; do not forget your language, your culture and your way of life. That identifies who you are.”

-Chief Manuelito (1818-1893)

A short video about individual stories regarding the Navajo Language and struggles with language attrition, language prejudice and biases, as well as reenforcing the importance of passing the language on as a source of identity and pride.

-Submitted by Jeremiah Watchman (Diné) ’11



Shishmaref Teacher talks about language Loss

-Submitted by Tim Argetsinger (Inupiaq) ’09


•  UN YOUTH CAUCUS – Intervention on Language

6th the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Session in April 2007:
UN Youth Caucus representative (from Seminole Tribe possibly?) testifies advocating for increased recognition and support of indigenous language learning opportunities and presents four recommendations to the forum.

-Submitted by Dewey KkoL’oh Hoffman (Tleyeegg’e Hut’anaa/Koyukon Athabascan) ‘08




Thought you might want to check this out. My cousin introduced me to this band many years ago. They are called “Uchpa,” which in Quechua means “ashes.”

They sing almost totally in Quechua and play rock and blues. A good friend of mine used the lyrics for this song in her master’s thesis to talk about Quechua social movement/language maintenance.

The video depicts our war in the 80s and 90s where many many people died at the hands of either terrorists or the military. My family was targeted, and for over 10 years we could not return to Peru. For those of you who understand Spanish, you won’t need this translation from the subtitles, but I translated the first part of it into English below:

Uchpa: “Pitaqmi Kanki”

From my eyes

What have they seen

Who are you

Who are you with?

Do you know?

You don’t know

Who am I?

Who am I with?

Maybe you know

maybe you don’t know

Poor child

It’s better you don’t know

When you are older

You may learn

– Submitted by Liz Sumida Huaman (Wanka/Quechua), NAD Alum ’98



(Same tune as American Version)

Hooleelaanh dedzaanh sodeelts’eeyh. Happy Birthday. Lit. ‘Be happy on the day you were born.’
Hooleelaanh dedzaanh sodeelts’eeyh.
Hooleelaanh dedzaanh sodeelts’eeyh.

Debaa soo’u naanLetuh yUhyeets hoolaanh. ‘May you live a long time.”

ey hoots! – yee ha! : )

– Submitted by Dewey KkoL’oh Hoffman (Tleyeegg’e Hut’anaa/Koyukon Athabascan) ‘08



Also, here is a blessing song in Denaakk’e that is sung at St. Berchman’s Church in Galena, Alaska for Birthday’s and Anniversaries:

Debaa soo’ DenaahUto’ hoozoonh ts’e neneeL’aanh.
May the blessing of God be upon you.

DenaahUto’ yeL medene’ yeL hoozoonh ts’e neneeL’aanh.
The blessing of the Father and the son.

Ts’Uh debaa soo’ St. Meyeets koon hoozoonh ts’e neneeL’aanh.
And may the Spirit of God, the Spirit of love.

Yegge donLaa’ ode.
Be with you all your days.

– Submitted by Dewey KkoL’oh Hoffman (Tleyeegg’e Hut’anaa/Koyukon Athabascan) ‘08




Stumbled upon this song titled ‘Haaladeeshniil’ produced by the independent record label Tribe2Entertainment. According to their “About” section on myspace.com their mission is to “promote Cultural Awareness, Native Empowerment and Self Motivation amongst all Native people.” The label was co-founded by brothers Mistic and Shade who ” have traveled throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico spreading the positive messages of their people through music and traditional culture (myspace.com).” Sounds honorable to me. As far as I know, this is the only rap song done entirely in Navajo.

Haaladeeshniil translates as “Do I have a choice.”

– Submitted by Jeremiah Watchman (Diné) ’11


Pictures and Art

Younger Generation of Olin/Hoffman Family
Younger Generation of Olin/Hoffman Family at Memorial Potlatch in Galena, Alaska June 2008

– Submitted by Dewey KkoL’oh Hoffman (Tleyeegg’e Hut’anaa/Koyukon Athabascan) ‘08



– Submitted by Jeremiah Watchman (Diné) ’11


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