Language Keepers addresses a central dilemma in endangered language work: the decline and loss of public group discourse. When a language is no longer spoken in groups outside the family or in public, it cannot be effectively passed on or documented.
The loss of public speaking is a serious symptom of language endangerment.
Language Keepers is an innovative approach combining descriptive linguistics, documentary video, and community outreach to revive speaker groups to use heritage language in traditional and contemporary activities while recording it for language learning, dictionary development, research, cultural transmission, and revival.
Language Keepers is a project of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Documenting Endangered Languages Program. The documentation has taken place at the Passamaquoddy communities of Pleasant Point and Indian Township (Maine), and Tobique First Nation Reserve (New Brunswick, Canada). For more information visit the Language Keepers website. Northeast Historic Film acted as the fiscal sponsor for the NSF and NEH grants.
Below are still images with Passamaquoddy subtitles taken from the Language Keepers video series.