Downtown Sioux Falls Library Kicks Off Native American Heritage Month With Lakota Language Classes

SIOUX FALLS, S.D – November is Native American heritage month and the Downtown Sioux Falls Library is celebrating.

This afternoon they taught a Lakota language class, hoping to spread the indigenous language.

“My grandmother was Lakota, so ever since I’ve always been interested in learning about it,” says

South Dakota is home to many Native American populations, yet not many can’t speak their languages according to Lakota language teacher Tim Easter.

“Sometimes indigenous languages, may not, it’s not that they are not valued, but maybe just not as known,” says Easter.

In the Great Plains we are surrounded with the languages in day to day life.

“We live in Minnehaha Country and the state over’s Minnesota, we see Lakota, Dakota language even in everyday words that people may not know,” says Easter.

“Read a story and it will have some Lakota language in it, and it would be really nice to be able to pronounce those things,” says student Jamie Heiberger.

“Do ceremonies, prayers, songs, they are all in the language,” says Easter.

Many say they want to connect to their backgrounds. The library in Sioux Falls realizes this. This month Easter is teaching Lakota language classes to the public free of charge. Easter hopes the word will spread.

“We know that there’s getting less and less, so hopefully we get more people, more students and young people to speak the language as well,” says Easter.

Hoping that the languages will still be used in the years to come.

The library in Downtown Sioux Falls will host other events for Native American heritage month. Events include three women speakers who will describe events in the West leading up to the Wounded Knee Massacre.

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