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Native American Language Program

Gagwe:göh Sgënö’! 

We are part of the ‘Seneca Nation of Indians’ Language Department located on the Cattaraugus Reservation in New York. We are running a program for Native children from our community (grades 1-3) this summer.

Seneca, like other Indigenous languages are in great danger of disappearing. We’ll have a total of 20 kids and our goal is to help instill a life-long interest in learning our unique language and culture. Our goals for this program include:

  • how to introduce yourself
  • talk about your family
  • how old you are
  • where you live
  • to know your identity within the Seneca Nation, Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy), and the natural world
  • to recognize and understand the meaning of Ganonyö:k, our traditional Thanksgiving speech

This will be done through class instruction, conversation practice, arts and crafts projects, field trips, and learning games. At the moment we have about $400 to start with and here’s a list of what we are looking to acquire so far:

  • Furniture – chairs, rugs, a small couch;
  • T-shirts (20) for a screen printing activity; ink, and rollers
  • Scissors, markers, glue, tape, string, rulers, paint, snacks, and field trip lunch money

Field trips will be culturally based. We plan to go to the Seneca Iroquois Museum and Allegany State Park, Ganondagan (Seneca historical village), and Erie Zoo.

Clarence Seneca: “I’ve been working in the language department for almost 5 years and directly with 2 fluent elders for two years. I have experience providing language lessons for both children and adults.”

Brennen Johns: “I have been in the language department for just over a year, working daily with elders to increase my vocabulary. I have not had much experience working with children and I have always wanted to work with our youth and show them our language and culture.”

Kelsey L Lay: “This will be my 2nd year learning within our Seneca Nation Language and Culture Program and my goal within my life time is to keep learning and teaching our people. Our Summer program will be my first teaching experience and I cannot be more excited.”

With every donation you are helping our younger generations on the Seneca territory be engaged in our language and culture during our program, every donation is greatly appreciated! Nya:weh!

$455 of $1,500 goal

$685 of $1,500 goal !

$900 of $1,500 goal