How do you save a language when the culture it sprang from has been severely damaged by centuries of colonialist action?
That’s the central question addressed in “Rising Voices,” a new documentary premiering tonight on World Channel. The film explores the efforts of Lakota people who are fighting to keep their language alive in the 21st century.
Directed by Lawrence Hott and Diane Garey, the film explores just some of the work of The Language Convervancy, an organization dedicated to preserving Native culture and languages in the United States. According to the film’s website, there are nearly 170,000 members of the Lakota nation (primarily in North and South Dakota), but only 6,000 of them speak the language. The subjects and advocates profiled in the film offer a seldom seen portrait of Lakota life and cultural preservation efforts.
“Rising Voices” premieres tonight on World Channel at 8 p.m. EST. Check out the trailer above, and visit the film’s website to learn more about its genesis and featured subjects.