MHA Education Dept., New Town, ND

Post in Hiráaca on International Mother Language Day 2016!


February 21 is UNESCO’s International Mother Language Day – a day to celebrate, promote and raise awareness about all the languages of the world. Our language is the most powerful tool we have to preserve and develop Hidatsa culture, which is why promoting and teaching the language in our communities is the #1 priority!

We’re calling out to Hidatsa speakers, learners and supporters to claim this day for your own, and call it “Hiráaca Language Day”!

Join MHA Language Project – Hidatsa in promoting the language tomorrow in honor of International Mother Language Day. Here are some suggestions for what you can do to promote Hidatsa:

Throughout the day, tweet using your mother language. Please share ‘why is it important to use your language on the internet?’ or tweet greetings or your favorite words/phrases in your language. You might also choose to tweet a translation in order to encourage speakers of other indigenous and minority language communities.

Check this page out for more information:

  • Teach someone you know the Hidatsa alphabet using this page.
  • Teach someone you know a Hidatsa word or phrase using our online dictionary (Hidatsa to English or English to Hidatsa).
  • Ask a speaker to help you with pronunciation or understanding of a Hidatsa word or phrase.
  • Text someone in Hidatsa using the Hidatsa Keyboard – Mobile for iOS or Android.
  • Write a story in Hidatsa, or ask a speaker to help you write one.

We hope you join the movement! By bringing awareness of the language you are helping to:

  • Remember the elders who kept Hidatsa songs, traditions and ceremonies alive;
  • Remember the generations silenced in the boarding schools;
  • Honor the speakers who have brought their understanding of the language into classrooms and have done their best to find a way to teach it;
  • Honor yourself and your fellow students for your commitment to learning.

What will you say in Hidatsa on Hiráaca Language Day? Don’t forget to pick up your FREE Hidatsa language materials at the MHA Language Department at NHSC or by placing an order at the bookstore (more info here).

For a quick list of FAQs about Mother Language Day, check out The Language Conservancy’s blog post “7 Questions You May Have About International Mother Language Day”.