[Colloquium] A Case-Study in Community Needs-Based Research: Sitting Bull College’s Lakota Language Capacity Building Initiative

In recent decades Native communities have been spending great time, energy and money on the revitalization, regeneration, or reclaiming of their ancestral languages. In North America, among other places, these communities are doing such revitalization work in the same settler colonial structures that caused the attrition and loss of those languages. Complicating matters further is the field of linguistics, which has the potential to greatly aid Indigenous language revitalization projects, but is in many ways still bound in colonial attitudes and systems that subjugate Native peoples. Fortunately, in recent years linguistic scholarship has taken up this issue seriously and has proposed ways linguistic research can be more equitable and applicable to Native communities. Many of these suggestions come in the form of community-based research practices. These practices stress collaboration, connection, and mutual respect in the production of linguistic knowledge that involves Native peoples. Through descriptions of the Sitting Bull College Lakota Language Capacity Building Initiative and its origins, this talk proposes an adjustment to the community-based research model. Sitting Bull College’s Lakota Language Capacity Building Initiative is an NSF-Funded project geared toward turning a corner in Lakota language revitalization while at the same time contributing to the documentation of Indigenous languages in the United States. This talk argues that in this current era of simultaneous rapid language loss and expanding revitalization, researchers should embrace a community-needs based research model –one that takes up the language revitalization needs of the community first in determining research frameworks, questions, methods, and projects.

Talk will take place via Zoom: https://ucsb.zoom.us/j/8055631152
Please plan to arrive 10 - 15 minutes early, to allow time for us to admit visitors and start the talk on time. If your Zoom id is not your name, please send an email message to the email address on this message with your name and your Zoom id, so that you can be recognized and admitted.