State of Yuman Language August 19, 2023
A general assembly on the state of the Yuman Languages was held on Saturday August 19th and was hosted by the Yavapai-Prescott Nation at the Prescott Resort. About 70 Yumans came together to present what was going on in their specific communities. Representatives and programs included the Quechan Language program, Ft. McDowell Yavapai Nation, Camp Verde, Salt River O'odham -Piipaash Language Program, Colorado River, Gila River Pee-posh and the Hualapai Nation.
The morning Key note was given by Mr. Gary Owens who welcomed all who had travelled to the event and remarked on the efforts of the tribal groups for teaching and keeping the languages going during the last 3 years under difficult means. Committee members from the different tribals groups who had passed were remembered with a moment of silence and the memories of the work that they contributed to the past summit experiences.
Morning presentations touched on the subjects of; language on the internet, written books in the tribal schools, collaboration with outside sources and programs for tribal language planning, constructing a dictionary, community involvement in language teaching and utilizing grants to set up language learning in the family.
After a hearty lunch where we were not sure if we were eating cornbread or a doughnut, songs from the Laveen and Ft. McDowell Group were generously shared in the room. Then the Salt River language program led the participants in a game of Piipaash BINGO in the language and many prizes were handed out.
Concluding the event was a speech by Original chair of the Summit Committee, Lucille Watahimogie of the Hualapai Nation, who commended the groups for participating and keeping this summit committee going for over the last 23 years. Plans for another small meeting are being considered for the CRIT area where we can possibly meet for one more time for 2023 and see if we can start plans for a formal summit in 2024 or 2025.
It was a good time and good to see others in person once again.