Canku Ota Logo

Canku Ota

Canku Ota Logo

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


February 9, 2002 - Issue 54


pictograph divider


Indigenous Language Institute Celebrates 2001 Accomplishments

(NEW MEXICO) -- The Indigenous Language Institute (ILI) continues to build upon its reputation as the country’s premier nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving, protecting and perpetuating endangered Native American Languages.

“2001 was a banner year for ILI in many important ways,” said ILI President Gerald L. Hill, Oneida. “Grassroots collaborations in Native communities, a variety of language programs, and ongoing activities related to our international clearinghouse of language information continue to further ILI’s goals.”

Ongoing program collaborations include Regional Training Workshops with the Oklahoma Native Language Association (ONLA), to provide practical, hands-on training in Oklahoma and Florida.

“We continue to see an increase in the number of community-based language programs, as well as strengthening of our existing ones,” said Hill. “We are happy to note that the decline of endangered languages was arrested in 2001 – that is, we have not ‘lost’ any more of them.”

ILI 2001 Accomplishments

February: ILI and the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) co-hosted a Native language symposium in Washington, D.C., on Capitol Hill.

April: ILI participated at a NIGA-sponsored workshop on language revitalization, held in Albuquerque, N.M.

April: President Hill was a panelist at the National Council on Less Commonly Taught Languages Conference, held in Washington, D.C.

April: ILI held its Third Annual Language Fair in Santa Fe. Over the years, this event has grown in popularity, with 2001’s participation at 165 young people from around the country – an increase of 27 percent over 2000.

April: ILI’s Field Survey Project completed its field visits. The data that has now been collected from a total of 34 Native language programs nationwide is in the process of being analyzed and compiled into “How-To Handbooks” for starting and sustaining effective language programs. (Publication date is slated for Spring 2003.)

May: ILI’s Field Survey Language Team presented a workshop at the Eighth Annual Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Conference, held in Flagstaff, Ariz.

May-June: Santa Fe’s Institute of American Indian Arts Museum co-sponsored a two-week exhibition of ILI’s 2002 Youth Language Fair Poster Contest winners and honorary mentions.

July: Publication of “The ILI Youth Language Fair and Poster Contest: An Anthology of Participants 2000.”

July: Publication of “The Native American Youth Language Fair and Poster Contest Manual.” The publication is intended to provide communities with the information needed to organize their own youth events.

October: Announcement of a three-year, $5 million national endowment campaign. Native American actor Wes Studi, who is a lifelong speaker of his own Cherokee language, is serving as Honorary Endowment Chairman.

October: ILI hosted its Fourth Annual Honors Event, “Those Who Make a Difference,” in Santa Fe. ILI paid tribute to Patricia Locke, Lakota (who died one week following the event); Kevin Locke, Lakota; and Lloyd Kiva New (Cherokee) for their important work in saving Native languages.

October: A benefit concert for ILI featuring Kevin Locke, Lakota; Drew LaCapa, Apache, Hopi, Tewa; Firecat of Discord; Ralph Zotigh, Kiowa; and Conroy Chino, Acoma Pueblo; was held at Santa Fe’s Lensic Performing Arts Center. The event was sponsored by the Lensic Sponsorship Program.

According to 1993 statistics, of the 300-plus original languages in North America, only 175 exist today. Of those, 155 languages, or 89 percent, are endangered. If nothing is done to reverse this trend by 2060, only 20 indigenous languages will remain.

The Indigenous Language Institute is located at 560 Montezuma Avenue, Suite 201-A, Santa Fe, N.M., 87501. Telephone: (505) 820-0311; Fax: (505) 820-0316. E-mail:; Web site:

Media Contact: Liz Hill (202) 483-3609

pictograph divider


Home PageFront PageArchivesOur AwardsAbout Us

Kid's PageColoring BookCool LinksGuest BookEmail Us


pictograph divider

  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.


Canku Ota Logo


Canku Ota Logo

The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the

Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 of Paul C. Barry.

All Rights Reserved.

Thank You