Lakota in the Classroom

Language revitalization classes have been part of the curriculum in many Lakota Country schools for over forty years. The Rising Voices/Hótȟaŋiŋpi film crew worked in several schools to show the different educational approaches that are now being tried. The most promising — language immersion — is found in very few schools. The more traditional approach of weekly classes in Lakota for elementary students is widespread, but the students rarely gain more than a basic vocabulary in the language.

The programs we visited included the Iyápi Glukínipi Immersion Childcare in Oglala, South Dakota; the Lakȟól’iyapi Wahóȟpi Immersion Preschool in Fort Yates, North Dakota; the Laȟota Wóglaka Wóuŋspe Immersion Elementary School in Kyle, South Dakota; the Red Cloud Indian School in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, and the Little Wound Elementary School in Kyle, South Dakota.