The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded the Linguistic Society of America (LSA) a grant to assist in building the research capacity of tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) and of broadening participation by Native Americans and Alaska Natives in the language sciences. This project seeks to learn from TCUs how linguists can support their language research and revitalization goals. The project will also focus on training linguistics graduate students in best practices in ethical tribal-academic partnerships and in the development of resources to broaden participation in the social sciences. The project will pilot strategies to increase the integration of linguistics into TCU curricula, to increase professional development and other resources for TCU faculty in linguistics, and to foster collaborations between TCU and research university faculty that build capacity at TCUs, ideally to generalize strategies that can be adopted by other social sciences.


The centerpiece of the project is a Satellite Workshop for students and faculty from TCUs, which took place on January 5, 2017, hosted by the LSA and the Endangered Language Fund (ELF) at the LSA’s 91st Annual Meeting (Jan 5-8).


JW Marriott Austin, 110 East 2nd Street, Austin, TX 78701


At the all-day workshop, TCU students and faculty with an interest in linguistics had the opportunity to discuss with each other and with participating linguists how the field of linguistics can support their TCU and individual learning goals. Those already involved with teaching or learning a Native language at their institution were especially encouraged to attend. Workshop participants met with linguists and specialists in support of their language-related programs and projects, and attended relevant sessions of the four-day LSA Annual Meeting. The workshop and related activities over the four-day Annual Meeting included hands-on training, exposure to cutting-edge research, professional development resources, networking sessions, mentoring and social activities. View the final Workshop Agenda, which includes speaker slide presentations. View the complete workshop packet [pdf], including a listing of resource materials. An edited video-recording of each session held at the workshop is available as part of the Agenda.

Fellowships Awarded

The project provided funding for up to 20 TCU students and faculty to receive fellowships which cover travel, lodging, meals, and conference registration to the LSA and the Workshop. A list of fellowship recipients is provided below.The fellowships were awarded through a self-nomination process. Criteria included: 1) current TCU student or faculty, 2) making sure a variety of TCUs are represented, 3) match between participant goals and resources of the workshop and the LSA meeting as a whole, and 4) the participant’s ability to travel to Austin, TX in early January 2017. Read the Call for TCU Participants [pdf]. A link to the online application form may be found below. 

Advisory Committee

The Workshop and related project activities are informed by an Advisory Committee that includes representatives of tribal colleges and universities (TCUs), Endangered Language Fund (ELF), Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas (SSILA), Committee on Endangered Languages and their Preservation (CELP), Committee on Ethnic Diversity in Linguistics (CEDL), and other stakeholders. See below for a complete list of Advisory Committee members.

Activities Beyond the Initial Workshop 

This project seeks to learn from TCUs how linguists can support their language research and revitalization goals, and to foster ongoing collaborations with TCU students/faculty and linguists through identifying potential sources of support for ongoing collaborations. A second workshop was held in July 2017, “Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Menominee Words.” It was designed for students and faculty from TCUs in the Upper Midwest, and focused on how to find the meaningful pieces inside words, and how to put these pieces together to form words in Algonquian languages.

Mentoring and Partnership Activities

This project enlisted the particiaption of up to 20 linguistics faculty and graduate student partners who will be attending the LSA Annual Meeting. Annual Meeting registration fees were waived for the LSA student partners. Linguistics partners are tasked to: discuss language research and revitalization goals with two project participants, work with participants to make the most of their time at the Annual Meeting, and discuss needs and concerns for collaborations between Native American/Alaska Native language communities and linguists from research universities. A link to the online application form may be found below. A full list of participating LSA partners may also be found below.

Workshop Agenda

The agenda for the workshop was developed in consultation with an Advisory Committee that includes representatives of TCUs and colleague organizations with expertise in areas that are relevant to the project. View the final Workshop Agenda, with speaker slides linked within.

Related Links

New! Annotated Resource List

LSA 2017 Annual Meeting

LSA Awarded NSF Grant to Enhance Linguistics Research Capacity at Tribal Colleges

Fellowship Recipients

LSA Member/Partners Participating 

Advisory Committee Members

Algonquian Words Workshop Materials

For More Information

Mentor/partner application form (due October 21, 2016)

TCU participant application form (due November 9, 2016 at 5:00 PM ET)

                                                                                                                                                                           This project is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1643510.