Language Vitality Project

AILDI Language Vitality Project Summary

The Native American Languages Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in 1990, enacted into policy the recognition of the unique status and importance of Native American languages. While many Native American languages are endangered, they vary considerably in terms of ‘vitality’, that is, who, how and where the languages are in use. Currently, there is no systematic assessment of the Native American languages of the United States and their vitality.

In 2016, to address that need, AILDI was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Documenting Endangered Languages Program (DEL) BSC # 1601738 for a pilot project designed to create new and innovative assessment tools. The project is the initial step in AILDI’s goal to create a model for grass-roots assessment that can be shared with tribal communities throughout the U.S.. The project leads to the documentation of language status, aiming to meet a national need.

For more information about the project, please click here: Background Information

For more information about the grant activities and workshops, scroll down!


Grant Activities/Workshops: Assessing and Documenting the Vitality of Native American Languages.

The project activities included a series of intensive two-day workshops as well as a course at AILDI’s annual summer session in 2016. Later, supplemental funding allowed for the participants to further train for, and produce, a working language survey.

Click the links below to find summaries, agendas, and participant lists of each of the workshops!

May 2016 Workshop Summary, Agenda, & Participants

AILDI Summer Session 2016 Course Overview

November 2016 Workshop Summary, Agenda, & Participants

February 2017 Workshop Summary, Agenda, & Participants

April 2017 Workshop Summary, Agenda, & Participants

March 2018 Presentation Summary, Agenda, & Participants

January 2019 Workshop Summary, Agenda, & Participants