A new rule change implemented this year by the Oklahoma State Department of Education allows the state to grant an annual certification to American Indian language instructors to teach tribal languages in public schools.
The Oklahoman reports that the rule change aims to address the shrinking number of people who are fluent speakers in their native languages. The change also allows students to receive graduation credit for taking the courses.
Desa Dawson is director of world language for the Education Department. She says two Sauk language instructors from the Sac and Fox Nation are certified through the new process, and one instructor has applied from the Creek Nation. She says several other instructors were previously approved from tribes including the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Kiowa and Osage.
KGOU is a community-supported news organization and relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online, or by contacting our Membership department.