Humboldt County higher education, once part of a nationwide
system dedicated to the destruction of Native American languages,
may soon help nourish the survival of one.
While local elementary, middle and high schools have offered
Yurok language courses in recent years to young children through
the tribes Head Start program, local colleges have yet to
do the same.
As we reported earlier this week (CR may offer Yurok language
classes, Times-Standard, Feb. 21, Page A4), that may soon
change at the College of the Redwoods.
This is good news.
Its also a welcome sign that United States educational
institutions have evolved over the years to help preserve Native
American knowledge and culture rather than repressing it.
As any student of language quickly learns, much can be lost
in translation. As any student of history learns, too much has been
Thanks to a partnership between the college and the Yurok Tribe,
and a federal grant, CR plans to hire former Yurok Tribal language
program coordinator Carole Lewis as a professor. The first courses
are set to start next school year at CRs Klamath-Trinity satellite
campus, although plans are still being finalized. Yurok Tribal language
program coordinator Victoria Carlson said she hopes the program
expands to other CR campuses, and eventually to Humboldt State University.
Kich i roo. Its time.