Based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Indigenous Language Institute is performing an invaluable service for American Indian communities across the United States. The Indigenous Language Institute is working urgently to help preserve American Indian cultural identity by providing teaching tools to American Indian communities for what is possibly the most important element in the preservation of Native cultures—language.
The benefits for American Indian communities from the work of the Indigenous Language Institute go well beyond language itself. It has been repeatedly shown in numerous scientific data studies that the preservation of American Indian cultures—particularly language—had a very close and direct effect the quality and long-term benefits of the educational experience of American Indian youth. Educational programs which have involved teaching tools for culture and language have not only helped to instill a stronger sense of cultural identity among many American Indian youth, but have been shown to have a very strong correlation with improved academic performance, test scores, and on life skills and self-esteem essential to the empowerment necessary for long-term success and the ability to empower others.
The need for the preservation of American Indian language and culture which the Indigenous Language Institute addresses has been well recognized for decades. However it is still the case that most Native languages and cultures are rapidly disappearing, while poverty and poor quality of education are just a few of the problems that persist on American Indian reservations. The Indigenous Language Institute seeks to raise a total of $10 million by 2012 for courses and workshops, both for language and for teaching the basics of technological learning tools.
You can help the Indigenous Language Institute in its efforts to preserve a fast-disappearing part of the American Indian identity upon which many areas of American Indian education and future success are dependent by making a money or securities donation on the Indigenous Language Institute website.