First Things First Early Childhood Summit
August 26 – 27, 2019
The First Things First Early Childhood Summit brings together professionals, stakeholders and supporters of early childhood and health to share innovative strategies, research and best practices that help kids be ready for school and set for life.
Lanna Flood Memorial Address
Monday, August 26, 10:30 a.m. to noon
Supporting Language Preservation and Revitalization in Tribal Communities
From a very early age, and even before birth, many Native American children are taught about their connection to the world. They are taught to honor their traditions and to think of themselves as connected to one another and the world around them. This interconnectedness is essential for Native American children’s development of the self. Language, culture, the home and community environment allow children to know who they are and form the basis for constructing knowledge and understanding. Many native languages have been passed from generation to generation, and with them, the stories, traditions and life of a people.
Although language plays a critical role in supporting the well-being of our young children, Indigenous languages continue to disappear at an alarming rate. In North America, at least 52 Native American languages have disappeared. Globally, more than 6,000 languages face eventual extinction. To raise awareness of the topic, the United Nations has also declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages. Please join us to learn from Dr. Sheilah Nicholas, faculty instructor for the American Indian Language Development Institute, and a panel of Arizona tribal representatives about their language preservation and revitalization work in tribal communities. Panelists include Sherilyn Analla, Gila River Indian Community; Lucille Watahomigie, Hualapai Tribe; and Beatrice Lee, San Carlos Apache Tribe.
Supporting Language Preservation and Revitalization: Continuing the Conversation
Tuesday, August 27, 8:30 – 10 a.m.
During Monday’s Lanna Flood Memorial Address, presenters will share how they are working to support language preservation and revitalization work across tribal communities in Arizona. Summit participants interested in learning more about how to support language preservation and revitalization can attend this session to learn what others in Arizona are doing to support this critical work by participating in different poster sessions and engaging in conversations with others across the state interested in promoting this work. Participation in Monday session is not required to attend this session.