“This paper discusses the contribution of school-based mother-tongue literacy to the maintenance and renewal of endangered languages, with Navajo as the case in point. Although Navajo claims the most speakers among U.S. indigenous languages, the absolute number and relative proportion of Navajo speakers have declined drastically in the last 30 years. Language usage varies across the Navajo Reservation, depending on individual community histories and contact with English. English dominates the print environment, although other forces reinforce the primacy of oral Navajo.
“This book demonstrates that an indigenous teachers' group has the potential to transform the culture of schooling. Personal narratives by Yup'ik Eskimo teachers speak directly to issues of equity and school transformation. Their struggles represent the beginning of a slow process by a group of Yup'ik teachers (Ciulistet) and university colleagues to reconcile differences and conflict between the cultures of school and community.