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Connections: How languages become endangered

A language can say much about a culture, and when a language is in danger of being lost, what does that mean for the culture and those who celebrate it? WXXI reporter Caitlin Whyte spoke with local Native Americans about this question; they are working to preserve the Mohawk and Seneca languages.

This hour, we discuss the process of language shift, how languages become endangered, and what can be done to protect them. Our guests:

  • Ronnie Pollack, member of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, Eagle Clan, executive director of the Native American Cultural Center, and host of "Two Canoes with Ronnie Pollack" on WYSL 92.1 FM   
  • Robbie Jimerson, Ph.D. student at RIT and member of the Seneca Nation of Indians
  • Maya Abtahian, assistant professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Rochester
  • Nadine Grimm, assistant professor in the Department of Linguistics, and director of the Language Documentation and Description Program at the University of Rochester
  • Caitlin Whyte, WXXI reporter

Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.

Connections with Evan Dawson

Connections is our daily, live talk show. It airs live weekdays, noon-2 p.m., and re-airs at 9 and 10 p.m. You can also find us wherever you find your podcasts.

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For transcripts, please email our Move to Include team with the day, subject, and start time (noon or 1 pm) of the episode for a transcript.

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