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Open Access Publications from the University of California

An Analysis of the Current Tribally Initiated Rincon Cham'teela Program as a Way to Promote and Encourage Sustainability of the Luiseno Language

  • Author(s): Fasthorse, Elizabeth
  • Advisor(s): Geiogamah, Henry L.
  • Kroskrity, Paul V.
  • et al.

Native American languages in the United States are struggling to survive. Therefore, many tribal communities are committed to language revitalization programs in order to sustain the vitality of their tribal nation and its future. Using a sociocultural theory this thesis offers a preliminary analysis of the Rincon Luiseño community's effort to create a language revitalization program. This unique language program is a tribally initiated community-based program without no outside influence. I use a collection of data collected through interviews with students (tribal members) are analyzed and presented it as a process to provide a description of the program and give examples of ways to enhance its current language program. The interview questions focused on the following topics: 1) reasons for language revitalization and preservation; 2) importance of passing on to youth; 3) cultural identity; 4) growth of program; and 5) any other issues interviewees brought up regarding the language program. The goal of my thesis, utilizing a tribal based protocol is to provide data and analysis as a basic resource for tribal members to further develop the Rincon Cham'teela class.

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