Lynda Grover-D’Wolf teaches the Ute language to Ignacio High School junior Antony Suina, center, and sophomore Hunter Frost in March 2015. The Southern Ute Indian Tribe and Fort Lewis College are developing a 10-week certificate program that will increase the number of Ute language teachers available in K-12 schools. In an effort to spread Ute language fluency to younger generations, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and Fort Lewis College are working on a program to certify more instructors who can teach the Ute language both on the reservation and in K-12 schools.
The 10-course certification will be held over three years with the first four courses offered from June 1 to July 20 at Ignacio High School. Classes are also expected to be available online.
The course will teach about educational linguistics, media in teaching, classroom management, syntax, morphology, Ute sound systems and Native American linguistics. Those foundation classes will be followed by Ute language immersion classes.
Classes are designed to provide students the skills needed to thrive leading a classroom.
Lindsay Box, spokeswoman with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, said the certificate program is key to sustaining the Ute language.
“The biggest threat to Ute language preservation is time, without the assistance of our Tribal Elders, this massive and necessary undertaking becomes immensely more difficult,” she said in an email to The Durango Herald . “The Tribe currently has approximately 32 fluent Ute speakers, most over the age of 70 years old. The success of this grant is contingent on our elders’ time […]