By the next century, nearly half of the roughly 6,000 languages spoken on Earth will disappear, according to estimates by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Of those languages, in North America 54 Native American languages are already extinct and another 137 are in various degree of being endangered. Yet the positive benefits of speaking one’s native language include better academic performance, self-identity, mental and physical health, and more.
As an institution that seeks to honor and embrace their culture, Leech Lake Tribal College (LLTC) works diligently to model Anishinaabe values. In August 2014, LLTC officially became commercial tobacco-free, prohibiting use of all commercial tobacco products on campus other than for ceremonial use.
At the center of the American Indian College Fund’s new campaign is a staggering statistic—less than 1 percent of college students are American Indian. The College Fund joined forces with longtime partner, Portland-based advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy, to create a public service announcement to increase enrollment.
The college fairs give students an opportunity to contemplate their higher education and career options. The American Indian College Fund will be attending each event and will have scholarship information available for students, and is sponsoring a $500 scholarship for a luck winner at each career fair site. People can also visit with representatives from in-state and out-of-state colleges and universities, technical and trade schools, military branches, agencies, and career representatives.