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Dakota hymn sing helps keep language alive

Dakota hymn sing helps keep language alive

The South Dakota Capital Journal reports on a monthly hymn sing that helps keep Dakota language alive:

…recently, for Native Americans who grew up speaking and hearing the Dakota language of the eastern Sioux tribes spoken, St. Peter’s is also a red door back into that crucial part of their culture. It’s at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Fort Pierre that people with connections to the Dakota language are meeting once a month for what organizer Mary Ashley calls “Dakota Sing” and what some call “Dakota Hymn Sing.”

It’s just what it sounds like – a time of singing songs in the Dakota language…

“I think it’s important to be around elders because then you hear how they pronounce Dakota and how they make the intonations. I think it’s true what they say, the easiest way to learn Dakota is to sing it,” says Mary Ashley.


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