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Yamamoto Leads Revitalization Seminar

TAHLEQUAH – Noted linguistic anthropologist Dr. Akira Yamamoto will lead the Native Language Revitalization Seminary at Northeastern State University as part of the 36th Annual Symposium on the American Indian on Thursday, April 17 from 6-8 p.m. and Friday, April 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Yamamoto received his Ph.D. in Anthropological Linguistics from Indiana University and serves as the Linguistics Professor Emeritus at the University of Kansas. He was a founding member of the Oklahoma Native Languages Association (ONLA) and is one of the leading experts in native language revitalization efforts, working with American Indian tribes across the nation to maintain native languages and increase the number of fluent speakers.

Yamamoto will lead the language revitalization seminar, conducted entirely in Cherokee. On Thursday, Yamamoto will introduce the current state of language documentation and revitalization efforts. The seminar continues on Friday exploring how each language expressed the notion of past, present, and future in its linguistic structure. The seminar then will use the structural knowledge to develop language-teaching materials such as books and games.

Seminary faculty include Marcellino Berardo, Kelly Harper Berkson, Ardis Eschenberg, Tracy Hirata Edds, Durbin Feeling, Phyllis Fife, Wyman Kirk, Mary S. Linn, Brad Montgomery-Anderson, Lizette Peter, Gloria Sly, Heather Souter and Kimiko Y. Yamamoto. The seminar is co-sponsored by the Oklahoma Native Language Institute, NSU Center for Tribal Studies, Cherokee Nation Cultural Resource Center, Native American Languages Department of the University of Oklahoma Sam Noble Museum of Natural History, University of Kansas and the Oklahoma Humanities Council.

“The Sun the Moon the Stars, Rhythms of Life,” the 36th Annual Symposium on the American Indian is set for April 16-19, 2008 at NSU in the University Center.

Featured speakers include Oklahoma Centennial Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner N. Scott Momaday, retired commander of the U.S. Navy and former NASA astronaut John Herrington, Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Jerry Elliott, Kiowa traditionalist Kelly Anquoe, documentary filmmaker Sara Barnett-Flores, Navajo cultural consultant Dr. David Begay, Coordinator for the Pawnee Earth Lodge exhibit at the Field Museum of Chicago Mary Ann Bloom, award winning novelist and poet Robert Conley, Sioux traditionalist Warren Hawk, Assistant Site Manager and Public Relations Director for the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site William Iseminger, Founder and President of the Indigenous Education Institute Dr. Nancy Maryboy, Director of Indians into Psychology at the University of North Dakota Justin D. (Doug) McDonald, and Emeritus Professor of Anthropology and Linguistics at the University of Kansas Dr. Akira Yamamoto.

For more information on the 36th annual Symposium on the American Indian, call the NSU Center for Tribal Studies at 918- 444-4350. For a complete schedule of events, visit


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