Nov. 24, Preserving Indigenous Languages

Air Date:
Heard On Route 51
A map of tribal lands in the Midwest
Courtesy of PBS Wisconsin

The cornerstone of any culture or community is its language, where oral histories are passed down, knowledge is shared and bonds are formed. In Wisconsin and around the country, many Indigenous languages are under threat of disappearing, putting the cultural identity of many tribes at risk. Today, efforts are underway to revitalize critically endangered Native American languages, which advocates say confers cognitive advantages, enhances self-esteem and cultural well-being, and strengthens community bonds.

Shereen Siewert welcomes Waawaakeyaash Keller Paap, Indigenous knowledge development coordinator at the Waadookodaading Ojibwe Language Institute, and Waqnahwew Ben Grignon, Menominee language and culture coordinator with the Menominee Indian School District, for a discussion on initiatives that aim to protect Indigenous languages, ensuring that the cultural and linguistic identities of Native American people are preserved.

Episode Credits

  • Shereen Siewert Host
  • Rick Reyer Producer
  • Joy Ratchkramer Producer
  • Kate Spranger Producer
  • Waqnahwew Benjamin R. Grignon Guest
  • Waawaakeyaash Keller Paap Guest