The Power of Reclaiming Native American Languages

By Hailey Oppenlander (’22)

“When I talk to the Spirits, they don’t understand English,” laments Andrew Windy Boy (Chippewa/Cree), a former student at Wahpeton & Flandreau Indian School, with tears and pain in his eyes (1). The Bureau of Indian Affairs and many Christian missionaries outlawed Native tongues at their boarding schools, and some languages died out due to these concerted efforts to eliminate them. However, many Indigenous communities today are revitalizing their mother tongues. This is an example of survivance, a term coined by Native Studies scholar Gerald Vizenor (White Earth Band of Ojibwe). Vizenor defines survivance as “an active sense of presence over absence, deracination, and oblivion . . .  Survivance stories are renunciations of dominance, detractions, obtrusions, the unbearable sentiments of tragedy, and the legacy of victimry” (2). Revitalizing Indigenous languages allows Native people to reclaim their identity and tell their narrative (to both Native and non-Native people) in their own words, something they were punished for doing in the past. Using one’s Native language – in a variety of situations and art forms – is an act of survivance, and the power of using once-forbidden words demonstrates to Native and non-Native people alike the persistence of Indigenous communities.

Languages inevitably come into and out of use over time. In A Little Book of Language, British linguist David Crystal explains that languages battle endangerment and extinction, just as species do. Although this is a natural process, many languages today are dying with a startling and unnatural speed. Crystal predicts, “Perhaps half the languages of the world are going to die out in the next 100 years. That’s 3,000 languages disappearing in 1,200 months” (3). In North America and Canada, Indigenous languages are at extreme risk. In “Endangered Languages,” linguist Michael E. Krauss reports that “of 187 languages . . . 149 are no longer being learned by children; that is, of the Native North American languages still spoken, 80% are moribund” (4). 

Although some language extinction is inevitable with time, the federal government and missionaries forcibly outlawed many Indigenous languages, placing them in steep decline. These institutions actively prevented Native children from speaking and learning Indigenous languages because, as Richard Henry Pratt (founder of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School) famously quipped, the goal was to “kill the Indian . . . save the man” (5). Banning young Native children from speaking their language would ensure a weakening of their identity, of their “Nativeness.” They were stripped of their clothing, hairstyles, language, and family. 

The psychological effects of this identity-based abuse are severe and long-lasting, especially when combined with all the other physical abuse that Native children suffered at boarding schools. In her article entitled “Death by Civilization,” journalist Mary Annette Pember (Red Cliff Band of Wisconsin Ojibwe) describes how her mother was haunted by her experiences at a Native boarding school, even many years later. Her mother “would walk across the floor of (their) house, sometimes for hours, desperately shaking her head from side to side to keep the persistent awful memories from entering” (6). Unfortunately, these painful memories can also be associated with using one’s Native language. In “Seven Hundred Million to One: Personal Action in Reversing Language Shift,” poet and linguist Richard Dauenhauer writes, “One Tlingit elder was punished so often as a child for speaking Tlingit in school, that to this day he says he still can taste the soap when he speaks Tlingit” (7).

Despite the decline of many Native languages due to these horrors, there is hope of what Crystal calls “revitalization” (3). He notes that in order to ensure the survival of a language, both the community and their nation’s government need to be involved in its preservation – and, of course, there must be funding to take on the costly endeavor (3). The U.S. government has finally recognized their role in the decline of Native languages and passed legislation to support Indigenous communities in revitalization efforts. The 1990 Native American Languages Act reaffirms that “the traditional languages of Native Americans are an integral part of their cultures and identities and form the basic medium for the transmission, and thus survival, of Native American cultures, literatures, histories, religions, political institutions, and values” (8). It also clearly states the government’s obligation in ensuring the success of Native languages. The Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation Act of 2006 offers funding for Native American language nests, where young children are taught in a Native language; survival schools, which provide language instruction for Native schoolchildren; and language restoration programs, which train Native language teachers and help develop fluency in the community (9). Last year, the act was reauthorized and updated to include five years of funding for language programs (instead of only three). It also decreased the number of students needed to enroll in these language nests and schools, making funding more accessible for smaller communities (10). These government efforts have helped Native communities fund official programs to protect their language. 

Many Native people have also engaged in artistic endeavors that contribute to language revitalization as well. Music has been an important part of many Native cultures and traditions, making it a perfect medium for linguistic expression and revival today. Hip-hop especially has served as an outlet for modern Native artists and a platform for Indigenous language resurgence. In “Native American Hip-Hop and Historical Trauma: Surviving and Healing Trauma on the ‘Rez,’” Native studies scholar Carrie Louise Sheffield argues that “hip-hop provides an ideal venue to speak to a large, adolescent and young adult audience and articulate methods of healing, resistance, and the (re)formation of positive identities in the wake of historical trauma and genocide” (11). The lyrical, honest, and poetic quality of hip-hop provides listeners with both a therapeutic experience and a stirring call to action; this duality has made hip-hop a global tool for persecuted peoples to express their resilience and their survivance (11). Indigenous people throughout the world have harnessed the strength of hip-hop and used it to tell their own narrative. Part of its power comes from the fact that hip-hop is approachable and accessible – especially for young Native people (11). For Native youth, it “get(s) them thinking about, and hopefully making, a change. . . nodding their heads in agreement with songs such as these that shout their defiance into the face of white America” (11). This defiance is key for Native hip-hop artists who rap in their Indigenous language. Native youth recognize that using one’s Indigenous language is a powerful way to disrupt the Anglo-American norm and reclaim one’s identity.

Hip-hop artist “Tall Paul” Wenell (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe) raps about the troubles of urban life as well as the difficulties of learning his Native language in “Prayers in a Song.” He acknowledges that growing up in inner-city Minneapolis, he “wasn’t furnished with the language and traditional ways of (his) peeps” and that he “used to feel like (he) wasn’t truly Indigenous” (12). This is a common experience for many Native people today, who live in cities after the termination and relocation policies of the mid-20th century. The song continues, with Wenell singing the chorus in Anishinaabemowin, the language of his people. This is an extremely empowering experience for Ojibwe youth listening to his music. It communicates a sense of pride, showing Native children that Indigenous languages can be “cool.” Native languages do not have to feel “ancient” or outdated; they can be part of pop culture.

Wenell’s music is also a powerful language-learning tool. In his chapter “Poetry and Song as Effective Language-Learning Activities” in Interactive Language Teaching, scholar of English Language Teaching (ELT), Alan Maley, writes that “fragments of poems and songs stick in our minds” (13). Wenell admits in “Prayers in a Song” that although it’s difficult to learn his language, “us(ing) it in a way that relates to (his) life” helps him improve (12). Young Native children singing his music will be practicing their language in an exciting and effective way. Wenell instructs Native listeners to “take responsibility for being educated” and learn their Native tongue (12). Non-Natives listening to Wenell’s song can also gain something from the experience. They will see that Native languages – and by extension, Native people – are not like the mascots that depict Nativeness as something of the past. Nativeness is present, relevant, and persistent. 

Songs do not need to have traditional “lyrics” in order to serve as a form of linguistic sovereignty; even a simple Indigenous phrase or chant can be a meaningful form of language revitalization and reclamation. Popular hip-hop/electronic dance music group, A Tribe Called Red (ATCR), infuses Native language and sounds (from drums to vocables) in their upbeat music. ATCR originally started mixing music in Canadian clubs. Former member DJ NDN (Ojibiway) said in an interview with Michel Martin of NPR, “We just started mashing up powwow music over club music, and we did it live just to give back to the Indigenous crowd that was coming to our parties” (14). Now, ATRC’s “powwow-step” music has become a global sensation. In her article “Hearing Urban lndigeneity in Canada: Self-Determination, Community Formation, and Kinaesthetic Listening with A Tribe Called Red,” musicologist Alexa Woloshyn notes that ATCR’s “approach to vocal samples varies from single cries to full phrases that maintain the formal/narrative integrity of the original song” (15). Woloshyn discusses their track “Sisters,” which samples a short phrase from “C Kisakitin Mama” by Northern Voice. Although the lyrics of “C Kisakitin Mama” are in the Atikamekw language, only a short and incomplete fragment from the original song is used in the remix “Sisters” (15). ATRC may not assist in language acquisition the way that Wenell’s poetic and catchy lyrics do, but these small samples, heard in the club and seen as “cool” by Native and non-Native youth, can lead young Indigenous people to gain interest in their own language and explore it on their own. In addition, sampling demonstrates agency – Native people can use their language however they want to, whether it be in the lyrics of rap music or in the short, edited vocals of powwow-step. Having the ability to use Indigenous languages as a form of expression (even when in incomplete phrases) is a declaration that Indigenous people have control over their own language – a declaration of sovereignty. Karyn Recollet (Cree), Associate Professor at the University of Toronto’s Women and Gender Studies Institute, also claims that repeating these short phrases is a way to “reverse a history of Indigenous absence” (15). Although the government once forbade Indigenous languages, the repetition in ATCR’s dance music attempts to make up for the decades in which Native languages were banned and shows that these voices can no longer be silenced.

“Indigenizing” popular music can have just as much of an impact as writing and producing original songs using Native languages. Kelly Fraser (Inuit) rose to fame with her 2013 cover of Rihanna’s “Diamonds” in the Inuktitut language. In an interview with Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) News’s Rosanna Deerchild (O-Pipon-Na-Piwan Cree Nation), Fraser describes the importance of singing in her language, Inuktitut. “I wanted the young people to be inspired that we can use our language however we want,” Fraser says (16). Even though she admits that she sometimes receives pushback from people who say she is not a good translator, Fraser recognizes the importance of using Native languages in a modern context, especially in music, to avoid their disappearance. Fraser affirms that music is also an important method of language learning, particularly for Native youth, saying, “When you listen to a song over and over again you learn how to say the words, so if you translate a song . . . into Inuktitut and English, you kind of learn the language without even trying” (16). Translating pop music into Inuktitut becomes a meaningful endeavor for the youngest generation of Native people, taking pride in and preserving their identity while still engaging in pop culture. In another CBC feature on The National, Fraser reveals that her mother attended a residential school where she was forbidden to speak Inuktitut (17). Fraser’s music contributes to healing for Native communities, whose members were once punished by government officials and missionaries for speaking in their Native tongue.

Oral tradition is central to many Native traditions and communities; thus, literature also has a special potential for language awareness and revitalization. Many novels and poems utilize both Indigenous and English vocabulary, a type of code-switching. In her book Writing Between Cultures: A Study of Hybrid Narratives in Ethnic Literature of the United States, Appalachian State University Professor Emeritus of English, Holly Martin, explains, “The availability of two, and sometimes more, languages for expression adds a richness to the texture of the work beyond what the authors could achieve with one language. The use of the Native or heritage language along with English demonstrates that there is more than one way to view a situation, more than one way to express a thought” (18). Many Native authors use multiple languages to encapsulate the different perspectives held in each.

In House Made of Dawn, N. Scott Momaday (Kiowa/Cherokee/English) starts and ends his novel on his own terms, using the Native words dypaloh and qtsedaba (19). This was groundbreaking for 1968, the year his novel was published. Although Momaday was born in the era of Black Elk Speaks, in which white authors like John G. Neihardt had considerable control over the narrative of Native people, Momaday shows that Indigenous people have reclaimed their own story, and moreover that they will tell it using their own language. Many consider Momaday to be the initiator of a Native American “renaissance” in literature. Others note that Native literary rebellion had existed for years before Momaday, but that his novel signaled an era in which Native literature was widely read and appreciated by non-Native people (20). Readers unfamiliar with Native language know from the very first page of Momaday’s novel that they are entering into a Native space. Since most non-Native readers will not know the meanings of these two words, they are prompted to look up their translations, or at the very least are forced to encounter and think about Native languages.

Momaday uses other Native terms throughout the book, with another notable instance being at Francisco’s death. Francisco speaks in a stream of three languages, and neither the reader nor Abel fully knows what he is trying to communicate (18). Martin explains, “Since the reader, like Abel, cannot understand all of the grandfather’s words, yet knows that the words have importance, the reader can, to some extent, share Abel’s anxiety over the loss of language, the loss of communication, the loss of tradition, and the loss of his grandfather” (18). In this way, readers get a glimpse of the devastation that occurs in Native communities when elders cannot fully communicate with the younger generations. In addition, the code-switching provides insight into the intricacy and interconnectedness of cultural identities for Native people in the American Southwest. 

Even literature where context makes clear the meaning of the Native words can provide small but important teaching moments for readers. Author Louise Erdrich (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa/French/German) incorporates Native words into her novel Love Medicine. One of the most notable instances is Marie’s recollection of the term “babaumawaebigowin” during a painful birth (21). As Marie ponders the meaning of this word, buried within her childhood memories, her musings allow the reader to delve deeper into Native language and gain insight into the unfamiliar term. Martin explains this technique, noting that “a character’s lack of familiarity with his or her own native [sic] language gives the author an opportunity to explain the non-English words to the reader” (18). Just as in House Made of Dawn, readers can feel the deep loss that comes with linguistic extinction as Marie laments, “I knew it was a word that was spoken in a boat, but I could not think how, or when, or what it meant” (21). Although Marie eventually recovers the meaning of “babaumawaebigowin,” readers know that this will not always be the case, especially as the passage of time causes those childhood memories to fade. Native speakers have unique insights into a language that people who learn it later (even if they gain fluency) do not have, and thus the ideas encapsulated in Native words are at threat of extinction along with the words themselves.

Although non-fiction, Prison Writings is another Native text that contains Indigenous words, most notably the phrase “Mitakuye Oyasin,” meaning “all my relations” (22). Activist Leonard Peltier (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa/Lakota/Dakota) explicitly tells readers the translation, and by doing so, he affirms his connection to both Native and non-Native readers. Explaining the term is an opportunity to build community and relationship among all people of the Earth. Even though language seems to be a barrier to relationship at first, Peltier shows that it can actually be a source of connection when terms (and by extension, cultural differences and values) are explained. He writes, “Mitakuye Oyasin, my Lakota brethren say. We are all related. We are One” (22). These lines established his identity as a descendant of the Lakota people, as an Indigenous person, and finally as an inhabitant of the Earth. All three “tiers” or components of his identity provide valuable points of connection with readers. Native people familiar with the pan-Indian term feel a sense of community and companionship with Peltier, knowing that they too share the “aboriginal sin” of being Native in a country that has tried to rid itself of Nativeness (22). Non-Native readers recognize that in the “Land of the Free,” the growing prison population contradicts the freedom that leaders preach, and they feel a broader empathy with Peltier. Just as with “babaumawaebigowin” in Love Medicine, there is no equivalent of “Mitakuye Oyasin” in the English language or mindset. In a society characterized by the rugged individualism of the Western frontier, this term provides a window into larger Native values of community, relationship, and connection – ideals that are central to Peltier’s role as an Indigenous activist.

In “Pulling Down the Clouds,” poet and linguist Ofelia Zepeda (Tohono O’odham) also provides both Indigenous text and its translation to her readers. She writes in her Native language first, saying “N-ku’ipadkaj‘ant ‘an o ‘olsg cewagi” (23). Directly following this line, she offers its translation: “With my harvesting stick I will hook the clouds” (23). She repeats this format for the first three stanzas, beginning in her Native language, then explaining what she says in English. The fact that Zepeda begins with the Tohono O’odham language (instead of English) shows that the important ceremony of pulling down the clouds, bringing rain for the plants, cannot be separated from the Tohono O’odham language. Stephanie Fitzgerald, Associate Professor of English at the University of Kansas, writes, “Within Zepeda’s poetic world, land and language, along with water, are inextricably entwined” (24). Although language is clearly connected with the events and perspective in Zepeda’s poem, she also writes part of the poem in English. Her vivid imagery in this second half – completely in English – is magical. She describes, “With dreams of a distant noise disturbing his sleep, the smell of dirt, wet, for the first time in what seemed like months” (23). Zepeda’s ability to express the Tohono O’odham experience quite brilliantly in both English and her Native language makes a bold statement: she is “writing back,” using her words and the oppressor’s words to tell her own narrative from an Indigenous perspective. Native studies scholar Angelica Lawson (Northern Arapaho) describes Zepeda’s “use of the Tohono O’odham language and her appropriation of the English language to express an O’odham worldview” as a powerful example of a “literature of resistance” (25).

Poet and linguist Nora Marks Dauenhauer’s (Tlingit) poem, “How to Make Good Baked Salmon from the River,” is written primarily in English, but her intentional inclusion of a few Native words allows her to teach readers about her language. She writes, “You start on the mandible with a glottalized alveolar fricative action as expressed in the Tlingit verb als’oos’” (26). Here, Dauenhauer not only slips in a Tlingit lesson; she also makes clear that language is tied to culture and tradition, an important motivation for language preservation. To Dauenhauer, the experience of baking salmon cannot be separated from the Tlingit language. She ends the poem with “Gunalche’esh for coming to my bar-b-q,” which readers can deduce means “thank you” (26). Especially since readers can surmise the English meaning of the term, it must be significant that Dauenhauer chose to use the Tlingit word instead of easily replacing it with the English equivalent. Readers understand that a word is more than letters – it is a feeling, an emotion, and a new perspective. By using “gunalche’esh” over “thank you,” Daueunhauer immerses the reader in the Tlingit experience of baking salmon. In her preface to the poem, Dauenhauer explains, “I find great beauty in the Tlingit language and literature. By writing, I feel that I’m passing on some of the intellectual and spiritual beauty of my family and people to my children and grandchildren, and to whoever else may read my books” (27). By including even small instances of her language in her poetry, she ensures its survival and passes down its splendor to Native and non-Native readers alike.

Just as “indigenizing” and translating popular songs can be a powerful method of revitalization, so too is translating well-known literature. In 2004 at Juneau’s Perseverance Theater (and later in Washington state and Washington, D.C.), Native cast members performed Macbeth in the Tlingit language (28). This made a culturally significant work accessible to a Native audience, and it sends an important message – that art in the Tlingit language can also be culturally significant work. 

Although these art forms of music, literature, and theatre provide creative opportunities for learning and preserving Native languages, many instructional programs ensure that Indigenous languages are taught to the youth (and adults) in formal ways. One of the most notable revival efforts is that of jessie ‘little doe’ baird (Mashpee Wampanoag), winner of the MacArthur “Genius Grant” for her work as founder of the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project. After a dream in which she heard her ancestors saying words she did not understand, baird realized they could be speaking the language of her people, a language that had been dead (had no fluent speakers) for over a century (29). By using a Bible and other documents from the 1600s written in Wôpanâak, baird was able to revive the language. The Wampanoag people are the first Native American community to revitalize a language which was not spoken at the time of its revival. Today, the project’s website notes that they have developed a Wôpanâak dictionary with more than 11,000 words and currently offer an assortment of classes and immersion experiences for young children and adults (29). Perhaps most impressively, a young Native person is growing up as a native Wôpanâak speaker, which is the first time since the 1800s that someone will be a native speaker. baird explains, “Reclaiming our language is one means of repairing the broken circle of cultural loss and pain” (29). In this way, language restoration is also a form of restorative justice – it starts to heal the wounds from boarding schools and government institutions that prohibited and punished Native languages, and attempts to mend the cultural pain that baird describes. 

Although society and the media are dominated by English, linguistic anthropologist Emiliana Cruz (Chatino) and activist Tajëëw Robles (Mixe) express some hope that modern technology will “provide new and expanded venues for revitalization efforts” for Native languages, but still fear that the media’s use of dominant languages will hinder the presence and necessity of Indigenous languages (30). However, community and government efforts have affirmed both sides’ dedication to preserving Native languages in today’s world. At the first Native American Languages Summit in Washington, D.C. in 2014, speakers reported growth in interest towards language revitalization programs. Administration for Native Americans (ANA) Commissioner Sparks Robinson stated that in 2014, they received two times the applications for Esther Martinez funds than they received the previous year (31). In addition, Brooke Mosay Ammann (Ojibwe), former Director of the Waadookodaading Ojibwe Language Immersion Charter School, noted that signs in Ojibwe recognizing traditional place names motivated the community to pursue formal efforts for language instruction. She explains, “People wanted more once they saw their areas properly named with their original names,” (31). These public signs show that on a small scale, Native languages can be a practical endeavor within communities, not just a matter of personal identity. Bilingual signs acknowledge the traditional stewards of the land and assert the importance of Native language, even in an English-dominated society. 

After harsh efforts from governments and religious missionaries to destroy Native languages, the simple fact that some still exist today is a testament to the survivance of Indigenous communities. Author Gerald Vizenor (Anishinaabe) writes that “more than survival, more than endurance or mere response…survivance is an active repudiation of dominance, tragedy, victimry” (32). From sampled fragments of Native words used in powwow-step music, to code-switching in literature, to the Tlingit “indigenization” of Shakespeare – each of these uses of Native language goes beyond survival and works to oppose the colonialist forces and mindsets that suppressed Indigeneity. It is unclear what exactly the future holds for Indigenous languages, as technology presents both opportunity but also a new struggle. However, the success of baird in reviving a “dead” language and the increased space for Native artists demonstrate that Indigenous languages will continue to be used and revitalized because they are an essential part of Native identity. In addition, the stories from the Native American Languages Summit provide hope that through small acts like signs indicating Native place names, preserving Indigenous languages can also be a practical endeavor, something that can be encountered in everyday life. Although Native languages will likely never gain the prominence of English, they will persist in the future because innovative music, literature, and language programs help educate youth, and because Native communities embody the spirit of survivance.

Hailey Oppenlander is an American Studies and Sociology major at the University of Notre Dame. Her essay was originally written for Professor Robert Walls’ American Studies course, ‘Native American Literature.’ She chose her American Studies major because she loves the interdisciplinary nature of the field, and because the question “What does it mean to be an American?” never gets old.


  1. Richie, Chip, dir. Our Spirits Don’t Speak English. Dallas, TX: Rich-Heape Films, 2008. Kanopy.
  2. Gerald Vizenor, “Aesthetics of Survivance: Literary Theory and Practice.” In Survivance: Narratives of Native Presence, edited by Gerald Vizenor, 1-23. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2008.
  3. Crystal, David. A Little Book of Language. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010.
  4. Hale, Ken, Michael Krauss, Lucille J. Watahomigie, Akira Y. Yamamoto, Colette Craig, LaVerne Masayesva Jeanne, and Nora C. England. “Endangered Languages.” Language 68, no. 1 (1992): 1-42.
  5. Official Report of the Nineteenth Annual Conference of Charities and Correction (1892), 46–59. Reprinted in Richard H. Pratt, “The Advantages of Mingling Indians with Whites.” In Americanizing the American Indians: Writings by the “Friends of the Indian,” 1880–1900, edited by Francis Paul Pucha, 260–271. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1973. 
  6. Pember, Mary Annette. “Death by Civilization.” The Atlantic, March 8, 2019.
  7. Dauenhauer, Richard L. “Seven Hundred Million to One: Personal Action in Reversing Language Shift.” Études/Inuit/Studies 29, no. 1/2, (2005): 267–284.  
  8. “Public Law 101-477: Native American Languages Act.” Journal of American Indian Education 51, no. 3 (2012): 9–11.  
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  10. National Congress of American Indians. “Congress Passes the Esther Martinez Native Languages Programs Reauthorization Act.” Last modified December 9, 2019.
  11. Sheffield, Carrie L. “Native American Hip-Hop and Historical Trauma: Surviving and Healing Trauma on the ‘Rez.’” Studies in American Indian Literatures 23, no. 3 (2011): 94–110.
  12. PBS Wisconsin Education. “Prayers in a Song: Tall Paul | The Ways.” Uploaded February 12, 2020. Video, 4:00.
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  14. A Tribe Called Red. “A Tribe Called Red Breaks Down Its ‘Powwow-Step’ Style.” Interview by Michel Martin. NPR, NPR, November 20, 2016. Audio, 5:30.
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  16. CBC News. “Kelly Fraser on Why Singing in Inuktitut Is Important to Her.” Uploaded December 2, 2019. Video, 3:35.
  17. CBC News: The National. “Inuit Singer-Songwriter Kelly Fraser | Fight for the Rights.” Uploaded September 17, 2018. Video, 7:34.
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  20. Walls, Robert. “N. Scott Momaday and House Made of Dawn.” Class handout, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN.
  21. Erdrich, Louise. Love Medicine. New York: Harper Perennial, 2009.
  22. Peltier, Leonard and Harvey Arden. Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999.
  23. Zepeda, Ofelia. Ocean Power: Poems from the Desert. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1995.
  24. Fitzgerald, Stephanie. “Where Clouds Are Formed (review).” Review of Where Clouds Are Formed, by Ofelia Zepeda. The American Indian Quarterly, 33 no. 4, (2009): 561-563.
  25. Lawson, Angelica. “Resistance and Resilience in Ofelia Zepeda’s Ocean Power.” The Kenyon Review 32, no. 1, 2010: 180–98.
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  27. Walls, Robert. “Native Women’s Literature.” Class handout, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN.  
  28. “Alaskan Tribe Stages ‘Macbeth’ in Rare Tongue.” The Columbus Dispatch, March 11, 2007.
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  30. Cruz, Emiliana, and Tajëëw Robles. “Using Technology to Revitalize Endangered Languages: Mixe and Chatino Case Studies.” In Indigenous Interfaces: Spaces, Technology, and Social Networks in Mexico and Central America, edited by Jennifer Gómez Mengívar and Gloria Elizabeth Chacón, 79–96. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2019.
  31. Morris, Jeston. “Native American Languages Summit 2014: Self-Determination as a Strategy for Language Revitalization and Maintenance.” Journal of American Indian Education 54, no. 3 (2015): 125–144.  
  32. Walls, Robert. “Moving Toward Sovereignty: Interpreting Native American Literature Since 1900.” Class handout, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN.

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