California State University, Fresno has announced a $1 million gift to its College of Arts and Humanities from the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians to document, preserve, and revitalize the Chukchansi language.
The gift will support work to complete a grammar and dictionary of the language, which faculty and students in the Department of Linguistics have been developing since 2009 in collaboration with the few remaining Chukchansi speakers, and provide support for scholarships, programs, and efforts to assemble native texts and create a curriculum for teaching the language so it can be brought back into social and ritual use.
The gift is part of the Campaign for Fresno State, which aims to raise $200 million for scholarships, faculty, programs, and facilities.
"We are proud to make this gift as part of our efforts as a tribe to preserve, protect, and revitalize our cultural identity and traditions," said tribal chairman Reggie Lewis. "It is extremely important to us that the language of our ancestors is not lost and that future generations of Chukchansi are able to learn and speak our native language."