The bilingual school system of Zuni Pueblo in northwestern New Mexico has an important collection of books and posters written in the Zuni language, and the collection has of course become a great tool for passing on an endangered tradition to younger generations. In May, the University of New Mexico's Digital Initiatives and Scholarly Communication department stepped forward to make this Zuni Language Materials Collection more accessible to Zuni speakers, and potential speakers, living outside the Pueblo.
UNM student and Zuni Pueblo member Arin Peywa is working to put these materials online. Arin says that the Collection is for "people who are in the military, people who have been forced out of the Pueblo, and people who are like me and want to pursue a higher education and have to leave the reservation. A cousin of mine who lives in Korea and who lost 17 years of the language, when she saw the Collection online she said, Wow."
Arin shares with listeners a sample of the Zuni language in this longer version of the interview. She also talks about why the online Collection is such an important step forward. "Without the Zuni language there is no Zuni culture. We have to keep pushing to teach our youth and to understand that this language is who we are."