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Ute Language Revitalization: Lessons and Challenges

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Event details

The Ute language, a member of the Southern Numic branch of the Northern Uto-Aztecan language family, is on the verge of extinction on the Southern Ute reservation in southwestern Colorado with less than twenty fluent speakers out of a membership of 1,478. This presentation highlights the various lessons and challenges that are in play when an indigenous language is being lost.  Some of the ramifications will be discussed including the politics of culture, identity, sovereignty, and systematic oppression. It also provides examples of possible solutions to language death. 

Reception at 6:30pm with lecture beginning at 7pm.

Presented by the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Native American Student Association, Colorado Mesa University Foundation and the Michrina Fund.

About the Speaker

Stacey Oberly, PhD, is an enrolled member of the Southern Ute Tribe, which is in the Southwestern corner of Colorado.  Currently, she serves as a tribal council member.  Oberly has been a Ute language, endangered languages, and Indigenous cultural activist for over thirty years. She is a strong advocate for endangered languages and considers linguistic and social justice as the means to building proactive and protective cultural identity and spirituality for endangered language community members.

Dates and times

April 27, 2023
Doors open at 6:30PM
Houston Hall, 139 (Main campus)
All audiences
Free Event
No registration required