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Colonization and the Dakota Language – a presentation by Čhaŋtemaza, Neil McKay
August 17, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
What does it mean for a people to lose its language?
“The land called Mnisota Makoce is home to the Dakota people. The Dakota language reflects that
relationship and it is evident in the names of different places throughout the present day state of
Minnesota. The land, language, and way of life are all connected for the Dakota people and they
cannot exist without each other. . . . [As part of their assimilation,] many Dakota children were
punished for speaking their own language. They were verbally, mentally, or physically abused for
practicing their own traditions and speaking their language.” Dahkota.org.
Čhaŋtemaza, Neil McKay, Dakota Language Specialist and Instructor in the American Indian Studies
Department at the University of Minnesota, will speak about current efforts to rediscover and use the
Dakota language in everyday life. His presentation will reflect on the devastating effects of federal
policies of colonization and genocide on the culture and the necessity of supporting efforts to reverse
those effects. Download and share a flier here.