Lakota Language Bowl helps keep the native language alive

41 teams compete using Lakota language

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Over 200 kids from kindergarten through 12th grade will compete Wednesday and Thursday in Lakota language-driven challenges during the Lakota Nation Invitational in Rapid City.

The 19th annual Lakota Language Bowl began at 9 a.m. sharp Wednesday and competitions continue through Thursday.

Students are from schools across South Dakota and parts of North Dakota.

According to LNI Language Bowl Coordinator Kellee Brewer, Lakota Language programs are dying across the state, so they’re trying to get as many kids involved in the language as they can.

There are 41 teams, made up of five people each that will partake in four different competitions, including, speed vocabulary, traditional demonstrations, traditional songs and media through technology.

Brewer says the average age of speakers of the Lakota language is 72 years old, and now, preserving the language is a top priority. “In 25 years, this language could be gone. We are at a very critical state and we need to get the language in schools and push it as much as we can. We do not want to lose our language, so the LNI is helping us with that,” said Brewer.

Three prizes will be awarded to each competition’s top placers.

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