Document Type


Publication Date


Faculty Sponsor

Kevin Whalen


Many Indigenous languages in the Americas are drastically declining in the number of fluent speakers and use within their own communities. The Bdewakantunwan Dialect of Lower Sioux Indian Community in southwestern Minnesota is one of the afore-mentioned Indigenous languages with the last fluent speaker of Dakota in the community passing years ago. Language is essential for maintaining identity, conducting ceremony, mental health, maintaining Indigenous sovereignty, and much more. Revitalizing the Dakota language in Lower Sioux would facilitate the growth of and maintenance of all of the previously said benefits, along with the advantages of bilingualism. The text explores many different Indigenous language revitalization efforts in the Americas, both North and South, to extrapolate what techniques or ideas could potentially be taken and implemented on Lower Sioux. The current linguistic situation of both the Dakota language in general, as well as the specific linguistic condition of the Dakota language on Lower Sioux. Past and current language revitalization efforts in the area are also covered thoroughly. Recommendations of successful language revitalization techniques used by other Indigenous communities that have not been implemented in Lower Sioux come from people groups like the Aymara, the Wampanoag, the Lakota, the Maori of New Zealand, Native Hawaiians, and many more. Finally, suggestions are made for the most practical language revitalization ideas and techniques that Lower Sioux could implement to address the linguistic situation of the Dakota language in their community.

Primo Type