fbpx
 
Chief Ben Barnes, Shawnee Tribe

MIAMI, Okla. — Chief Ben Barnes of the Shawnee Tribe, based in Miami, Oklahoma, has declared a State of Emergency for the Shawnee language through a proclamation. Through the proclamation, Barnes declared this year, 2020, be the Year of the Shawnee Language, in recognition of the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages.

Barnes says in the proclamation the Shawnee Tribe is "at risk of losing the voices of our grandparents forever." He cites there are less two dozen first-born speakers of the Shawnee language among his tribal citizenry, and an even smaller number of next -generations speakers.

"We must act now if we are to preserve the ancestral inheritance that binds all Shawnee people together," said Barnes. "We must act now if we wish to continue our traditional communities, for without our language, our ancient religion and beliefs that our parents and grandparents passed onto our traditional commuities will be lost."

Barnes says during this year, the Shawnee Tribe will find ways to deploy curriculum in its communities and pedeagogies to volunteer teachers where the Shawnee diaspora touches.

"The Year of the Shawnee Language will be a year to plant seeds for our future, a crop we will harvest as one that shall begin to bear fruit in the coming decade," Barnes continues.

Barnes further declared through a proclamation of teh International Decade of Indigenous Languages, the Office of the Chief of the Shawnee Tribe hereby declares beginning January 1st of 2021, "we will enter into the Decade of Shawnee Language, where we will deploy a language plan to all of the Shawnee Communities to create fluent language speakers from the youngest of our people."

 

More Stories Like This

Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Citizen, Justice Mark Montour,  Appointed State Appellate Court Justice
Hundreds Gather in St. Paul for Boarding School Survivors Candlelight Vigil
Walk to Freedom for Leonard Peltier Halfway to Washington
President Biden Welcomes a “Conversation” about Atlanta Braves’s Name and the Infamous Tomahawk Chop
Through the Eyes of a 6-Year-old Child, Orange Became a Symbol of an Indigenous Movement

Do you appreciate a Native perspective on the news? 

For the past decade-plus, we’ve covered the important Indigenous stories that are often overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the toppling of colonizer statues during the racial equity protests, to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools, we have been there to provide a Native perspective and elevate Native voices.

Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.  Most often, our donors make a one-time gift of $20 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10.  Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news. 

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you. 

About The Author
Levi Rickert
Author: Levi RickertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Levi Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. Rickert was awarded Best Column 2021 Native Media Award for the print/online category by the Native American Journalists Association. He serves on the advisory board of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. He can be reached at [email protected]