| The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe received
confirmation Sept. 23 that the Klallam Language Program was awarded
a $483,744 three-year language grant. Out of 387 other applicants,
only eight grants were awarded. Part of the funding will be used to
train an apprentice to become tribal/state certified middle school
Klallam language teacher.
The goal of this grant will be to
strengthen and broaden our community of Klallam language speakers
by transcribing recorded stories; developing lessons from these
stories, and training a middle school Klallam language teacher.
said Program Manager Jamie Valadez. This grant will also create
job opportunities for tribal artists, as the stories will be illustrated
Currently, there is a state/tribal credited
Klallam language class taught at Port Angeles High School. The award-winning
instructor, Valadez teaches the class. The class is open to all
students, and has been offered there since 1998. The curriculum
and materials for this class were developed and paid through previous
Administration for Native Americans grants.
This is the sixth ANA grant the tribe
has received since 1995. Classes have been taught at the Lower Elwha
Head Start, tribal center elementary after-school program, the Lower
Elwha Head Start, in the Port Angeles High School, and a weekly
community language class at the Lower Elwha Child Care.
The proof that this program has
been successful is in the fact that the tribe has been awarded an
ANA language grant six times, said Tribal Chairwoman Frances
Charles. Some of the teachers were preschool students at the
Lower Elwha Head Start. Our goal has always been to revive and restore
the Klallam Language, and were doing that.
Outreach to both Jamestown and Port
Gamble tribes has also been a goal to help revitalize the Klallam
language in their communities, Valadez said. Weve
been doing this by revitalizing songs, ceremonial speeches, having
classes and prayers for community events and protocol speeches at
the canoe journeys celebrations.
The continued training of new language
teachers is fulfilling the dreams of our elders by revitalizing
a language on the brink of extinction, said language teacher
The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe resides
in the Lower Elwha River Valley and adjacent bluffs on the north
coast of the Olympic Peninsula just west of Port Angeles, Wash.
The original land base was acquired by the United States in trust
for the tribe in 1935-36 and these lands were proclaimed as the
Lower Elwha Reservation in 1968. Today, tribal lands include about
1,000 acres of land on and near the Elwha River.