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Abstract

Indigenous societies face issues related to cultural preservation, representation, and declining autonomy in resource and land management. For most indigenous groups, native languages serve as the medium through which culturally unique identities are expressed, and allow a highly contextualized environmental knowledge base to be passed down intergenerationally. Native language preservation therefore facilitates the overall survivability of an indigenous group’s culture, traditions, and collective knowledge. Unfortunately, many indigenous languages today are in danger of extinction or have already been lost. The Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project serves as a prominent example of native language revival in the United States. Wampanoag progress in preserving indigenous knowledge and identity has important implications for other native language revivals in the future as we hope to further understand the role that traditional language plays for indigenous societies in the 21st century.

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