The Legacy Of Albert White Hat

Jun 20, 2013

Wilhelm Meya, executive director of the Lakota Language Consortium, discusses the legacy of Albert White Hat, who was instrumental in teaching the endangered American Indian language to new generations for nearly four decades. White Hat died last week at the age of 74. White Hat authored several books on writing and reading Lakota, a language spoken fluently by fewer than 6,000 people. The average age of those speakers is 60, and less than 14-percent of the Lakota population in South Dakota and North Dakota - where the vast majority of Lakota speakers live - speaks their native tongue. He had taught the Lakota language since 1975, and was an instructor at the Lakota Studies Department at Sinte Gleska University on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. Wilhelm Meya called White Hat a "warrior" for the Lakota language and said he hopes White Hat's legacy won't go unrecognized.