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Wampanoag Language Reclamation Project

Per longstanding memoranda of understanding and WLRP’s by-laws, the Tribal Language Department is staffed by the community-run intertribal non-profit organization, the Wôpanâak Language and Cultural Weety8, Inc., also known as the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project (WLRP). WLRP is governed by a Board of Directors and Language Committee drawn from all tribal household members who enroll as language students. WLRP’s Language Committee members and Board of Directors meet monthly to review project activities, progress, policies, and funding.

Founded more than twenty years ago with the key objective of reclaiming Wôpanâôt8âôk (Wampanoag language) as the principal means of expression within the Wampanoag Tribal Nation, WLRP’s efforts have gained international recognition for becoming the first American Indian community to reclaim and revitalize a sleeping tribal language after many generations without living speakers. This unprecedented effort was made possible through formal linguistics training in Algonquian languages, and by working with the largest Native-written corpus of 17th and 18th century documents in North America translated and written by Wampanoag people—including the King James Bibles of 1663 and 1680, and hundreds of personal letters, wills, deeds, and land transactions written in Wôpanâôt8âôk. Wampanoag people were also the first American Indians to develop and use an alphabetic writing system. Read more at wlrp.org

 

Documentary film on WLRP from Makepeace Productions