Lakota is dangerously close to extinction. Recent linguistic surveys and anecdotal evidence reveal that Lakota speakers of all abilities, on and around the reservations of North Dakota and South Dakota, amounted to fewer than 6,000 persons, representing just 14% of the total Lakota population.
Today, the average Lakota speaker is near 65 years old. These existing speakers are dying and are not being replaced by new Lakota-speaking generations. According to our recent analysis, the language stopped being transmitted to children during the mid-1950s. LLC's effort to reverse this factor relies on creating a new generation of Lakota speakers while there are still native speakers available to be teachers.
The Department of Anthropology offers elementary and intermediate courses through Linguistic Anthropology. The American Indian Studies Research Institute has ongoing research projects and the First Nations Educational and Cultural Center offers additional resources and events throughout the year.