Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Artists craft new ways to teach Indigenous languages


March 25, 2022

Creative directors and founders of Z Puppets, Chris Griffith and Shari Aronson, pose for portraits with Grandmother Turtle in their south Minneapolis studio Thursday, March 10, 2022. The two perform in "Say It! Sing It! Play It! in Cherokee". Nicole Neri for MPR News

Neil McKay was 15 when he heard two men speaking in Dakota for the first time. His family was attending a relative's wake, the men were standing at the door as McKay walked by.

"They were speaking this very, very beautiful and enchanting language."

McKay, a tribal member from the Spirit Lake community in North Dakota, instructs students in the Dakota language at the University of Minnesota.


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