Paiute

Julia Ritchey

Students from three Reno high schools will compete in a Paiute language competition next week. As Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports, the students are part of a critical effort to preserve the endangered language.

"I'm going to assign you an animal, and what you're going to do is write clues as to what animal you are..."

Instructor Emma Williams is leading a class of about a dozen students at Spanish Springs High School in a Paiute language lesson based on the Pyramid Lake dialect.

Courtesy Academy for the Environment at UNR

Maureen McCarthy is executive director of the Academy for the Environment at University of Nevada, Reno. Two of the Academy's most recent projects involve working closely with farmers, water districts, and tribal communities to get a sense of how variations in climate affect the water they depend upon, and what can be done to mitigate those impacts. 

RSIC Language and Culture Program

Like many Native American tribes across the country, the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony is in a critical state of language loss. Only a handful of colony elders can speak the Great Basin languages of Paiute, Washoe, and Shoshone.

For our series “Taking Back History,” Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss looks at how the colony is trying to save these languages and why they haven’t been passed down.