Klamath Tribes Language Workshop (Dec. 27-29, 2016)

     A modified grant proposal of the American Indian Language Development Institute was accepted by the Klamath Tribes Distribution & Investment Board September 28th, 2016. The proposal was a three-day workshop titled maqlaqsyalank naat hemyeega ‘we are beginning to speak maqlaqsyals (Klamath-Modoc)’ held in Chiloquin, OR December 27-29, 2016 targeting Klamath tribal members. The workshop focused on learning terms in maqlaqsyals for everyday use, including kinship, weather, questioning and conversation.  Scheduled to coincide with holiday homecoming to tribal community, the workshop had 9 participants from multiple communities both on and off Klamath tribal lands. Using games, hands on exercises, small groups and a team approach to comprehension checks, workshop participants expressed much interest in continuing to learn maqlaqsyals. There has been encouragement from participants to hold more workshops in the future.

The workshop was led by Joe Dupris, AILDI Graduate Assistant and Klamath tribal member.

Content learned included 69 content words, including terms of kinship and place (weather, outside entities and personal comfort), as well as ‘function’ words that ‘tie/glue’ together phrases and sentences. At the end of the three days, participants lead their own lesson sessions and assisted in helping each other learn with minimal use of English. The content seemed to a reasonable range to cover during the three days. With review and activities, the majority of participants were relatively comfortable conversing in maqlaqsyals for short periods. Future content suggestions would maintain same content domains but elaborate on ‘walking’ lessons (Lessons 1c; 2c). Follow up workshops may elaborate in terms of space (location, direction, etc.) and time (seasons, lunar months) as seasonally relevant. Participants suggested a range of end goals, providing further workshop ideas.