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Fight to save indigenous languages topic of Rapid City summit

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SIOUX FALLS (AP) -- Hundreds of tribal members and tribal educators from all over the country are in western South Dakota for a three-day summit focusing on language revitalization.

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The annual Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Language Summit started Thursday in Rapid City. It seeks to find ways to revitalize tribal languages. This is the fifth year for the event, which brings together Sioux tribes from North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Montana and Canada as well as tribes from other parts of the country to share their best practices and techniques for improving fluency.

Summit organizer Mike Carlow says this year's focus will be on language immersion schools and creating a strategic plan for long-term revitalization. He says the biggest obstacle to increasing fluency is a lack of exposure.

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