A major grant to the Passamaquoddy Tribe from the ANA (Administration for Native Americans), a part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, brings Speaking Place back to the Passamaquoddy reservations to collaborate on new educational and language revival efforts. This project builds on their previous partnership documenting endangered language, with their Natural Group Conversation (NGC) family of methods, including the online Passamaquoddy-Maliseet Language Portal (PMPortal.org). The current project includes training a team of teachers to start and maintain two Passamaquoddy immersion schools for preschoolers and develop a training program for tribal members who understand but cannot speak their language (Fluent Comprehenders ).
The Fluent Comprehender component will employ the Passamaquoddy Portal as well as a range of educational and personal practices developed by the team to meet specific educational needs and to wake up language speaking capacity in that group. Often neglected by those in the linguistics and education fields, this important group could, with the right support, represent the best hope for many endangered language communities. They are a key focus of the Passamaquoddy Tribe’s ongoing language revival efforts.