Dakota language for the home, community, and classroom.
Out of necessity for the Dakota language to live and thrive for generations, the Dakhóta Iápi Okhódakičhiye was founded to create materials that can reverse the trend of language loss and begin to raise generations of fluent Dakota speakers.
Uŋtúwepi – About Us
The Dakhóta Iápi Okhódakičhiye (Dakota Language Society) was created out of a international need for Dakota language materials to be implemented for language learning in the home, community and classroom. If someone attempted to learn the Dakota language in 2013, they would immediately realize the difficulty in reaching their language learning goals. Due to the ongoing suppression of Indigenous languages and lifeways by eurocentric colonial empires, the Dakota language has experienced extreme language loss in the past century. The banishment and forced relocation from traditional homelands, paired with the generations of children forcibly removed from their families and placed in boarding/residential schools across the US and Canada has caused the Dakota language to currently have about 5 first speakers of Dakota that were born and raised in Minnesota Dakota communities along with approximately 20 speakers from Dakota communities outside of the state of Minnesota. In SD, ND, NE, MT and Canada there are more Dakota speakers, however the average age of speakers is around 60 – the coming generations need the Dakota language.