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Father Randolph Graczyk is a Capuchin-Franciscan priest currently serving as pastor of St. Charles Parish on the Crow Reservation in Pryor, Montana. He holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Chicago and assists with the immersion program at St. Charles. Father Graczyk is fluent in Crow and has published a grammar of the Crow language, a Crow dictionary, and is currently helping with the development of Level 3 Crow language curricular materials.
Dr. Pease is a Crow educator and advocate. She is the founding president of the Little Big Horn college as well as the past president of the American Indiana Higher Education Consortium and director of the American Indian College Fund. She was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the National Advisory Council on Indiana Education and the White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities. She has also served as a trustee of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.
Roanne Hill is a Crow language and culture teacher at St. Labre High School. She grew up speaking Crow and didn’t learn English until age 5. Roanne has been involved in the Crow Summer Institute as a teacher since it began in 2013. She teaches classes on how to teach the Crow language, including Teaching Crow Level 2 Methods and Teaching Crow Level 3 Methods. Her voice is also used in many of Crow Language Consortium’s materials.
Jason Cummins is the Principal of the Crow Agency School, and also serves as the head of its language program. He is integral to the promotion and continuation of Crow (Apsáalooke) language revival within the region.
Wil is a national advocate for endangered languages and draws on more than 20 years of experience in higher education, linguistics, film production, and nonprofit management. Under Mr. Meya’s leadership, the Conservancy has become one of the foremost promoters of worldwide action for safeguarding indigenous languages and cultures and the Lakota Language Consortium has become the leader in protecting and preserving the Lakota language- working with over 80 schools, 20,000 Lakota students, and 8 tribes.
Curtis Yarlott is the Executive Director and President at St. Labre Indian School. He is directly responsible for implementing results-driven education reforms, contributing to a higher percentage of graduates and post-secondary academic acceptance. He is a proven, results-oriented, senior-level leader with experience in multi-cultural environments involving both not-for-profits and for-profits.
May 4, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Crow Language Summer Institute Returns to Montana
June 5-23 at Little Big Horn College
CROW AGENCY, MT – The Crow Summer Institute (CSI), the nation’s premiere Crow language training for teachers and learners, returns for a fifth year on June 5-23, 2017.
Responding to growing interest, his year’s Institute expands from two to three weeks, with new courses for beginning Crow language learners and first-year teachers.
CSI offers courses in teaching methods that integrate textbooks and dictionaries, phone apps, games and music. Attendees also participate in culturally relevant activities and traditional Crow teachings.
CSI coordinator Janine Pease, a renowned educator and founder of Little Big Horn College. believes that the Institute not only helps keep the language alive, it helps participants succeed in life.
“When students have tradition, culture and language as a part of their education. they’re very strong human beings.”
For more information and to register online: http://crowlanguage.org/crow-summer-institute. (paper registration forms are also available for download). There is no fee for registering.
The Crow Language Consortium Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pg/CrowLanguage) is another site to learn more and connect with other Crow speakers.
The Crow Summer Institute was launched by Little Big Horn College, The Crow Language Consortium and The Language Conservancy in 2013 to help reverse the decline of Crow language speakers.
There are an estimated 1,500 Crow speakers among the 13,000 registered Crow tribe members. Nevertheless, the tribe faces the challenge of keeping the language strong for new generations. In 2012, the Crow language was defined as “definitely endangered” by UNESCO.
Crow Language Consortium (CLC) is a collective of Crow schools, colleges, and educators working to preserve the Crow language for future generations by providing language materials, apps. multimedia, teacher training and workshops.
Little Big Horn College is a public two-year college chartered by the Crow Tribe based in Crow Agency, MT, capital of the Crow Indian Reservation. Courses focus on job opportunities on the Crow Reservation and surrounding region.
The Language Conservancy is the leader in working with Native American tribes to preserve languages. TLC develops programs and teacher trainings, creates materials, and promotes awareness about disappearing languages.
This course focuses on material development for the Level 3 TLC textbook “Speak Crow!-Level 3 Crow Textbook”, Crow Language Consortium, Hardin, to be published 2017. Linguists and layout specialists will work with fluent Hidatsa speakers who are also teachers. Together the Lv 3 textbook will be developed with special attention to cultural and linguistic knowledge and relevance.
To develop materials and methodology for “Speak Crow!-Level 3 Crow Textbook.
“Speak Crow!-Level 3 Crow Textbook”, Crow Language Consortium, Hardin, to be published 2017.
This course will provide students with a basic introduction to the structure of traditional Crow narratives. The topics covered in this course include the following: reading and understanding sentence structures in narrative contexts, use of colorful and complex sentences in Crow stories, as well as learning Crow writing techniques from these stories.
In the process of understanding Crow narrative structure we will also briefly discuss how texts can be used in Crow language classrooms, personalization and pre-reading strategies for teaching Crow reading, post-reading and follow-up possibilities, as well as the relationship of reading skills to general language acquisition.
Students in this course are expected to develop their own short story in Crow, suitable for use as additional material for level 4, as well as accompanying pre- and post- reading exercises. The students will read/teach their own story in class on the last day.
1. Examine Reading and Analyzing strategies for Crow
2. Develop a short story and read/teach their story to the class.
New Crow Dictionary
Understanding of Crow language structure is essential to teaching the language knowledgably and being effective in the classroom. Proper teaching of Crow is dependent on a firm foundation in the rules of a language. This course is the primary linguistic introduction to Crow grammar and particularly its inflectional and derivational morphology (the internal structure of words) and pedagogical approaches to explaining this grammar. The rules associated with Crow verbal morphology are one of the most characteristic features of the language and are also a significant challenge for students.
To introduce teachers in the effective understanding and use of Crow morphology so that they are adept at preparing lesson plans and teaching classes using grammatical concepts.
This course is an intensive practical overview of teaching Crow using the Speak Crow! Level 2 Textbook. This course will also emphasize introducing and reinforcing vocabulary with flashcards, props, and Total Physical Response (TPR) methods. It will also address classroom management techniques for the language classroom as well as using different teaching modalities to address diverse learning styles.
To introduce teachers in the effective use of the LLC Level 2 textbook, so that they are adept at preparing lesson plans and teaching classes using this material.
“Speak Crow!: Level 2 Crow Textbook”, Crow Language Consortium, Hardin, 2015.
Many Native American languages have only a few speakers left. But there’s been a push to help keep the Crow language alive. Those efforts are now beginning to pay off. It’s no longer just the language of the tribe’s elders. Younger and younger learners are embracing Crow along with their heritage. For this story, Amy Martin reports from Big Horn County, Mont.
Read the full transcript or listen to the radio story on the NPR Weekend Edition Sunday website.
“It was something of a shock to me to realize that so many of these languages have only a few fluent speakers or none at all…”
Father Randolph Graczyk is a Capuchin-Franciscan priest currently serving as pastor of St. Charles Parish in Pryor, Montana. He holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Chicago and assists with the immersion program at St. Charles. Father Randolph is fluent in Crow and has published a grammar of the Crow language, a Crow dictionary, and is currently helping with the development of Level 3 Crow language curricular materials.
In late May, Father Randolph attended the Siouan-Caddoan Language Conference, an annual gathering of linguists as well as native and non-native people involved in language revitalization. Previously held in South Dakota, Colorado, and Montana, this year was hosted by the Otoe-Missouria Tribe in Oklahoma. “The conference is an opportunity for people involved with Siouan and Caddoan languages to share both formally and informally, both regarding our understanding of these languages as linguists as well as efforts at revitalization,” explains Graczyk.
As an expert in the Crow language, his talk “Apsaalooke Alilaau” discussed the current status of the Crow language and efforts in revitalizing the language. In 2012, The United Nationas Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) defined the the Crow language as “definitely endangered.” By contrast, recent estimates by www.ourmothertongue.org suggest that nearly 85 percent of the 11,000 Crow Tribe members speak Crow as their first language. Graczyk attributes this revitalization in recent years to traditional culture within the community to use the language in religious ceremonies and official gatherings. While Apsaalooke usage is on an upward trend, presenters of other tribal languages at the Siouan-Caddoan conference revealed that their languages are in a more dire state.
Graczyk shares, “This year it was something of a shock to me to realize that so many of these languages have only a few fluent speakers or none at all. Many of these tribes are committed to language revitalization, and are devoting considerable resources to this effort, developing teaching materials from extant texts and recordings. It made me thankful that the Crow people still have a considerable body of fluent speakers to aid in language revitalization.”