CORVALLIS - Oregon State University will host a conference May 15-16 called "Speaking to the Seventh Generation" that looks at the value of preserving Native American languages, and strategies for accomplishing it.
This is the second annual OSU conference devoted to indigenous language revitalization.
The conference runs from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 15, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, May 16, at OSU's LaSells Stewart Center (26th Street and Western Boulevard in Corvallis). It is free and open to the public.
Featured speakers include Phil Cash Cash, of the University of Arizona; Stephen Greymorning, the University of Montana; and Ofelia Zepeda, the American Indian Language Development Institute.
Representatives of most of the Indian language and culture programs in Oregon will participate in the conference, along with Native American educators from Alaska and the southwestern U.S.
Following the conference, there will be a public viewing of the acclaimed film, "Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner," which won Camera D'Or at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival. The showing begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 16, in Milam Auditorium with an introduction by one of the film's stars, Lucy Tulugarjuk, who was named Best Actress at the American Indian Film Festival. The film is free and open to the public.
"One of the purposes of the conference is to recognize and respond to the threat of linguistic extinction for Native American languages," said Joseph Krause, chair of OSU's Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures and one of the event coordinators.
In addition to the lectures, a number of panel discussions and workshops are scheduled that will address native language teaching strategies, teacher certification, preserving and using archival information in teaching language, and the application of technology to language preservation.
The conference is sponsored by the Spirit Mountain Community Fund and numerous OSU programs, including the Department of Anthropology, the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, the Department of Ethnic Studies, the Spring Creek Project, the Indian Education Office, and the Center for the Humanities.
For more information, call the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at 541-737-3935.