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Collaborations – LTS and the Northwest Indian Language Institute (NILI)

LTS students who wish to focus on teaching and developing materials and curriculum for indigenous language revitalization (particularly languages of the Northwest, such as the Sahaptin language family, Tolowa Dee-ni’, and chinuk wawa) are supported by the close connection between LTS and the Northwest Indian Language Institute (NILI) at the University of Oregon.

Marnie Atkins (center, class of 2012) with LTS MA project committee members Janne Underriner (NILI Director) and Robert Elliott (NILI Associate Director)

Shayleen Eaglespeaker, Connor Yiamkis, and Brittany Parham (cohorts 2019 & 2020)

While all LTS faculty appreciate the important socio-historical factors that shape indigenous language revitalization efforts, several faculty who teach in LTS (NILI Director Janne Underriner and NILI Associate Directors Joana Jansen and Robert Elliott) have specific expertise in indigenous language linguistics and pedagogy, and have their academic home in NILI.

Pyuwa Bommelyn and fellow cohort member Marc Arndt at the 2011 LTS commencement ceremony

Pyuwa Bommelyn and fellow cohort member Marc Arndt at the 2011 LTS commencement ceremony

MA students in both LTS and in the Linguistics PhD program have worked as Graduate Employees at NILI and/or have taught language classes to students at UO. LTS students volunteer on NILI projects and special events, such as NILI Summer Institute, and NILI faculty are on the MA project committees that have focused on indigenous languages. As of 2018, Gabriela Pérez Báez has also joined the Linguistics Department faculty and is associated with NILI. Her Language Revitalization Lab is an additional resource to support individuals working on endangered languages.


Roger Jacob (class of 2010) and Regan Anderson (class of 2015) teaching at NILI Summer Institute

Regan Anderson and elder Virginia Beavert studying an Ichishkíin text

Past project titles include:

An Adaptive Place–Conscious Ichishkíin Materials Portfolio (Joliene Adams)

Reclaiming Home Domains in a Yakima Ichishkíin Language Classroom (Regan Anderson)

An Online Materials Portfolio for the Self-study of the Chinuk Wawa Language (Megan Walker)

Strategies for an Indigenous Self-Apprenticeship Language Learning Program (Marnie Atkins)

Dee-ni’ Mee’ne’ Wee-ya’ Lhetlh-xat: Dee-ni’ Home Language Class (Pyuwa Bommelyn)

Naktkwanint Tinwiki (To take care of things the Indian way): Teaching Materials to Benefit Yakama Language Learning and Natural Resource Management (Roger Jacob)


Beth Sheppard (class of 2008) and advisor Janne Underriner


Pyuwa Bommelyn teaching at the beautiful UO Many Nations Longhouse

Bringing your Language Home: A Workshop and Materials for Pacific Northwest Families Involved in Language Revitalization (Beth Sheppard)

Please visit NILI’s website to read more about NILI.