Nation’s First Tribally Managed National Park Proposed
The nation’s first tribally managed national park could be created under the General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement for the South Unit of Badlands National Park in South Dakota, now in it's final draft. The southern unit is located entirely within the Pine Ridge Oglala Sioux Reservation, and has been jointly managed by the National Parks Service and the Tribe for almost 40 years.
Plans for the new park, originally suggested by the Oglala Sioux Tribe, fall in with the Park’s Service future plans that include “protected sites that more fully represent our nation’s natural resources, history and cultural experiences.”
If the plan is approved by Congress, the 133,000 acre South Unit will gain a new Lakota Heritage and Education Center and a youth development program for future park rangers. In addition, the South Unit would have programs for landscape restoration and enhanced wildlife habitat as well as reintroduction of buffalo.
According to the Department of the Interior, over one million people visited Badlands National Park in 2010, but most spent time in the North Unit. Under this new plan, more visitors would be attracted to the tribally managed South Unit, providing jobs and income for the Pine Ridge Reservation. For more information or to comment go to: http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/Salazar-Jarvis-Announce-Proposal-to-Establish-Nations-First-Tribal-National-Park-in-Badlands.cfm
National Science Foundation and Google Collaborate on Endangered Languages Project
A new website called the Endangered Languages Project, designed to record, preserve and teach endangered languages, was launched this June. Funded by a National Science Foundation grant and developed by Google, the project is supported by the Alliance for Linguistic Diversity, an international group of organizations and universities interested in language preservation.
One of the website’s central features is a catalog of endangered languages complied by the University of Hawaii Manoa and Eastern Michigan University’s LINGUIST list. The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) will also contribute material to this project.
It’s estimated that by the end of this century between 50% and 90% of the world’s languages will disappear. Today, in some cases, only one or a few elderly people remain who can speak and understand a particular language.
According to a UAF press release, the Endangered Languages Project will give linguists and communities on-line access to language information. They will be able to make comments and even add to documentation on endangered languages.
For more information on the Endangered Languages Project go to: http://www.endangeredlanguages.com/.
Radio—a New Way to Preserve Endangered Languages
In July and August 2012 Recovering Voices Initiative, in collaboration with Cultural Survival, will hold a conference on producing radio programs in indigenous languages. “Our Voices on the Air: Reaching New Audiences through Indigenous Radio” is funded by the Smithsonian Institution through their Recovering Voices Initiative.
Cultural Survival describes radio as an ideal tool for preserving and revitalizing languages and cultural practices that are falling into infrequent use. The conference’s goal is to create a series of programs for national and public radio that will tell about the loss of languages and how the use of radio can revitalize them. Participants will also be able to develop new materials for community radio programs.
This conference will bring together indigenous radio producers from throughout the Americas.
For more information on “Our Voices on the Air” go to: http://www.culturalsurvival.org/our-voices-on-the-air