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Planning & Development Update

Through the efforts of our Comanche Language and Cultural Preservation Committee and the Comanche Nation Language Planning Group, the Comanche Tribal Council voted to approve the planning, development, and implementation of a new Comanche Language Department for fiscal year 2019. The department was slated to begin in October 2018 and now we are on the road to the revitalization and reclamation of the Comanche language. The newly established department office is located at the Comanche Nation Education Center, 1608 SW 9th Street, Lawton, OK. The language department is the main point of contact for Comanche language for all tribal programs and the community.


In the month of April, the department has:


  • Onboarded the Language Coordinator and Information & Communications Specialist Positions

  • Maintained an online identity via social media pages on Facebook and Instagram as well as secured the website domain which will serve as a platform for departmental news, updates, and learning materials  

  • Launched a pilot survey about language which will help shape the final five-year strategic plan for Nʉmʉtekwapʉ̠, our Comanche language; this will be distributed via printed and online surveys

  • Continued to secure identified archived materials which include printed, analog, and digital media  

  • Continued to identify additional resources held by various institutions and individuals

  • Continued to develop an online strategy for the purpose of making the language more accessible to local and non-local tribal citizens

  • Continued to work on the five-year strategic plan for language planning and development

  • Established and strengthened critical relationships within the community including tribal members, elder speakers, tribal departments, language teachers, language advocates, and stakeholders

  • Prepared more levels of phrases for the Comanche learning modules on the Memrise App and website,

  • Identified more recordings of speakers from the early 2000s

  • Current and Upcoming Projects:

  • Planning for a visit from the consultant, Jacob Manitoba-Bailey, as a part of the grant from the Mica Group.

  • Planning more community game nights for May and June.

  • Livestream Community Meetings

  • Online Language Surveys

  • Long-term Strategic Planning which will include the creation of a central language archive

  • Revising the teacher certification process to include service hour requirements, field observations, and professional development provided to our certified language teachers by the Comanche Nation Language Department

  • Language workshops for Shoshonean-Numic Language Reunion and Comanche Nation Fair in September 2019

  • Development of resources and language curriculum including textbooks, workbooks, and recordings

  • Children’s book series

  • The creation of an online dictionary and relational database, and local, online, and school and college classes

  • Working on the trip to the National Archives for Dr. Briner ’s proposed project, “Nʉmʉ Tekwa!/Speak Comanche!” has been selected for funding by the Smithsonian Institutions’ Recovering Voices Community Research Program to work with written and recorded Comanche materials in the Smithsonian’s National Anthropological Archives for a week in August 2019. She and her team will from the archival materials that include records dating back to the 1840s in order to trace the way the Comanche language has changed and grown. This work will ultimately feed into the language department’s online project which focuses on creating the first online Comanche dictionary and learning tool.


More funding news:


Dr. Briner has also won a grant from The Endangered Language Fund and the Native Voices Endowment in order to document conversational Comanche language this summer and to create language materials for the Shoshonean-Numic Language Reunion and the Comanche Nation Fair.


In August 2018, the Comanche Language Planning Group was selected to participate in Pathways On A Language Landscape: Next Steps Pilot Project. This technical assistance grant, awarded by the MICA Group, has been helping the Comanche Nation Language Department by providing technical support, expertise, and guidance in the area of language revitalization.


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