Oregon Folklife Network

Native Language Arts Apprenticeship Program

The National Endowment for the Arts awarded funding from January 2012–August 2014 to a collaboration project among Oregon Folklife Network, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and Northwest Indian Language Institute to support and integrate the successful, parallel revitalizations of language and weaving traditions already underway at Grand Ronde.

The award developed resources and teaching tools that target a wide range of ages and skills in the tribal community at Grand Ronde. This was accomplished by hiring a northwest basketry anthropologist Margaret Matthewson, Chinuk Wawa linguist Henry Zenk, and curriculum developer Judith Fernandes. Funding added value to existing resources, and created new products that help to teach both language and basketry to a wide range of age learners.

The project accomplished the following:

  1. publication of three children’s storybooks that use Chinuk Wawa to narrate various stages of weaving (previously unavailable outside the classroom);
  2. creation of audio “e-book” versions of these three storybooks, read aloud to enable non-speakers to hear how the language is spoken, and with optional English subtitles to translate content;
  3. development of immersion classroom curriculum lesson plans that utilize the storybooks for the language immersion classrooms at Grand Ronde;
  4. translation of two weaving instructional slideshows for use in exhibits, classrooms, and online as galleries or instruction tools; and
  5. publication of live weaving demonstration videos with both English and Chinuk subtitles with voice overs useful as both weaving and language-learning aids.

Related Article

Bringing “Good Jargon” to Light: The New Chinuk Wawa Dictionary of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Oregon by Henry Zenk From Oregon Historical Quarterly, Winter 2012 (Vol. 113, No. 4)

Drawing on the proficiency of native speakers of Chinuk Wawa, educators, and regional linguists, the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde published a Chinuk Wawa dictionary that both preserves the language and provides insight into the generational significance of its endurance. Linguist Henry Zenk relates his experience contributing toThe New Chinuk Wawa Dictionary and describes the important familial relationships within the Grand Ronde community—past and present—that made the project possible.

Related Media

Anthropologist and Ethnobotanist, Margaret Matthewson, describes her work with Tribes like Grand Ronde to support basketry revitalization.