About Us

The Oneida Language Revitalization Program began in the spring of 1996 in response to a national crisis, a state of emergency, in which a survey of Elders indicated there were only 25-30 Elders left who learned to speak Oneida as their first language. As a Nation we have an urgent need to produce speakers to continue Oneida Language. When many of us were little, we heard Oneida spoken all of the time by the old people. We must ensure that our little ones hear Oneida and learn to speak Oneida. A ten year plan was developed to connect Elders with Oneida Language/ Culture Trainees in a semi-immersion process which would produce speakers and teachers of Oneida language. Our goal is to hear our Oneida language spoken throughout our community.

In the spring of 1996, ten Elders were transferred to the Language Revitalization Program and five trainees were transferred that summer. We have since lost our beloved speaker, Mary Jourdan. Two of our elders are over 90 years old. Nine Elders have worked with the Trainees: Lydia Denny, Hudson Doxtator, Melinda Doxtator, Luella Elm, Leona Smith, Helen Skenandore, Margaret Summers, Lavinia Webster, and Loretta Webster. The Elders work with the Trainees every morning in the semi-immersion process. The Oneida Language Trainees are: Inez Skenandore, Mike

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The Oneida Language Revitalization Program began in the spring of 1996 in response to a national crisis, a state of emergency, in which a survey of Elders indicated there were only 25-30 Elders left who learned to speak Oneida as their first language. As a Nation we have an urgent need to produce speakers to continue Oneida Language. When many of us were little, we heard Oneida spoken all of the time by the old people. We must ensure that our little ones hear Oneida and learn to speak Oneida. A ten year plan was developed to connect Elders with Oneida Language/ Culture Trainees in a semi-immersion process which would produce speakers and teachers of Oneida language. Our goal is to hear our Oneida language spoken throughout our community.

In the spring of 1996, ten Elders were transferred to the Language Revitalization Program and five trainees were transferred that summer. We have since lost our beloved speaker, Mary Jourdan. Two of our elders are over 90 years old. Nine Elders have worked with the Trainees: Lydia Denny, Hudson Doxtator, Melinda Doxtator, Luella Elm, Leona Smith, Helen Skenandore, Margaret Summers, Lavinia Webster, and Loretta Webster. The Elders work with the Trainees every morning in the semi-immersion process. The Oneida Language Trainees are: Inez Skenandore, Mike