The Mescalero Apache Tribe Language Program
P.O. Box 227 Mescalero, NM 88340 Phone:(575) 464-2152 Fax:(575) 464-2153 [wds id=”5″]
Nahizaa’í shí nahi’át’e’í bił béyaa’iłt’á. Nahizaa’í shí nahi’át’e’í bił behndénńdlį́. Nahizaa’í shí nahi’át’e’í bił be’indá shí bendéda’iłchįį-gu nłdził-gu ndásá bee huuka nahi’ełchíńdé báháádaat’į́.
Our mission is to defend and support our Apache language and culture. Apache language and culture are critical to Apache identity. Apache language, culture, and identity are critical to survival, respect, pride, health, and welfare of all members of the Mescalero Apache Tribe, especially children.
What are our specific goals, given the mission?
› Increase the number of tribal members who know and use Apache. (Increase the number of fluent Apache speakers.)
› Increase use of Apache among all age groups.
› Increase use of Apache in all situations, including home, school, work, ceremonies, and other social situations.
› Increase the number of tribal members who read and write Apache.
› Increase the number of tribal members who know Apache history and culture.
› Increase the number of tribal members who participate in traditional cultural activities.
What is our current strategy to meet these goals?
› Recording and documenting the Apache languages.
› Recording and documenting Apache culture and history.
› Revising and updating Apache language and culture curricula at the Language Program, the Immersion School, and the Mescalero Apache Schools.
› Developing and producing Apache language materials.
› Teaching Apache at the Mescalero Schools (K-12). (Teachers)
› Teaching Apache at the Language Program (All ages). (Oliver Enjady)
› Teaching Apache at the Mescalero Tribe Apache Language Immersion School (Preschool). (Bonna Dell Ortega)
› Developing a plan for creating the next generation of Apache language teachers.
What could we do more effectively to meet these goals? (How can we be more successfully accomplishing tasks such as the following?)
› Continue our current efforts while incorporating new ideas and approaches.
› Establish a strong network of community groups to promote preservation efforts.
› Motivate tribal members to maintain our Apache language and culture. (Motivate tribal members to learn Apache, use Apache, and participate in Apache language and culture preservation efforts.)
› Focus on positive efforts and outcomes.
Such groups might include:
» The Education Department
» Boys and Girls Club
» The Tribal Council
» The Museum
» Head Start
» Day Care
» The Medicine People and Gą́hę́ Groups
» The School Board and Administration
» The Elders and Elderly Program
» The Apache Language Programs
› Incorporate new preservation activities and approaches. Some strategies that might be follow include:
» Requiring tribal employees and administration to be fluent or take classes in Apache.
» Allowing tribal employees and administrators to attend Apache language classes during the day.
» Requiring students at the school to take Apache language and culture classes each year (K-12). (Making Apache classes mandatory at all levels.)
» Requiring the schools to graduate students who are fluent in Apache.
» Creating a scholarship fund for tribal members to become Apache language, culture, and history teachers.
» Creating incentives for using Apache in the home and other places, for elders to use Apache with fluent and non-fluent tribal members, and for other people to learn and use Apache.
What can we do beyond the reservation to support our efforts?
› Work with other Apache tribes and the Navajo Tribe to create a cooperative network focused on issues of language and culture preservation. (Create, for example, an annual or biannual Apache and Navajo Summit on Language and Culture.)
› Work with the Tribes and Pueblos of New Mexico to increase support from the state for Native American language and culture preservation.
› Work with all tribes to increase federal support for Native American language and culture preservation.
› Work with Ruidoso and Tularosa school districts to make sure that our children who attend school in those districts can study Apache language and culture.