Native Languages

Native Languages


“Our language is our sovereignty. Our language is who we are as a people.”

            Professor Kathleen Kitcheyan
            San Carlos Apache College

A rainbow over the road to Spring Creek
A rainbow over the road to Spring Creek

Reclaiming the Words of Our People Initiative: A Collaborative TCU Native Language Action Planning Project is the first nation-wide initiative to bring together Tribal College and University (TCU) language faculty and staff to plan and create an institutional capacity-building process for Native language revitalization. Under this initiative, AIHEC will develop and implement a strategic plan for American Indian and Alaska Native language revitalization at the nations TCUs.

 

TCU language programs are unique, as in many cases they are the only academic institutions in the country, and even in the world, where these languages are taught. The AIHEC Native Languages initiative aims to connect and coordinate all TCU language programs, including the TCUs without current language course offerings.

TCU Native Languages: By The Numbers

300 indigenous languages were once spoken in the territory of the United States

175 indigenous languages remain today, and only a handful are still spoken by children

33 TCUs offer Native language courses

29 of the Native languages taught at TCUs represent ten Native language families

16 TCUs have degrees or certificate programs in Native languages

7 TCUs currently teach more than a single Native language

Native Language Families Taught at TCUs

By Tribal Group

Siouan – Lakota, Dakota, Nakoda, Nueta (Mandan), Hidatsa, Apsalooke (Crow), Umoho (Omaha), Ho-Chunk

Algonquian – Cheyenne, Blackfeet, Anishinaabe, Cree, Aaniiih, Menominee

Athabaskan – Dine (Navajo), Apache

Uto-Aztecan – Tohono O’odham

Iroquoian – Oneida

Salishan – Salish, Lummi, Lushootseed, Whulshootseed

Penutian – Nez Perce

Muskogean – Muskogee (Creek)

Eskimo-Aleut – Inupiaq

Caddoan – Sahnish (Arikara)

Language isolate – Kootenai

The TCU Native Languages capacity building process includes:

  1. Reviewing and Assessing: conduct baseline research and assessment to inventory Native language preservation and revitalization programs and resources at TCUs as well as best practices in Native language revitalization;
  2. Collaborative Planning: facilitate strategic, collaborative TCU-based planning to leverage, increase and share Native language preservation programmatic infrastructure and resources;
  3. Sharing and Acting: create and disseminate a comprehensive nation-wide TCU capacity building action plan that delineates areas of consensus, map forward movement in key priority areas, and strengthen and enhance TCU language preservation and revitalization programs.
Ronald Bone Shirt transcribing recordings of Lakota elders at Sinte Gleska University

TCU Languages

Select a TCU name to see the languages taught at the college.

TCU Languages
California Tribal College Aaniiih Nakoda College Bay Mills Community College Blackfeet Community College Cankdeska Cikana Community College Chief Dull Knife College College of Menominee Nation College of Muskogee Nation Dine College Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College Fort Peck Community College Ilisagvik College Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College Leech Lake Tribal College Little Big Horn College Little Priest Tribal College Navajo Technical University Nebraska Indian Community College Northwest Indian College Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College Oglala Lakota College Red Lake Nation College Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College Salish Kootenai College San Carlos Apache College Sinte Gleska University Sisseton Wahpeton College Sitting Bull College Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute Stone Child College Tohono O’odham Community College Turtle Mountain Community College White Earth Tribal and Community College

California Tribal College

The Languages Taught at This TCU:
1.
2.

California Tribal College

Aaniiih Nakoda College

The Languages Taught at This TCU:
Aaniih (Gros Ventre)
Nakoda (Assiniboine)

Program Type:
A.A. American Indian Studies

Program Link

Bay Mills Community College

Languages Taught at this TCU:
Anishinabe

Program Type:
A.A. Anishinabe Language Instruction; Anishinabemwin Pane Immersion school: 4- or 6-year diploma.

Program Link

Catalog Link

Blackfeet Community College

The Languages Taught at This TCU:
Piikani (Blackfeet)

Program Type:
A.A. Piikani Studies and Language

Program Link

Cankdeska Cikana Community College

Languages Taught at this TCU:
Dakota

Program Type:
A.A. Indigenous Studies, Dakota Language Certificate

Program Link

Chief Dull Knife College

Languages Taught at this TCU:
Cheyenne

Program Type:
A.A. Cheyenne Studies; A.A. Native American Studies

Program Link

College of Menominee Nation

Languages Taught at this TCU:
Oneida
Menominee

College of Menominee Nation

College of Muskogee Nation

Languages Taught at this TCU:
Muskogee (Creek)

Program Type:
Certificate in Mvskoke Language Studies; A.A. Native American Studies.

Program Brochure
Program Brochure

Dine College

Languages Taught at This TCU:
Dine (Navajo)

Program Type:
B.A. Navajo language

Program Link

Dine College

Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College

Languages Taught at this TCU:
Ojibwe

Program Type:
Anishinabe Language Certificate,  A.A. American Indian Studies

Program Link
Program Link

Fort Peck Community College

Languages Taught at This TCU:
Dakota
Nakoda (Assiniboine)

Program Type:
A.A. Native American Studies

Program Link

Ilisagvik College

Languages Taught at this TCU:
Inupiaq

Program Type:
Certificate Inupiaq Language; A.A. Inupiaq Studies

Program Link

Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College

Languages Taught at this TCU:
Ojibwe

Program Type:
A.A. in Anishinaabe Studies

Program Link

Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College

Languages Taught at this TCU:
Ojibwe

Program Type:
Ojibwe language certificate, A.A. Native American Studies Language specialty

Program Link

Program Link

Leech Lake Tribal College

Languages Taught at this TCU:
Ojibwe

Program Type:
A.A. Indigenous Leadership, A.A. Liberal Education

Program Link

Little Big Horn College

Languages Taught at this TCU:
Apsalooke (Crow)

Program Type:
A.A. Crow Studies

Collage Link

Little Priest Tribal College

Languages Taught at this TCU:
Ho-Chunk

Program Type: 
A.A. Native American Studies

Program Brochure

Navajo Technical University

Languages Taught at this TCU:
Dine (Navajo)

Program Type:
M.A., B.A. Dine Culture, Language and Leadership, Navajo Court Transcription/Interpretation certificate

Program Link

Nebraska Indian Community College

Languages Taught at this TCU:
Dakota
Umoho (Omaha)

Program Type:
A.A. Native American Studies

Program Link

Northwest Indian College

Languages Taught at this TCU:
Lummi
Lushootseed
Whulshootseed
Nez Perce

Program Type:
B.A. Native Studies Leadership

Program Link

Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College

Languages Taught at this TCU:
Nueta (Mandan)
Hidatsa
Sahnish (Arikara)

Program Type:
A.A., B.A. Native American Studies

Program Link

Oglala Lakota College

Languages Taught at this TCU:
Lakota

Program Type:
Lakota Language Certificate; A.A. Lakota Studies, B.A. Lakota Studies, B.S. in K-12 Lakota Studies Education

Program Link

Red Lake Nation College

Languages Taught at this TCU:
Ojibwe

Program Type:
A.A. Liberal Education

Program Link

Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College

Languages Taught at this TCU:
Ojibwe

Program Type:
A.A. Native American Studies, concentration in language;

Program Link

Salish Kootenai College

Languages Taught at this TCU:
Salish
Kootenai

Program Type:
A.S. Native Language Teacher Education

Salish Kootenai College

San Carlos Apache College

Languages Taught at this TCU:
Apache

Program Type:
A.A. in Liberal Arts

Program Link

Sinte Gleska University

Languages Taught at this TCU:
Lakota

Program Type:
currently no language degree programs offered

Sinte Gleska University

Sisseton Wahpeton College

Languages Taught at this TCU:
Dakota

Program Type:
A.A. Dakota Studies, Dakota Language Teaching Certificate

Program Link

Sitting Bull College

Languages Taught at this TCU:
Lakota
Dakota

Program Type:
Lakota/Dakota Language Certificate I, Lakota/Dakota Language Certificate II, A.S. Lakota/Dakota language, B.A. Native American Studies

Program Link

Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute

Languages Taught at this TCU:
Dine (Navajo)

Program Type:
Navajo I and II courses

Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute

Stone Child College

Languages Taught at this TCU:
Cree
Chippewa

Program Type:
Cree Language Certificate

Stone Child College

Tohono O’odham Community College

Languages Taught at this TCU:
O'odham (Papago-Pima)

Program Type:
A.A. Tohono O'odham Studies;

Program Link

Turtle Mountain Community College

Languages Taught at this TCU:
Ojibwe
Michif

Program Type:
A.A. Anishinaabe Language; B.A. Ojibwe Language and Culture

Program Link

Program Link

White Earth Tribal and Community College

Languages Taught at this TCU:
Ojibwe

Program Type:
Ojibwe language certificate

Program Link

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