Washo is considered by some linguists to be part of the Hokan family
of languages, distantly related to a number of other California languages few of which have been spoken in decades.
Language loss in California and Nevada has been especially severe--the legacy of the Gold Rush days, in which massacres
and Indian slavery, while technically illegal, were not actively discouraged. The Washo language is only spoken today
by a handful of elders, but some young Washoes are working to keep their ancestral language alive.