Downtown Bend: Ichishkín Language Revitalization

Wednesday, April 13, 2022
6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Learn about local Native language revitalization that counters historical damage.

This is an in-person program. Masks are recommended at all in-person library events.

Join Jefferson Greene for a discussion of the important role of Native language revitalization. Central Oregon is home to a few Indigenous languages that are now extinct. Of the last remaining speakers of Nuwu (Paiute) or Ichishkín (Tanánma-John Day/Columbia River Basin), Ichishkín has around 10 speakers and Nuwu has even fewer. One may ask "why" preserve a language amidst an predominately English and Spanish speaking country? Every mountain, valley, canyon, hill, river, lake, creek, stream, plateau, animal, and meadow had Indigenous names and stories that related them back to the beginning of time when the earth was created. Native peoples' experiences and understandings were passed down for safekeeping and sharing to preserve environments and habitats for generations to come. These names and stories later became illegal to share in their own territories by the United States Government, making the work of Native language revitalization critical to the original peoples and keepers of environments.

Jefferson Greene was born and raised on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in Oregon. As a young artist, Greene was immersed in rituals administered by his elders. He later completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in 3 disciplines; Management, Marketing, and Advertising. Greene returned to the Columbia Plateau and became a cultural advocate writing grants and instructing cultural arts. He apprentices under several 1st Language Speakers of the Warm Springs, Yakama, and Umatilla Indian Reservations. Greene provides Ichishkín Workshops, Stories, Games, Dances, Songs, and Arts to students young and experienced.

Columbia River Institute for Indigenous Development (CRÍID) Foundation
The CRÍID (pronounced "creed") Foundation has been in operation since Fall (Tiyám) of 2019 to provide healthy cultural lifestyles for youth and elders by providing language revitalization programs and adventures indoor and outdoor. Their grassroots programs have been in operation since 2010 in partnership with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and surrounding communities. The programs continued to hone in on the importance of language revitalization, requiring more capacity, partnerships, and a 501(c)-3 non-profit. Today, the CRÍID Foundation promotes "healthy cultural living".

Event Type(s):
Adult Program
Adult Program
Age Group(s):
Jefferson Greene
Laurel Westendorf | | 541-312-1029