Gloria Warrior helps pass on the Lakota language to the next generation as part of our Lakota Language Initiative. She started as a childcare provider in the Iyapi Glukinipi Immersion Childcare, which first began as a small daycare center. Now, as a program in Thunder Valley CDC's Lakota Language Initiative, the daycare is one component of a comprehensive set of programs aimed at revitalizing the Lakota language. Gloria now works in our Iyapi Glukinipi Owayawa (the elementary school component of our Initiative). This school is held in partnership with Red Cloud Indian School. Gloria is one of the many #FacesofChange in our communities, creating positive change and a brighter future for our people.
How did you first get involved with the daycare?
I was just now saying When Peter started this in 2012 he asked me to help him. Since I was between jobs and had nothing to do at home so I decided to go help him. Teach the little kids and take care of them.
What was the program like at first?
I was probably mostly just 5 6 kids at the most and just speaking Lakota to them or reading or just talking to them in Lakota all day long at the day care where we were in the basement of Peter is. But I would talk to them how you say the animals and paling and counting I would just teach them myself.
How do you feel seeing the first group of kids now going to school in a Lakota first grade?
It’s good, it’s awesome. We came a long ways from the time we started with watching kids the daycare till now and I been with the little about 4 or 5 of them when they were like 2 years old all the way until now some are 5 or 6 years old. So I been with them for 5 years.
What are some of the resources and approaches you are using to teach the language (books, games, songs, etc.)?
Probably just speaking with them everyday, and the books they made in Lakota, and the games everything. And the material that we use, even the videos they made, all into Lakota is good.
What has been your favorite part of working with the kids?
My favorite part is because Im a fluent speaker and I could talk with them in our language every day and I’m happy to teach the little ones to and learn right along with them. Because there are things I don’t know either.
What would you like to see for these kids in the future?
I would like for them to continue talking their language and hopefully we’ll content to educate them in the Lakota language as every year comes along.
Thank you Gloria for being one of our #FacesofChange