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Preserving Native American Languages (2011)

Louisiana: The State We're In



Genre: Newsmagazine

Place Covered: Charenton, St. Mary Parish, Louisiana, Elton, Jefferson Davis Parish, Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 2011-11-04

Duration: 00:05:54

Subjects: Native Americans | Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana | Chitimacha language | Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana | Koasati language


  • Whinham, Charlie Host
  • Sanford, Shauna Host
  • Lincoln, Sue Producer
  • Walden, Kimberly Interviewee
  • Langley, Bert Interviewee
  • Langley, Elena Interviewee
  • Poncho, Jerold Interviewee


This segment from the November 4, 2011, episode of the series “Louisiana: The State We’re In” features Sue Lincoln’s report on the efforts of the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana and the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana to preserve their native languages. Lincoln interviews Kimberly Walden, the Chitimacha Cultural Director, who discusses: the work of Dr. Morris Swadesh in recording the Chitimacha language before the death of the last two native speakers in the 1930s; the formation of the Language Revitalization Program in 1997; convincing the tribal elders to help save the language; the creation of language classes for children and adults; and the grant they received from the Rosetta Company’s Endangered Language Program to help preserve the language. Lincoln also visits the Coushatta Tribe’s Language Day, where she interviews: Bert Langley, a member of the Coushatta Language Committee; Elena Langley, the Coushatta princess; and Jerold Poncho, a member of the Coushatta Tribal Council. They discuss the tribe’s realization that they were losing their native Koasati language and their efforts to save the language. Hosts: Charlie Whinham and Shauna Sanford