10/23/08 - Push on to revive dying language


Her soft eyes creased with age, Alvena Oldman remembers how the teachers at St. Stephens boarding school on the Wind River Reservation would strike students with rulers when they dared to talk in their native Arapaho. "We were afraid to speak it," said Oldman, 69. "We knew we would be punished." More than a 50 years later, only about 200 Arapaho speakers survive, and tribal leaders at Wind River, Wyoming's only Indian reservation, fear that their language won't survive.