Language Is More Than Just Words

A language is not just words. It’s a culture, a tradition, a unification of a community, a whole history that creates what a community is. It’s all embodied in a language. — Noam Chomsky

Good News of the Day:
“We Still Live Here” is a fascinating documentary that tells a life affirming story of cultural revival. It follows the journey of social worker Jessie Little Doe Baird, a member of the Wampanoag tribe of Native Americans, who undertook an incredible quest to reclaim the language of her people. In 1993 Jessie began to hear the voices of her ancestors speaking in a language she didn’t understand. At the time, the Wampanoag tongue hadn’t been spoken for more than a 100 years. Jessie had never been to college, but she was determined to bring this language back to life. In a remarkable sequence of events, the mother of four would be invited (by Noam Chomsky no less!) to join a graduate program at MIT and receive the formal training needed to bring back a vanished language. Her young daughter would become the first native speaker in more than a century.

Be The Change:
Learn more about the work being done around the world to reclaim languages, and preserve and protect the heritage of indigenous people through an organization called Cultural Survival.

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