How do you say ‘Teletubby’ in Paiute?

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Ever wonder if Barney the Dinosaur’s “I love you, you love me” song is annoying even when sung in Paiute? Native American parents may soon find out, thanks to the Paiute Preschool Language Immersion Program in Utah, where Paiute toddlers are taking part in a program aimed at saving the dying language. Of the 744 Paiute Indians living in Utah, only 40 speak the tribal tongue fluently.

Language preservation experts estimate that fewer than 20 of the 185 American Indian languages that are still viable today will be around 50 years from now. Washoe and Blackfoot tots are learning nursery rhymes in their ancestral tongues in similar programs designed to save those languages. The Paiute teachers hope to teach Paiute to pregnant women and mothers of infants so they can start the language training even younger.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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