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September 28, 2010

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September 28, 2010

Dakota iapi nina teunhidapi. We all cherish our Dakota language. As a former grantmaker in Native Language Revitalization, there are efforts underway among Indigenous people throughout the world to renew, restore and revitalize language. Language is the root of a people's identity, culture, knowledge systems and lifeways. I support wholeheartedly the efforts of AAIA to revitalize the Dakota language for a new generation. The academic benefits of language and culture based education for Native students is well-documented.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The language materials developed by this organization have been invaluable to other organizations engaged in similar work. They have filled a critical niche in the development of Dakota language materials, and have formed several key partnerships.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 27, 2010

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September 27, 2010

The Association On American Indian Affairs, Inc. has worked extensively to create much-needed materials, including storybooks, posters, audio CDs, teacher phrase books, and CD-Roms, for children and adults learning Dakota, an endangered indigenous language of the Northern Plains and adjacent woodlands. Resources for Dakota, especially children's resources, are extremely hard to come by. Most Dakota language teachers spend what limited planning time they have creating their own materials. For myself and other Dakota language teachers, the professional-quality materials from AAIA have been indispensable. Not only are their resources centered in the Dakota way of life, they also can be easily integrated with topics (fall harvest, health, life cycle, important political figures, etc) already covered in a standard classroom. Furthermore, all of the materials are developed under the guidance of elders or fluent Dakota speakers, and often, young language learners take part in creating them as well! Most of those who are fluent Dakota speakers are 50 years of age or older, so in the effort to revitalize the language, our most important task is to retain the wisdom of the elders by passing their knowledge on to the younger generations. Through their work in language preservation, AAIA is doing just that!

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The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

using the materials they have created in both elementary and adult/families classes.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

provide them with more funding in order ensure that their important work continues.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

collaborating with others who share the same vision.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

deeply dedicated to revitalizing the Dakota language.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

continue to build on its invaluable collection of original Dakota language materials.

Ways to make it better...

I lived closer to the organization.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the limited number of fluent Dakota speakers.

One thing I'd also say is that...

AAIA is one of only about 3-4 organizations in the world creating educational materials for Dakota and those of us involved in Dakota language revitalization are very grateful to have them as a resource.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 27, 2010

more

September 27, 2010

Associaion on American Indian Affairs work is integral to the Dakota community and especially the Minnesota Dakota. AAIA has been able to produce a number of Dakota language resources that are helpful in the revitalization and preservation of the Dakota langauge. With approximately 8 fluent Dakota speakers in Minnesota, accessing resources for language learning is crucial to the survival of our language. With few D-dialect Dakota language materials, we continue to rely on AAIA. Without financial resources, AAIA would not be able to provide this role in our Dakota communities.

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The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

accessing Dakota language resources and they've most recently supported our summer Dakota language camp, held in Morton, MN.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

their willingness to share.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

nina waste!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

provide unlimited learning resources

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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