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Mashpee Wampanoag language school planned

November 7, 2013

MASHPEE, Mass. (AP) — The Mashpee Wampanoag Indian tribe plans to open a language immersion charter school as part of its efforts to preserve and revitalize the tribal tongue.

Jessie “Little Doe” Baird, who has spent more than a decade reconstructing the Wampanoag language, said the idea for the school came as she researched other tribal language projects, especially those in New Zealand and Hawaii, where immersion schools have been started.

She tells the Cape Cod Times (http://bit.ly/1atkeUg ) the project has been in the works for years, because the first task was to teach adults the language so they could teach children.

The goal is to open the elementary school in 2015.

The Wampanoag language was once spoken by tens of thousands in southeastern New England. It fell into disuse by the mid-19th century.

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Information from: Cape Cod (Mass.) Times, http://www.capecodonline.com

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