The Nisenan are a tribe that has lived in Northern California around the Sacramento region for centuries. But the Nisenan language has been disappearing, with only one living documented Nisenan speaker who lives in Oregon.
Alan Wallace from Colfax, California, wants to change that. He’s working to preserve the Nisenan language through plays and music to get younger generations immersed in their language.
Wallace says it’s hard to pinpoint one cause for the language’s disuse, but a big factor has been the erasure of Indigenous cultures through residential schools that punished students for speaking their native language.
CapRadio sits on the lands of the Nisenan and Miwok tribes.
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