Currently, no standardized curriculum exists for teaching the Lakota Language –– a goal the Lakota Language Initiative (LLI) is already working to make into a reality. For instance, if someone would like to begin teaching or learning Spanish, there is a wide variety of teaching materials and curriculum approaches available to them, and they can choose whatever resources fit their needs. No such resources exist for the Lakota Language, making it difficult for people to achieve success when attempting to teach or learn it. For that reason we see the Curriculum Development portion of our Lakota Language Initiative as essential to revitalization.
However, a curriculum for the learning the Lakota language itself is just the beginning; we are also developing curriculums for learning every school subject –– math, science, history, art, and so on –– in Lakota. We want Lakota to be a language used beyond its basic functions so that students are able to comprehensively engage with their heritage language, no matter the subject. Our program sees Lakota as a living, thriving language; one in which speakers can talk about fiber optic cables, plate tectonics, and astrophysics in addition to everyday conversations about work, self, and community. We see no separation between a quality education that can empower our youth to reach for their most ambitious dreams and an education that is culturally informed and linguistically sophisticated.