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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Yurok Lessons
by The Times-Standard

Humboldt County higher education, once part of a nationwide system dedicated to the destruction of Native American languages, may soon help nourish the survival of one.

While local elementary, middle and high schools have offered Yurok language courses in recent years to young children through the tribe’s Head Start program, local colleges have yet to do the same.

As we reported earlier this week (“CR may offer Yurok language classes,” Times-Standard, Feb. 21, Page A4), that may soon change at the College of the Redwoods.

This is good news.

It’s also a welcome sign that United States educational institutions have evolved over the years to help preserve Native American knowledge and culture rather than repressing it.

As any student of language quickly learns, much can be lost in translation. As any student of history learns, too much has been lost already.

Thanks to a partnership between the college and the Yurok Tribe, and a federal grant, CR plans to hire former Yurok Tribal language program coordinator Carole Lewis as a professor. The first courses are set to start next school year at CR’s Klamath-Trinity satellite campus, although plans are still being finalized. Yurok Tribal language program coordinator Victoria Carlson said she hopes the program expands to other CR campuses, and eventually to Humboldt State University.

Kich ‘i’ roo. It’s time.

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