Tongue Unbroken

Tongue Unbroken

The Tongue Unbroken (Tlél Wudakʼóodzi Ḵaa Lʼóotʼ) is a podcast about Native American language revitalization and decolonization, as seen through the eyes and mind of a multilingual Indigenous person who is Lingít, Haida, Yupʼik and Sami. This podcast explores complex concepts of identity, resilience, erasure, and genocide and features guests involved in language revitalization and decolonial efforts in Alaska, the United States, Canada, and New Zealand. This show hopes to connect to all audiences who wish to understand how over five hundred languages Indigenous to North America became endangered, and what actions individuals and groups have taken and can take to create a more equitable and brilliant future than that of American genocide.


October 17, 2022 101 mins

La quen náay Liz Medicine Crow and Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins join X̱ʼunei to look back on the spring of 2014 when they worked together with each other and others to pass a law that made Alaska Native Languages the co-official languages of Alaska. They talk about the process and how to create change through political methods, including how to defeat those with racist ideologies.

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Celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day with the brilliant and powerful Saankaláxtʻ Ernestine Hayes. Listen to her lecture titled, “An Alaska Native Memoir: Our Lives are Stories Telling Themselves” which was recorded by the Sealaska Heritage Institute during their fall lecture series. During her talk, she addresses the many harmful tactics of colonialism and ponders what Native America would be like now if colonialism had not happened. ...

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Executive Director Stephanie Witkowski and Board Chair Dr. Bill Rivers from 7000 Languages join X̱ʼunei to talk about technology and language learning, and how a commitment to bringing technology to language learning communities can help language movements. They talk about the history of the organization, current projects, the benefits and limitations of technology in language learning, and how to protect data sovereignty. Check ou...

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September 26, 2022 62 mins

Shiggoap Alfie Price and Barbara Belk from the Juneau Smʼalgya̱x Language Learners join to talk about how they started a grassroots learning group when they were far from home and did not have birth speakers around them. They talk about who they are, about their language, and how they got started and maintained a group of teachers and learners that are led by the language and respect. They also give advice on how people can get sta...

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September 19, 2022 99 mins

Travel back in time with the Tongue Unbroken! In episode 8 we listen to a panel presentation made at the University of Alaska Southeast, virtually, for Indigenous Peoplesʼ Day 2021. The panel is made up of powerhouses in Native American language revitalization, including Larry Kimura, Leslie Harper, Miqueʼl Dangeli, Joel Isaak, and Roy Mitchell.

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Fellow University of Alaska Southeast Professor Éedaa Heather Burge drops by to talk about teaching and learning Indigenous languages, and how to decolonize colonial institutions. She also shares her thoughts on staying afloat while working, teaching, learning, and finishing a PhD program at the same time. X̱ʼunei and Éedaa also talk about what to do with outdated racist texts and the sneaky way they still appear in publications, a...

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Tribal member Karelle Hall and linguist Keith Cunningham join to talk about their work with the Nanticoke Tribe in Millsboro, Delaware to revitalize their language, which had not been spoken since 1859. They talk about the work it takes to bring a language back, and the ways that collaboration and belief in overcoming genocide can help move back towards language use and strength. They also share ideas on what folks can do when they...

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Teachers from the Haa Yoo X̱ʼatángi Kúdi (Our Language Nest) join X̱ʼunei to talk about running a language nest. Daaljíni Mary Cruise, Kaasteen Jill Meserve, Neelaatughaa Anna Clock, Naak Emily Sheakley, And Shkayltín Claire Helgeson talk about thei work in the language nest, how the nest was started, what it takes to start one, dealing with the loss of speakers, and sharing funny stories about working with children. Haa Yoo X̱ʼatá...

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Lakota language teacher, learner, and activist Ray Taken Alive joins X̱ʼunei to talk about activities in the Lakota language movement, approaches to language teaching and learning, and data sovereignty. They share thoughts on incorporating language teaching methodologies, facilitating growth in safe environments, and dealing with encounters in coloniality when it comes to language data and power. Follow Ray Taken Alive on TikTok an...

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Dr. Kathryn Pewenofkit Briner, Comanche Nation’s Director of Language Planning and Development, talks about her role in the creation of the film Prey, about the film itself, and about Comanche language activities. Joey Clift, writer, performer, and enrolled Cowlitz Indian Tribal Member currently living in Los Angeles, talks about the film, Native Americans in film, current and future projects, and Indigenizing Hollywood! Learn more...

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Dr. Sol Neely joins X̱ʼ unei for a conversation on decoloniality and life
journeys towards language revitalization. Sol and X̱ʼ unei talk about the
Cherokee language and the complexities of identity and language in
colonial contexts, and then talk about blood quantum and ways that the
English language currently contributes to Indigenous erasure and
colonial violence. They wrap up the conversation with a dialogue on

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August 1, 2022 54 mins

In the inaugural episode, X̱ʼunei Lance Twitchell introduces the podcast and goes over what future episodes will be like. He also explains some pivotal concepts in language revitalization and decolonization in North America. The episode also introduces the Lingít language and culture, while also sharing key moments in the language journey that led X̱ʼunei to developing this podcast. In concludes with an interview with his three chi...

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July 19, 2022 2 mins

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