Department of Linguistics & TESOL | The University of Texas at Arlington
Native Languages of the Southwest at UT Arlington
Press Clippings & Other News
Various projects connected to work done under the Native American Languages Lab with Dr. Colleen Fitzgerald have garnered publicity in the media. Specific links appear below.
An article in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education talks about the 2012 Oklahoma Breath of Life Workshop.
Claiming one’s ancestral tongue has its merits, Dr. Fitzgerald said, “There are studies that show there is significant, [positive] educational impact for underrepresented groups when their educational experience includes a component of their heritage language,” she said. “One of our goals — in a social justice context — is to … allow Native American children to express their traditions, their heritage in the same setting where there are other students.”
Doctoral student Lori McLain Pierce, who is working with Choctaw and involved with revitalization work, was recently awarded the Jess Hay Chancellor's Award by the UT System, was featured in the Graduate School's newsletter and in the College of Liberal Arts e-newsletter.
UT Arlington Magazine featured Dr. Colleen Fitzgerald in the feature on 'Focus on the Faculty' feature.
Fitzgerald collaborates with language teachers and program directors as well as with tribal elders and assures them that her projects are long term and not for profit. “For many Native American communities, language is from the creator,” she says. “It is sacred.”
Institute for Collaborative Language Research
The Institute on Collaborative Language Research (InField/CoLang) was hosted by the University of Kansas in 2012 and will be hosted in 2014 by UT Arlington, under Dr. Colleen Fitzgerald as Director. Some of the 2012 press coverage for the Kansas institute came from efforts by the CoLang Activism course where the participants collaboratively wrote a press release on the Institute. The Activism course was co-taught/facilitated by Colleen Fitzgerald and Phil Cash Cash, a Cayuse-Nez Perce speaker and doctoral student at the University of Arizona.
An article in Lawrence Journal-World talks about the current institute and the institute upcoming in the summer of 2014.
Press release on CoLang 2012, collaboratively written by the Activism class co-taught/facilitated by Dr. Fitzgerald and Phillip Cash Cash.
Oklahoma Breath of Life 2012
The funding secured by Colleen Fitzgerald and OU's Mary Linn has received a fair amount of attention in the media for Oklahoma's Breath of Life project. Here is the coverage that we have seen. (More about UT Arlington's participation in the project here.)
The Oklahoman ran an article on the 2012 Oklahoma Breath of Life workshop which featured UT Arlington student Libby Tatz, who served as a mentor for the Cheyenne attendees.
National Native News carried a radio story by Susan Shannon (KGOU) about the 2012 OKBOL Breath of Life Workshop. It aired June 7. Andrea Muru, one of the UT Arlington students who mentored the Natchez attendees, was interviewed in this clip.
In episode a 20 July 2011 episode of Think, Krys Boyd interviewed Colleen Fitzgerald and Mary Linn (University of Oklahoma) about the Oklahoma Breath of Life Project, Native American languages, and language endangerment.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram ran an article by Diane Smith, "UTA helps Native Americans learn to save own languages," discussing the Breath of Life workshops for Oklahoma Native American languages that Colleen Fitzgerald is helping spearhead.
"We are growing field linguists," said Colleen Fitzgerald, associate professor and chairwoman of UT Arlington's Linguistics Department. "We are transferring knowledge to community members so they can teach their own languages."
The article was picked up by the AP and received nation-wide distribution.
Darla Slipke's "American Indian language program receives $90K grant" (10 June 2011) discusses the impact that the Oklahoma Breath of Life project is having among speakers of Native American languages.
Indian Country Today ran an article, "Native American Language Program Gets Funded for Another Year," about Breath of Life language revitalization efforts funded by the NSF Grant that Colleen Fitzgerald is co-PI on.
Fitzgerald said UT Arlington is creating linguistic databases that will enable the creation of online dictionaries—like the one for the Natchez—that will help revitalize the many endangered Native languages.
The UT Arlington Press Center put out a news release on 25 May 2011 entitled "UT Arlington linguist wins NSF grant to breathe new life into endangered Native American languages."
The grant will fund research associated with the Oklahoma Breath of Life workshop planned for next May in Norman, Okla. The program will reunite linguists with Native Americans who attended a similar workshop there last year.
“That project was very successful. Three communities participated: Osage, Otoe, and Natchez,” Fitzgerald said. The 2012 workshop will reinforce the original linguistic mentor-mentee partnerships with those three communities and provide for seven more groups whose languages have no fluent speakers.
Houston radio station program, "People of Earth," did an interview with Colleen Fitzgerald on the Oklahoma Breath of Life Workshop and the current state of Native American languages. The program focuses on Native American issues; the link leads to the archived podcast, with the interview starting about 20 minutes in.
R&D ran a piece (from an NSF press release) on NSF grants that are helping to digitally document endangered languages. The Oklahoma Breath of Life project was included among those listed because of the digital documentation component being spearheaded by Colleen Fitzgerald.