Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians
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The Athabaskan Language

Our Language is as old as time itself. For countless generations our people lived out their lives speaking our words. In all that time, our words were never written. They were carried in the hearts and minds of our ancestors. They were learned by each generation and in turn taught to the next. For all of our history up to the 1850's our people prospered, by obeying the Laws of the Creator and living in balance with the land. With the arrival of the Europeans a tragedy began to unfold for our People, which in many ways extends to this day.

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Language

The Athabaskan Language

The Siletz Language Program is directly focused on SW OR / NW CA Athabaskan. Over the past four and a half years, work in the project has been developing a basic Language study program, and actively teaching classes in Siletz and our three Area offices, and also in the Siletz Valley School. We continue to partner with the Siletz Valley School to teach Language and Culture. Also available in the Tribal member only section of this web-site are the Siletz Dee-ni Language Volumes 1, 2 & 3.

These Three Volumes of Language study materials consist of voice recordings of words and sentences, and also hard copy word documents of the materials and are available to Tribal members on CD disc and on the Tribal member only section of this web-site. The distribution of Computers to most Tribal households coincided nicely with the beginning of this project, as almost all of our people have access to the technology that will in the long run, probably be one of our main teaching methods.

An Athabaskan Language Dictionary, "Nuu-wee-ya'" (Our words), has been compiled from many works over the last century and transliterated into the Practical Alphabet. It consists of roughly 400 pages and approximately 12,000 entries and reflects the dialectical differences of our Language. It is available in Tribal member only section of this web-site. The next major step will be a "Talking Dictionary" where users can select a word, click on an icon and hear the word being spoken. For any questions or additional information contact budl@ctsi.nsn.us or call  (800) 922-1399 ex. 1320 or (541) 444-8320.