Arapaho tribal members now have a smartphone and tablet app designed to help preserve a dying part of their history.
More than 400 Arapaho gathered at the Arapaho school to celebrate technology and history.
Superintendent for the Arapaho School District Kenneth Crowson said “this is a milestone event; this is something that hasn’t happened with the Arapaho language ever. It’s taken many years to get where we are today.”
The Arapaho language app is free to everyone, and will be used as a teaching tool in Wind River Reservation schools.
Crowson stated “it’s our intent to try and integrate it in with the core curriculum, not to replace anything but to enhance the current curriculum's that we have.”
School Board Chairwoman Charlene Gambler Brown said “it’s very important that our native kids know where they come from, where they’re going, it’s going to help them succeed in higher education.”
Technology is such a large part of kids’ lives, this app will be easy for them to pick up and quickly learn.
Crowson said “technology is the way our kids learn today and so to integrate that into our classrooms and have another avenue for them to pick up another piece of technology and learn a language that’s just phenomenal.”
Gambler Brown explained “in order to preserve our language, revitalize it, we decided this is their world, technology is our children’s world right now so let’s put that in their hand so it can be in every persons home.”
Tribal elders dedicated over a year of their time to voice every word and phrase for the app.
Gambler Brown mentioned “this is all possible because without the elders we would not be here today and so we are just so excited to have everybody come here to help us celebrate.”
The app took over 12 hundred and fifty hours to complete.
There are 10-Thousand Arapaho tribal members on the Wind River Indian Reservation, only 150 speak fluent Arapaho.