The board overseeing the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum has been given more time to see if it can develop a plan to fix its funding problems. In July of last year, construction on the partially completed structure was halted when lawmakers failed to approve a $40 million bond proposal that would have been matched by a similar amount in private donations.
Dr. Mary Linn is the assistant curator for Native Languages at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History in Norman, Oklahoma. This past week the 11th annual Native American Youth Language Fair took place at the Sam Noble Museum.
Dee Ketchum, former chief of The Delaware Tribe of Indians in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, is now a consultant with the tribe. Ketchum said the Delaware Tribe has a problem that most other tribes don’t, they are under the jurisdiction of another tribe.
In the early 1960’s Buffy Sainte-Marie all alone toured North America’s colleges, reservations and concert halls. She came after the beatniks and before the hippies. She was met with enthusiasm by audiences and record executives who were expecting an Indian princess in fringes but were instead entertained and educated by a dose of Native American reality in the flesh.
The Western Hemisphere has more distinctly different native languages than any other part of the world. Language is an important part of cultural identity. When Europeans first arrived in what is now the United States, more than 300 different languages were spoken. Today, only 175 remain, but many are only spoken by a small number of elderly people, and are in danger of disappearing.