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UCR to Offer Cahuilla Indian Language Workshops

Cahuilla linguist Ray Huaute will teach four sessions beginning April 15

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A series of workshops in the Cahuilla Indian language - which linguists consider an endangered language - begins at the University of California, Riverside on April 15. The workshops, taught by Cahuilla linguist Ray Huaute, are free and open to anyone interested in Native American language.

Session dates are April 15, 17, 22 and 24. The three-hour workshops begin at 6 p.m. in the California Center for Native Nations, Interdisciplinary Building 3124. Parking permits may be purchased at the kiosk on West Campus Drive, at the University Avenue campus entrance.

The Cahuilla language - spoken by Cahuilla people in the Coachella Valley, San Gorgonio Pass and San Jacinto Mountains - is nearly extinct, with only a handful of fluent speakers remaining.

The workshops, which welcome beginners and advanced speakers, are sponsored by the Rupert Costo Endowment in American Indian Affairs and the California Center for Native Nations.

Rupert Costo, a Cahuilla, and Jeannette Henry Costo, a Cherokee, endowed the first chair in the world dedicated to American Indians to further the education of all people about Native Americans and their culture, history and language, said Cliff Trafzer, UCR professor of history and Costo Chair in American Indian Affairs.

"They would be pleased that the Costo Chair and California Center for Native Nations, derived from the Costo Chair, have arranged to offer these workshops conducted by a Cahuilla Indian linguist," he said. "We are fulfilling the wishes of Rupert and Jeannette Costo by offering language workshops open to students, faculty, staff, tribal members, and the general public."

Ray Huaute earned his bachelor's degree in Native American Studies from UC Riverside and his master's in linguistics from the University of Arizona.


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