Yocha Dehe’s Patwin language instructor, Leland Kinter, has earned an American Indian Languages Credential from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The credential authorizes Leland to teach Patwin to students from preschool through grade 12. Leland is currently working with local high schools to provide accredited Patwin classes to tribal citizens; fulfilling second language requirements.
Leland has personally led Yocha Dehe’s intensive efforts to preserve the Tribe’s Patwin language using an innovative combination of technology, social interaction and inter-generational communication and cooperation. His efforts, in partnership with Bertha Mitchell, a surviving fluent Patwin speaker, have revitalized the language among both adults and children of Yocha Dehe.
In addition, the Cultural Resources Department is charged with developing and employing teaching tools for Patwin. The Tribe’s unique language program uses technology and culturally specific curriculum for language practice and review. We incorporate student video development and production to facilitate practical language usage and a strategic introduction of Patwin names and terms for the Tribe’s properties and materials.