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17th Annual Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium

“Language and Place”

Call for Proposals
June 25 - 27, 2010
University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon

Proposal Due Date: November 30, 2009 by 5:00 pm PST

The University of Oregon and the Northwest Indian Language Institute are pleased to announce
that we will be hosting the 17th Annual Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium
held June 25, 26, and 27, 2010. The University of Oregon, in Eugene,
sits on ancestral lands of the Kalapuya people.

Language and Place are intrinsically tied together. Indigenous thought and lifeways are rooted in the
places people have lived since time immemorial. With this thought in mind, please submit proposals
that support these ideas through educating and informing language workers, advocates, programs, and
linguists from around the world.

Symposium session information

We invite you to submit a proposal that will fit in one of four venues: workshops, demonstrations, poster
sessions, and panel sessions. The symposium committee will select proposals that focus on language
documentation, revitalization, maintenance, methodology, research, practices, and teaching which
address and/or incorporate the Language and Place theme.

We are especially seeking presentations that inform and educate Symposium participants on the best
practices in language revitalization/maintenance; not presentations which primarily promote a specific
company, product, service, or solution. Sessions will range in time from 45, 60, and 90 minute blocks.

Important dates
Complete proposals must be received on November 30, 2009 by 5:00 pm PST. Late submissions will
be accepted at the discretion of the SILS Committee. Online and email submissions are highly

The committee will contact you on or before January 29, 2010 to let you know if your proposal has been
selected for presentation at the Symposium. All decisions are final.

Symposium waste-free goal

In being mindful of our environment, our goal is to be a waste-free event. Therefore we encourage
presenters and participants alike to help in this effort to avoid unnecessary waste or excessive use of
paper. To this end, we encourage presenters to offer digital materials to participants when at all possible.
We would be glad to offer the Symposium website as a place for participants to download materials
before or after the Symposium. Please let us know if you would like to take advantage of this offer.
Symposium proposals should include the following:
Name of the person(s) who will be part of the session
Affiliation (tribe, nation, organization, etc.)
Title and description of the session - up to 300 words
Audio, visual, computer needs - *please note, we cannot provide lap top computers
Type of session (workshop, presentation, panel session, poster session)
Length of session (45, 60, 90 minutes)
Presenter(s) profile(s) - on a separate page please include the following information about each presenter
in your proposal: name, title (if applicable), affiliation (tribe, nation, organization, university, etc.),
contact information (including email and phone number), and a biography of no more than 100 words
per presenter.
*Please indicate if you are willing to make your handouts digitally available before and/or after the SILS

Something Different at SILS 2010

This year we would like to offer a space for language groups, alliances, and organizations to meet. If
you are a leader of a language organization, please send in a one page Meeting Proposal. Be sure to
include: your group name, name and contact information for your group’s main person/contact, expected
number of participants, and the type of meeting you will be having (business meeting,
language/language family work group, open discussion forum, etc.). Also, indicate if the meeting is
open for anyone to attend. A meeting agenda would be a good resource to include with the proposal, if

Please mail your session proposal information to:

SILS 2010
NILI - University of Oregon
Attn: SILS Committee
1629 Moss Street
Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

Send via email to:

For updated conference information and documents visit the SILS 2010 website at:

Important Dates
SILS Proposals due - November 30, 2009 by 5:00 pm PST
Notification of proposal acceptance - January 29, 2010
SILS 2010 - June 25, 26, and 27, 2010
A Brief History of the Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium (SILS)
The First Symposium focused on creating an agenda for reversing language shift and was held on
November 16-18, 1994 at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, and featured some the
leading figures in the field of minority language preservation. The symposium had four roundtables.
They were on needs and rationale, community issues, education, and policy. It was hosted by Northern
Arizona University (NAU) with assistance from the Bilingual Unit of the Arizona Department of
Education, The Hopi Tribe, Navajo Community College, The Navajo Nation, Tuba City Unified School
District #15, and EAC - West, Las Vegas, New Mexico. The conference was planned by Gina Cantoni,
Benjamin Barney, Robert Luis Carrasco, Deborah House, Richard Littlebear, and Gary McLean and
facilitated by Robert Arnold, Benjamin Barney, William Demmert, Joshua Fishman, Richard Littlebear,
Dan McLaughlin, John Oller, and Jon Reyhner. Dick Heiser played a major role in organizing the
symposium, and it was funded with a grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Bilingual
Education and Minority Languages Affairs.

The Second Symposium was held on May 4-6, 1995 at NAU and also included many tribal educators
from throughout Arizona. The second symposium was also funded with the grant from the U.S.
Department of Education's Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs. Speeches,
session summaries, and submitted papers from the first and second symposia were published in
Stabilizing Indigenous Languages.

The Third Symposium was hosted by Dr. Richard Littlebear and held in Anchorage, Alaska, in February
1996 and brought together mostly Alaskan Native educators. No proceedings were published from this

The Fourth Symposium on "Sharing Effective Language Renewal Practices" was sponsored by NAU's
Center for Excellence in Education and Department of Modern Languages and held on May 1-3, 1997. It
was co-chaired by Dr. Evangeline Parsons Yazzie and Dr. Jon Reyhner. A selection of papers was
compiled from this conference and published under the title Teaching Indigenous Languages. A short
description of the Fourth Symposium can be found in the NABE News.

The Fifth Symposium on "Strategies for Language Renewal and Revitalization" was co-chaired by Dr.
Robert N. St. Clair and Dr. Evangeline Parsons Yazzie and held at Louisville, Kentucky on May 14-16,
1998. Dr. Gina Cantoni, Dr. Jon Reyhner, and Dr. Barbara Burnaby served on the symposium advisory
board. Papers from the conference were published in Revitalizing Indigenous Languages.

The Sixth Symposium was held on June 3-5, 1999 at the University of Arizona in Tucson and was
sponsored by the Twentieth Annual American Indian Language Development Institute (AILDI), which
was co-directed by Dr. Teresa L. McCarty and Dr. Ofelia Zepeda. Twenty-three papers from this
conference were published by the Center for Indian Education, Arizona State University in 2006 as One
Voice, Many Voices: Recreating Indigenous Language Communities. This book as well as many other
valuable journals and books can be found on the ASU Center for Indian Education website at:

The Seventh Symposium on "Language Across the Community" was held on May 11-14, 2000 at The
Toronto Colony Hotel in Toronto, Canada. The conference chair was Dr. Barbara Burnaby of the
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. More than 500 people attended
this very successful conference, including indigenous language activists from across Canada and the
United States, Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hawai'i, and South America. Go to the conference

The Eighth Symposium on "Merging Tradition & Technology to Revitalize Indigenous Languages" was
co-chaired by Gary Owens and Jon Reyhner and held on June 14-16, 2001 at Northern Arizona
University in Flagstaff, Arizona. Go to Conference Program (pdf file).

The Ninth Symposium was held at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, June 9-11, 2002.

The Tenth Symposium was hosted by the Ho Chunk Nation on June 25-28, 2003 in Wisconsin Dells,
WI. Selected papers from the 8th, 9th, and 10th conferences are included in Nurturing Native

The Eleventh Symposium was held in Berkeley, California on June 11-13, 2004. It was chaired by
Leanne Hinton and hosted by the Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival and the
University of California at Berkeley. Selected papers from the conference are published in Report 14 of
the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages titled Language is Life.

The 2005 Symposium was held on June 2-5, 2005 in Victoria, British Columbia, at the University of

The 2006 Symposium was chaired by Lori Quigley and held on May 18-21, 2006, in Buffalo, New York
and was co-hosted by Buffalo State College's School of Education and the Seneca Nation of Indians. An
article by Christine Graef in News From Indian Country on this conference is on-line at

The 2007 Symposium was held in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, on June 1-3 and was hosted by Eastern
Michigan University and the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Nation and chaired by Margaret Noori.

The 15th Annual Symposium was held May 2 & 3, 2008 at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff,
Arizona. Selected papers and speeches from the 14th and 15th symposiums can be downloaded at

The 16th Annual Symposium was held from April 30 to May 2, 2009 at Arizona State University.

For many years the Native American Languages Issues (NALI) group held annual conferences. Go to
Information on NALI.

To receive conference updates, join the Indigenous-L list at: