The following is an assignment from the current FutureLearn course I'm taking, Introduction to Intercultural Studies: Language and Culture
The Potawatomi language, spoken by members of the Potawatomi tribe of North America, is in real danger of becoming extinct. It is in the Algonquin language family. Recent numbers place the amount of speakers to lower than 25. The language's decline resulted from the history of contact with Europeans and Americans and eventual suppression that most native groups faced. In addition, many of the native speakers are elderly. Revitalization of the language has been in the hands of the Potowatomi themselves as each of their nine bands, which reside in Michigan, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Canada, have a language department that provides resources. In Michigan, for example, classes are offered at a high school and college level. Hence, younger generations can gain access and keep the language alive. For the Potowatomi, such efforts means culture is also maintained, given the language is key to the group's cultural teachings and practices. contains Such situations, in my view, demonstrate the interconnected nature of language and culture. It is thus essential to preserve language to preserve culture.