The Dupree High School Lakota I and II classes wrote two short stories this year and, with guidance from their instructor Marion Blue Arm, are getting them developed into real storybooks and published to help people learn Lakota language in an entertaining way.
The first book is entitled “Matȟóla Ločhíŋ” and is about Matȟóla, a hungry boy. The book tells the story of Matȟóla coming home hungry and seeing his mother cooking. He keeps guessing what she’s making for supper and when he finally gets it right, he gets to eat. Through the book people learn the Lakota words for many favorite foods.
The second book, “Ithúŋkala Wakpá kin Iyúweǧa Čhiŋ” is about a little mouse who wants to cross the river to get home, but the river is churning with busy waves and high water. In the process of trying to cross safely, he asks many animals for help. No one will help him until in the end a friendly beaver takes him across the river to be reunited with his family. Readers learn the Lakota vocabulary for many animals while enjoying this book.
Both books will be published by the Lakota Language Consortium (LLC). The LLC is a non-profit organization which also produces Lakota language textbooks (used at Dupree School), a Lakota dictionary, and a number of online apps that are very helpful in learning and understanding Lakota.
Some of the apps are an online dictionary, their virtual textbook readers and Owóksape, a Lakota language learning app modeled on DuoLingo. The fact that the Dupree books will be published in real life is a great honor for the students and the community!