Heenetiineyoo3eihiiho' (Language Healers) tells the story of Native Peoples striving to revitalize their languages. We learn about the importance of Native languages and cultures in Alaska from a Yup'ik dog musher and a Tlingit carver of wood and metal. The film then takes us to a school in Wisconsin where we hear the story of a seventh grade girl who was recently punished for speaking a few words of the Menominee language.
We learn more about the fight against language loss through visiting a Euchee (Yuchi) immersion school in Oklahoma where only four fluent elder speakers remain. We also meet National Geographic Fellow and Swarthmore College linguistics professor K. David Harrison who introduces us to his innovative online talking dictionaries project for Indigenous languages. Finally, we travel to Montana where Neyooxet Greymorning, an inventive Arapaho professor of Anthropology and Native American Studies, has been perfecting a method to quickly save these disappearing national treasures.
Written, Directed, Produced:
Flute by: Jesse Kalu
"Language Healers" was recently selected to screen at many festival and symposiums including: 2016 Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival; 2016 Maoriland Film Festival; 2015 Red Nation Film Festival, 2015 Garifuna Film Festival; 2014 Peoples Film Festival-Honorable Mention; Southeastern Oklahoma State - 2015 Native American Symposium; 2015 SILS 22 conference in Wyoming; the 130th MLA Convention held in Vancouver in January 2015; the University of Hawaii, Hilo for the Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium; the University of Wisconsin—Madison for International Mother Language Day; The University of Texas—Arlington for CoLang 2014; 10th Aljazeera International Documentary Film Festival.
The film was also mentioned in the Huffington Post as one of the films helping to empower individuals to take action to rescue endangered languages and has been called one of the top 10 films you need to watch on International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples.
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