The Native American Philology Model
of the National BoL is built around three training modules designed
to respond to different stages of archives-based revitalization work and articulated through a basket
Module 1 training assists Community Researchers with gathering archival materials relevant to
community revitalization objectives.
Module 2 training assists Community Researchers with processing of digital archival materials
utilizing the Indigenous Languages Digital Archive (ILDA) software suite.
Module 3 training will focus weaving archival materials into community language programs.
Training Module 1
National BoL Module 1 training has focused on assisting tribal communities in accessing archival
collections in repositories around the United States. Participants also receive training in the
fundamentals of linguistics for the analysis of data and the use of archival documentation.
More recently, the National BoL has developed free, asynchronous online training modules that Community
Researchers can take at their own pace. This self-directed Module 1 training is available at any time
and is free of charge. You can find more information and instructions about how to sign up here
In the past, National BoL Module 1 training has focused on assisting tribal communities in accessing the
extensive archival collections at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Anthropological Archives (NAA)
of the National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) and the
Library of Congress and in using them for language revitalization. During a two-week hands-on workshop,
community members are partnered with a trained linguist, and together navigate Smithsonian and Library
of Congress archives and collections, locate and acquire documents, interpret writing systems, and
transform archival materials into practical lessons for language learning. Participants also received
training in the fundamentals of linguistics for the analysis of data in the archival documentation.
National BoL workshops in 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017 utilized this in-person training model. There are
currently no planned in-person National Breath of Life module 1 workshops.
Training Module 2
National BoL Module 2 training is designed to build capacity around advanced archives-based research for
language revitalization. Module 2 training focuses on the management of digital archival collections and
advanced linguistic analysis of data for language revitalization to community researchers who already
possess archival materials.
Module 2 training centers on the use of the
Indigenous Languages Digital Archive (ILDA)
, a freely
available software suite that allows for the organization, storage and retrieval of digital copies of
linguistic archival materials. ILDA directly links independent data derived from linguistic analysis to
the original manuscript pages. Its powerful search function allows for rapid recall of language data and
the in-depth linguistic analysis required for the reconstruction of a highly endangered or sleeping
A training workshop was held in 2019 at the Myaamia Center at Miami University. A second workshop was
hosted by the Northwest Indian Language Institute and the Language Revitalization Lab at the University
There are currently no planned National Breath of Life Module 2 workshops. Module 2 content is available
partially through instructional videos hosted on the National BoL YouTube Channel
, as well as through
one-on-one consultation, and apprenticeships.
Training Module 3
Module 3 training will focus on advanced archival development and implementation into community language
programs. Following the analogy with basket weaving, we think of future Module 3 training, as the
weaving of the language from the archival materials into a community basket of language use and learning
as. This will be the focus of future development in National BoL.