AuthorHughes, Arlene Joyce
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract"I mi himtham, ath'o huhug heg jeveḍ." The statement above basically means 'in time, the world will end'. My father said this when he saw something that he did not like involving O'otham Himthag and Ñeok. I began teaching in the classroom to help in revitalizing our language and culture. Learning to read and write linked with teaching the language in the classroom. Akimel O'otham did not have an orthography until 2009 and today Gila River is still adjusting and learning to utilize this new orthography today. If Gila River Akimel O'otham wants to avoid the 'Big Ka-boom' does it mean we should start to read and write in O'otham to learn how to talk our language? While attending the University of Arizona's American Indian Language Development Institute (AILDI) I came across many tribes that have an orthography, others were working on one and some did not have one at all. I learned that reading and writing could benefit Gila River especially if we are at the point where persons 55 years and older are the only speakers. It is sad to say but these speakers will be gone one of these days. Gila River must have a plan in archiving Akimel O'otham Culture and Language in written and voice recordings to support the teaching of the language. The language and linguistics classes I took with instructors Luis Barragan and Stacey Oberly have expanded my knowledge in linguistics which encouraged me do reading and writing in the Akimel O'otham language. My language is an awesome language to study, full of surprising wonderments I never knew. I hope the Akimel O'otham world will not end; it is time to wake up, because it is time for the beginning.
Degree ProgramGraduate College