[aka Tonika, Tunixka]

Classification: Isolate




Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana - Language and Culture Revitalization


In 2010, Council Member Brenda Lintinger forged an agreement with Dr. Judith Maxwell and Tulane University’s Linguistics Department to collaborate on the revitalization of the Tunica language. Over the succeeding years, John Barbry, Donna Pierite and Elisabeth Pierite-Mora have worked with Maxwell and Tulane graduate students to assemble and update materials compiled by linguists Albert Gatschet, John Swanton, and Mary Haas from the late 19th to early 20th century. Haas published three books on the Tunica language including a grammatical study, collection of cultural texts, and a Tunica-English dictionary. An updated Tunica dictionary has been edited by Dr. Patricia Anderson and is available on Webonary.org and in a beta-version mobile application. The Tunica Language Working Group (or Kuhpani Yoyani Luhchi Yoroni – KYLY) is nearing completion of a new Tunica Language Text Book. KYLY is an ongoing resource of collaboration and development of pedagogical tools for teaching and preserving the Tunica language. LCRP was created to establish a structural support for language and culture education. It also strives to plant a noticeable presence of the language on the reservation and throughout the extended community. The LCRP offices are located in the library at the Cultural & Educational Resources Center (CERC). LCRP also maintains a list of online resources on the Tunica language and Tunica-Biloxi ethnography. LCRP coordinates the following activities: * Ongoing Tunica language instruction * Development of Tunica language teaching materials * Tunica-Biloxi Language & Culture Summer Camp for tribal youth * Tunica language usage through visual and audible representations in public venues and events in the tribal community * Interactive web-based mediums to facilitate distance learning * Research and scholarship on Tunica-Biloxi history and culture * Cultural workshops on traditional Tunica-Biloxi crafts and lifeways * Operation of the CERC Library Language Classes LCRP facilitates four 8-week series of Tunica language classes each year in the Fall and Spring. An open house is held at the conclusion of each 8-week series for language learners and their families where language learners are afforded the opportunity to showcase what they learned.

Vasiliki Vita

Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana 150 Melacon Road, P.O. Box 1589 Marksville, LA 71351

Jan. 1, 2018