Spring 2018

In Our Own Words: Native Language Revival and Preservation in the Indigenous Americas

March 23rd and 24th 2018
McKenna Hall
University of Notre Dame


Click here to sign up for sessions

Conference Program

Click here for hotel reservations and information

Click here for travel information

For the live streaming click on the following link: https://notredame.zoom.us/j/697400166. Once you click on the link, you may be asked to download Zoom. Please download it and click on "join Meeting". Use the meeting number 697-400-166. 


Call for Papers

The Center for the Study of Languages & Cultures at the University of Notre Dame invites abstracts on Native American efforts to find a voice in perhaps the most appropriate place: their own native languages. Activism and organizing efforts are empowering Native communities to recapture their ways of living and knowing, and to recapture their cultural inheritance. Programs have sprung up to both rescue and revive languages on the brink of extinction. These efforts promote dialogue and commit to the building of cordial, collaborative relationships among tribal members and outside communities. The Let’s Talk 2018 conference taps into and expands the spirit of the mutual desire for friendly and productive partnerships.

This conference will highlight efforts across the United States and in the Indigenous Americas to reclaim native tongues and, at the same time, allow for exploration of issues tied to them, such as notions of identity and community, the role of academia within traditional community structures, changing language, and indigenous activism.

The organizers of this conference strongly encourage submissions from scholars, educators, community members, and administrators in addition to emerging scholars for the undergraduate and graduate student panels.

Potential paper topics include but are not limited to:

  • Innovations and best practices among tribal language-learning programs
  • Model programs and their successes in the North, South, and Central America and the Caribbean
  • Integrating language and culture in traditional and modern settings
  • Language, accessibility and translation services in specific situations (justice, health, education)
  • Imagining indigenous language and cultural presence in the future
  • Re-imagining “study-abroad” and cultural immersion - opening doors between nations
  • Building partnerships between universities/colleges and indigenous language communities
  • Providing indigenous language instruction in elementary and middle schools through community engagement
  • Indigenous language focus and the empowerment of minority cultures in the community

Abstracts should be 250-300 words and submitted by February 9, 2018.
Submission Portal

For more information, please contact:
Andrea Topash-Rios, Associate Teaching Professor (atopash@nd.edu) Department of Romances Languages and Literatures
Elena Mangione-Lora, Associate Teaching Professor (Mangione.5@nd.edu) Department of Romances Languages and Literatures
Brian Collier, Director of the American Indian Catholic Schools Network and Coordinator of Supervision for the Alliance for Catholic Education (Brian.Collier@nd.edu) 



  • Office of the President
  • American Indian Catholic Schools Network
  • Browning Cinema at DeBartolo Performing Arts Center
  • Center for the Study of Languages & Cultures 
  • Center for Social Concerns
  • Department of Film, Television and Theater
  • Department of Romance Languages and Literatures
  • Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts (ISLA) - Henkels
  • Office of Multicultural Student Programs and Services
  • Office of Public Affairs and Communication 
  • Native American Initiatives
  • Native American Student Association of Notre Dame