Cahill states two ways to quickly identify when a language is on its way to becoming endangered. One is when the "children in the community do not speak the native language of their parents, and the other is when there are only a small number of people left in the ethnolinguistic community" that know how to speak the language (Bonvillain). In specific, the Cherokee language fits into the category of an endangered language in the United Sates because less and less speakers speak it and because it is taught less often to younger generations as well. Although Cherokee, a language containing its own rules in grammar, morphemes, syntax, and phonetics, was once a language spoken in vast areas around the United States by native peoples, the language struggles to survive albeit historical foreign attack and current domination of other languages such as English. The Cherokee language is spoken today by about fourteen thousand people in western North Carolina and northeastern Oklahoma.
16. Vogeler, Ingolf. Map of Indian Reservations. 1996. 15 May 2004.
Indigenous people are an integral part of our nation's life and history. Yet most Americans think of their Indian neighbors as stereotypes; they are completely uninformed about them as modern individuals. Little is known about their history, culture, and contributions of our Native people. Prior to taking this course, I was one of them. In our currant world, it is essential for every American to know, understand, and share the lives of these First Nation individuals.
This tribe is federally recognized by the United States Government and the majority of the tribal members are located on the Osage Reservation in north-central Oklahoma, but members of this tribe are throughout North America. This tribe is ever flowing and changing, this can be seen in the fact that they moved constantly but also their original name. The Osage were originally known as Ni-u-ko’n-ska and that means “children of the middle waters”. Their name later changed to Wah-Zha-Zhi which was translated by French explorers, who had come to America, and was later the English word Osage (Brief History). The Osage got this name because initially their territory ranged from between the Arkansas River to the Mississippi River and then up along both sides of the Ohio River up into Pennsylvania.
Another source related to Native American languages is a Chinook vocabulary dictionary written in 1886 used to translate things into Chinook. Although Chinook is not understandable by people who speak Kalapuya, it is from the same linguistic family and could be a vital part of history. It is somewhat a handbook to Indian Languages seeing as most languages in the Oregon area have similar words and common grammatical structure. The Kalapuya language is now just a memory and since is not spoken anymore has become a part of history. Oregon is full of Native American history and is still home to thousands of Native American people.
Although more than 200 of the plants that American Indians (from North, Meso-, and South America) used as remedies became part of the U.S. Pharmacopoeia, an official listing of all effective medicines, the originators of these remedies often remain unacknowledged. Freeze-dried food, syringes, rootbeer, rubberized clothing, beef jerky, and many of the tenets of the United States Constitution are only a few of the independent inventions and original discoveries that American Indian people gave to the world. American Indian agriculture has had a significant effect on worldwide agriculture and economy. Jack Weatherford, in his book Indian Givers: How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the World, pointed out that Indians cultivated over 300 food crops, and contributed to the world three- fifths of the crops now in cultivation. The Indian farmers of North and South America gave the world corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, beans, pumpkins, squash, chocolate, vanilla, papayas, persimmons, jicama, pecans, chilies, hickory nuts, peanuts, cassava, sunflower seeds, maple syrup, tapioca, and avocados.
One tribe in particular, the Pueblo Indians of the Upper Rio Grande River, survived this change and still thrives in what is now present-day New Mexico. In fact, the Pueblo culture is recognized as one of North America’s oldest. It comes as no surprise that the Pueblo culture survived due to learning to deal effectively with change, even when that change was forced upon them. When European settlers came into the Upper Rio Grande River area, they disturbed the sanctity of the Pueblo Indians’ way of life. As a result of such change being forced upon the Indians, the area they inhabited became one the most conflicting regions during the settlement of the New World.
Ancestral Puebloans: The Southwest American Indians "Man corn", warfare and atlatls were not the only interesting aspects of the Anasazi culture. The history and lifestyles of the Ancestral Puebloans may have contributed to their mysterious disappearance. Their societies were more complex than most humans realize. The Anasazi, or to be politically correct, the Ancestral Puebloans, traveled to the Southwest from Mexico around 100 A.D. (Southwest Indian Relief Council, 2001). The word "Anasazi" originated from the Navajo word that translates to "ancestral enemies."