Red Cloud school fights to save Lakota language - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Red Cloud school fights to save Lakota language

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - Native Americans on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation used to be punished for speaking their native language instead of English.

And while Lakota has long been taught in reservation schools, it has never had the kind of educational structure of other subjects like math and science.

But now the Rapid City Journal reports that after six years and $2.2 million, the Red Cloud Indian School is in the final stages of developing a full K-12 Lakota curriculum - a first among the Lakota-speaking bands.

The program at the private Catholic school has the potential to be picked up by other reservation schools and help improve Lakota fluency across the Great Plains.

The curriculum's spread might also mean a unification of its written form.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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