The Goldbelt Heritage Foundation (GHF) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded $50,000 from the Native Language Immersion Initiative (NLII) of the First Nations Development Institute of Longmont, Colorado. This award will support GHFʼs efforts to preserve and revitalize Lingít Yoo X̱’atángi, or Tlingit language, and the Wooch Ée Tooltóow – We Are Teaching Each Other project.
Through the Wooch Ée Tooltóow project, GHF will provide Lingít Yoo X̱’atángi in-school instruction to students in preschool through fifth grade, provide monthly curriculum and resource packages to families to promote intergenerational language transmission and extension of language learning into the home, and establish monthly events for families in Juneau, Alaska that incorporate Lingít Yoo X̱’atángi and culturally relevant and place-based activities.
Monthly family events would support the unique educational and cultural needs of families by providing child oversight and separate yet simultaneous and similar activities for students and caregivers at collaboratively hosted events. Lack of childcare and the challenges caregivers encounter when trying to teach and reinforce content and skills just being learned are commonly reported barriers to cultural event participation; GHF, partners and the Wooch Ée Tooltóow project seeks to remove these barriers.
“Events will be seasonally appropriate and include opportunities to practice and use Lingít Yoo X̱’atángi, and feature activities such as plant and fish harvesting and processing, regalia-making, and song and dance,” said Desiree Jackson, GHF’s Executive Director. “We also plan to host Rock Your Mocs dance in November to celebrate National Native American Heritage month and completed regalia projects.”
“Lingít Yoo X̱ʼatángi is a critically endangered language with an estimated 10 master-level birth speakers remaining,” continued Jackson. “Preserving our language is preserving our culture and ways of being and knowing, and it is critical for Goldbelt Heritage Foundation.”