This project is my expression of respect for individual Arapaho people and the spirit of the Arapaho language, in gratitude for the strength of family and spirituality given to me on Wind River Reservation. It is a precious privilege to be part of an Arapaho family and the language effort. The Arapaho language is sacred and central to traditional ways of prayer, blessing, kindness and respect. When we study it, we step on holy ground, into the protection of the ancestors and Old Man Pipe.
Learning Hinono’eitiit has made it easier for me to change my behavior as the Creator would have me do, like stopping the use of weed and letting go of resentment toward family members who hurt me a long time ago. I will always be deeply thankful for neito’eino’ on Wind River Reservation.
Here’s the project: We are turning our home into a miniature Arapaho language school, with the intention of creating and sharing materials to make it easier for other parents. We are learning the Arapaho language from the elders and academic resources while we teach our children. We have found great support and inspiration in a texting “language nest” in which elders translate words and learners practice writing and speaking with the free voice-texting app Facebook messenger. We also use the dictionary on this site (click on the tab and it will download to your phone) and check our pronunciations by texting elders. These free Arapaho lessons approved for release by the Northern Arapaho Department of Education are also very helpful. We often make our own lessons which we will make available, but no ceremonial or other sacred knowledge will be shared here. Because our goal is to leave a digital footprint that will help other families learn, we share our strategies and tips on how to create teaching materials while learning the language yourself.