Native Languages of the Americas: Preserving and promoting American Indian languages
Welcome to Native Languages of the Americas! We are a small non-profit organization
dedicated to the survival of Native American languages, particularly through the use of Internet technology.
Our website is not beautiful. Probably, it never will be. But this site has inner beauty, for it is, or will be, a compendium of
online materials about more than 800 indigenous languages of the Western Hemisphere and the people that speak them.
Some of the links we provide are more useful than others. We are not responsible for the
content of any of the external sites we link to. We have tried to provide the most complete directory
of Native American Indian language materials available. If a link is dead, or you have one to add, or if
there is a mistake on our site you would like to correct, information you would like us to
add, or admiration you wish to express, here is our contact page, also
with answers to frequently asked questions. If you are looking for Orrin's homepage,
we moved it from here to give more prominence to the Native American language pages.
Feel free to link to this site or to any of the pages in it. Also, you have our permission to cite this information or pass it on
to others in any way that would be useful. Our goal is to make it easier to learn about, preserve, and
revive Native American languages by using the Internet. This is a public service on our part. All the information about American Indians
and American Indian languages was written by Orrin Lewis, Laura Redish, or our friend Nancy Sherman, who has kindly agreed to let us use
them. We make every possible effort to honor any request from Indian tribes and nations regarding the information we have provided about
them, and we will listen carefully to requests from other people as well.
Thank you for your interest in Native American languages.
Laura Redish, Director
Orrin Lewis, Tribal Coordinator
Actually, Native American languages do not belong to a single Amerindian family, but 25-30 small ones; they are usually discussed together
because of the small numbers of natives speaking most of these languages and how little is known about many of them. There are around 25
million native speakers of the more than 800 surviving Amerind languages. The vast majority of these speakers live in Central and South
America, where language use is vigorous. In Canada and the United States, only about half a million native speakers of an Amerind tongue
Click on a language family to see a linguistic tree of that family and links about the group. Click on a language name to see a description and
links about that language, as well as information about the American Indian people who speak it.
Our site is designed to present information about American Indian languages contextually--language by language and tribe by tribe.
These are linguistically diverse languages deserving of individual attention, and it is very difficult to make accurate generalizations
about them as a group. However, our site is also unfinished and may be of limited use to people seeking information on a language
we have not yet covered. For this reason, we are providing some links to the main pages of sites with information about many different
Native American languages. Hopefully if you are looking for a language we have not finished work on yet, these sites can provide
a starting point for your search.