We Still Live Here - As Nutayunean is a brilliant PBS documentary showing the revitalization of the Wampanoag Language of Massachusetts.
The Wampanoag are perhaps most often remembered as the people who greeted the English Pilgrims at Plymouth and saved them from starvation. In return, the English persecuted the Wampanoag, stole their lands, and actively sought the destruction of Wampanoag culture. Among Indian people in North America, these are the ones who first confronted the loss of language, indigenous identity, and traditional knowledge.
And yet the Wampanoag survived. They continue to live in communities near Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard.
The documentary begins with Jessie Little Doe, a Wampanoag social worker, who received a dream from her ancestors. They asked if her generation was willing to reclaim the Wampanoag Language. She shared her vision with others in the tribe, and together they began a journey to reclaim their language.
As someone who cares deeply for my own language, this film both inspired and motivated me to continue my efforts to learn and to teach others.
The film is about 55 minutes long and is certainly worth an hour of your time. But you have to watch it right away - the free internet showing of this film ends on November 24. Click the following link to view the film.
A few quotes from the film:
Death is not permanent for languages. They can come back.
We had asked elders and spiritual leaders, “How do we regain our language?” And we were told that it’s not your language that’s lost, it’s you, and that a day will come when a child will be born and they will bring you back the language.