Tribal leaders estimate there are fewer than 40 native Hoocąk speakers left in the entire country

By Sarah Lehr

On a recent summer day, about half a dozen teenagers gathered alongside their elders inside the Ho-Chunk Community Center in Black River Falls.

They met in western Wisconsin to record Hoocąk (pronounced “Ho-Chunk”) words and phrases for an upcoming app, designed to help people learn the language in the digital age.

“By the time we get done with this, we’ll be able to enter all of these sound recordings today into … the matrix, I guess, that we have set up for the app,” Ho-Chunk Language Division Program Manager Adrienne Thunder told the group. “Our hope is to have somewhere around 40 units of language, so people can work with that on their own or alongside a class that they’re taking.”

Here is the link to the WPR story:

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