'Native America: Language Is Life' Panel Discussion


From Hollywood films on the big screen to sacred writing deep within the Earth, from long-lost voices captured in wax cylinders, Native people are fighting to keep their languages and ways of life alive. Though many of the approximately 170 Native languages spoken across the United States remain at risk today, it is a time of hope. A revolutionary effort to revitalize traditional languages is unfolding across Native America; and Native innovators are applying 21st-century technologies to save a core element of their culture and inspire future generations. "Language Is Life" highlights how Native heroes are using every tool to recover, revitalize and restore their linguistic traditions. This episode from the PBS series explores the use of a laser-assisted needle to recover Passamaquoddy songs recorded over a century ago and housed at the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress. It shows a team creating digital scans of Cherokee writing hidden under graffiti in a Georgia cave. In addition, Manny Wheeler (Navajo) shares his mission to dub Hollywood blockbusters like Star Wars into Navajo. Their successes are changing Native America and the world at large.