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Acoma Pueblo to host Release Event for Keres Online Dictionary

For immediate release

Acoma Pueblo to host Release Event for Keres Online Dictonary 2.0

Keres Language revitalization project  takes huge leap forward with release of new dictionary and other tools

ACOMA PUEBLO, New Mexico, October 3 — The Acoma Department of Education is hosting a community event on October 18 to celebrate the release of a historic new dictionary and other language tools, and honor the Keres Language Warriors who helped make it happen.

Keres Dictionary Release Flyer
Keres Dictionary Release Flyer

The release of these new language tools is a major milestone for the Keres Language Project and the resurgence of the Keres Language.

The Keres Online Dictionary 2.0 is a historic achievement. With nearly 10,000 words, including audio recordings, the Dictionary is one of the largest indigenous language dictionaries every published for a New Mexican tribe.

And it was produced in only 18 months — a fraction of the time it normally takes to produce a dictionary for an endangered language — thanks to the deployment a remarkable “Rapid Word Collection” workshop that united many of the Pueblo’s last speakers, recorded their language in only two weeks, and generated huge enthusiasm and media attention.

The event will also introduce two other Keres language digital products: the Keres Vocab builder, a free app for Android and iPhones and tablet that helps build vocabulary in a game-like format, and an online Pronunciation Guide to the orthography of the language.

“We’re thrilled about the release of the dictionary and supporting tools, and the opportunity to demonstrate continued progress on the Keres Language project to the community” said Stanley Holder, Executive Director for the Pueblo of Acoma Department of Education.

“These are foundational tools for a comprehensive and sustainable language revitalization project, and we plan to employ them extensively, from early childhood and K-8 schools to adult education settings” added Holder. “The entire project has brought people together and provided a powerful vision and real hope to this community that their language can in fact be preserved and revitalized for generations to come.”

The Release Event is scheduled to take place on Thursday, October 18 from 2:00 to 4:30 pm at the Acoma Learning Center, and is open to the community and public.

Expected attendees include: 1st Lieutenant Governor Raymond J. Concho; Executive Director Stanley Holder, President Melissa Garcia, and Board Secretary Melayna Ortiz for the Pueblo of Acoma Department of Education; several representatives from the Native Speakers Group who recorded the words; and Wil Meya, executive director of  The Language Conservancy, which has provided ongoing technical support on the Project.

The event will include refreshments, demonstrations of the new tools, and a tablet giveaway to one of the participants of the Keres Vocab Builder demo.

Also happening in the Pueblo during the week of October 15-19 is “Braiding the Sacred,” a week-long tribute to ancestral sacred corn and to their stewards, organized by a growing network of indigenous corn keepers.

The Pueblo of Acoma Department of Education was established in 2007 by the Acoma Tribal Council to develop quality educational services for the people of Acoma Pueblo.

The Language Conservancy (TLC) is a nonprofit organization that collaborates with Native American tribes on their language revitalization projects by developing programs and materials (from dictionaries to mobile apps), teacher trainings and advocacy projects.