Efforts to Preserve American Indian Sign Language

The above video is a story told by Ron Garritson using American Indian Sign Language.  AISL is an often forgotten about endangered language, although there is a strong effort being made to help revitalize and preserve it.  This past September, an American Indian Sign Language Conference was held in Browning, Montana by the University of Tennessee, Friends of the Museum of the Plains Indians, and Blackfeet Community College.  It was the first AISL conference in over 80 years and commemorated a 1930 Conference under the same name.  Descendants of those present in the 1930 Conference, signers of all ages and skill levels, as well as others interested in preserving AISL were encouraged to come.  The conference featured many presenters, performances, workshops, games, and discussions, including a formal documentation of modern AISL.

The following website has a lot of great information about the history and preservation effort of AISL along with information about the 2012 AISL Conference:

http://sunsite.utk.edu/pisl/

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