Why is the Kiowa Language importan?
The Kiowa Language & Culture Revitalization Program (KLCRP) is funded through a Cooperative Agreement with Administration for Native Americans (ANA). The Tribe is one of only five recipients to receive the award. The other four include the Aaniih Nakoda College, Cherokee Nation, Sun’aq Tribe of Alaska, and the Yurok Tribe of California. The Kiowa Tribe submitted the Kiowa Language and Culture Revitalization Program: Implementing a Continuum of High-Quality Kiowa Language Instruction across all Educational Levels from Preschool through Post-Secondary Education under the Native Language and Community Coordination Demonstration Project (NLCC). The NLCC is meant to address gaps in community coordination along the Native language education continuum. Under the terms of our Cooperative Agreement, we will be working closely with ANA and our fellow cohorts to share knowledge and best practices.
For this project, there are five designated community areas that are targeted: Anadarko, Cache, Carnegie, Norman, and Tulsa. In those communities, collaboration with partnering schools, community experts, and key advisors is a necessity. There are three program objectives, professional development and teacher credentialing process, providing access to language learning materials, and community and family outreach activities.
Within each community site, the year five goal is to train a minimum of twenty-five teachers with at least five teachers in each community and representing each educational level. The KLCRP will be relying on our partners to identify teacher candidates that will be willing to participate in mentorship sessions between them and tribal elders. The teachers will be increasing their Kiowa language fluency and proficiency levels from novice to intermediate.
By the end of year five we plan to design, develop, and complete a minimum of 20 sets of Kiowa language learning materials with each set that express a cultural theme and correlate with the student’s developmental abilities. The learning material will be available for use within the classroom and/or community setting.
While we are planning to train teachers and design learning materials, we also plan to have activities that will provide meaningful language learning opportunities in each community area. There will be a minimum of one Kiowa language and culture outreach activity per quarter. Examples of language and culture outreach include language camps, language instruction sessions, language fairs, and other community and family engagement activities.
This project is very ambitious. It is also necessary if we want to ensure that future generations are exposed to the Kiowa language. Protecting and perpetuating the Kiowa language is an active priority by the members of our staff. By meeting the objectives set forth in the project, the KLCRP hopes to bring Kiowa back into daily life.