Training Modules

National Breath of Life Training Modules

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.

  • Module 1 training assists Community Researchers with identifying and locating materials on their languages in archives and introduces them to basic notions in linguistics.
  • Module 2 training assists Community Researchers on the organization of digital archival materials utilizing the Indigenous Languages Digital Archive (ILDA) software suite.
  • Module 3 training will focus on advanced archival development and implementation into community language programs.

Modules 1 and 2 are offered through annual and biennial workshops as funding is available. Additional self-paced individualized training, instructional videos, one-on-one consultation, and apprenticeships are currently being developed.

Module 1 Training

National BoL Module 1 training assists 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 the 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 receive training in the fundamentals of linguistics and the use of archival documentation. National BoL workshops in 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017 utilized this model.

Status: Please note that there are currently no planned National Breath of Life Module 1 workshops. However, self-paced training is currently being developed for free-of-charge online access

Module 2 Training

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. The 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 language. The 2019 and 2021 National BoL workshops utilized this model.

The 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 language. The 2019 and 2021 National BoL workshops utilized this model.

Status: Please note that there are currently no planned National Breath of Life module 2 workshops. An Apprenticeship Program is being developed for members of communities that have an ongoing relationship with National BoL and have completed Modules 1 and 2. The number of apprenticeships available depends on funding and available staff time for training. Typically, communities are invited into this level of participation after demonstrating a level of sustainable commitment and readiness to advance their community curated archive.

Module 3 Training

National BoL Module 3 training the next step in the development of the Native American Philology model. This module is being designed to meet the needs of advanced archival management and community implementation of the entire ILDA suite for language programming. National BoL recognizes that each community’s revitalization efforts are unique and variable. Module 3 also requires a level of ‘readiness’, which means that there must be a level of community commitment and resources to manage the archive. This can take years to develop. Therefore, Module 3 training will likely be a later phase training for many National BoL participants.

Training Module 3: Module 3 training is highly advanced and specialized. This level of training is carried out through the National BoL Apprenticeship Program. Communities that have an ongoing relationship with National BoL, and have completed modules one and two, may be invited to advance into module 3 Apprenticeship training. The number of apprenticeships available depends on funding and available staff time for training. Typically, communities are invited into this level of participation after demonstrating a level of sustainable commitment and readiness to advance their community curated archive.