Tribal languages across North America are on the verge of disappearing, as the native speakers pass away. Many organizations are trying to protect the languages because, with their disappearing, the cultures will close down too. In the last couple of years, a lot of linguistics professors are working on preservation and have put tremendous efforts to save native languages which are essential for tribal identity. In the majority of cases, the native speakers are in their 60s, 70s or even older, which is a big issue and it takes a lot of effort to document everything.
The goal of preservation should be making the native tribal language accessible to a younger generation. In the past, there have been some efforts to preserve native Hawaiian language, and Native Americans went to Hawaii to learn about the program and try to implement it. In the last couple of years, there have been some changes, but there is still a long way to go. We can’t say that government has been beneficial because for the past century the government policies were aimed at forcing Indian children to abandon their native languages and go to traditional schools. But, now, there are programs across the U.S. that are trying to change things and introduce kids to their native languages and help them connect with their culture and history.
There are a lot of Native American societies out there that are fighting very hard and organize various events just to preserve the Native American culture. Children are starting to learn native languages, even though they have been isolated for a long time. This is going to be an ongoing issue, and while there are original speakers of native tribal languages, there is still hope.
The language is the only threat that is keeping this culture together. Also, parents of the children play an essential role in this. They need to teach their children to actual Native American values, and all together they will preserve the language that has an incredible impact on the entire American culture.