CTUIR launches Umatilla Language Online Dictionary

MISSION – The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) has launched a Umatilla Language Dictionary website at https://dictionary.ctuir.org. The project was a collaborative effort between Amazon Web Services and the CTUIR Language Program.

“The online Umatilla Dictionary is an exciting project that we are very proud to share. We hope Tribal members will enjoy the easy online access to help them on their learning journey,” said Modesta Minthorn, Director of the CTUIR Education Department.

The objective of the project was to move the dictionary to a website for ease-of-use and raise awareness about the Umatilla Language. The target audience is CTUIR Tribal members who live on the Umatilla Indian Reservation and across the country.

The number of fluent Umatilla speakers has diminished because many of the elders who grew up speaking the language have passed on. The Language Program was established in 1996 in the Department of Education to work with those remaining fluent speakers to record their voices, revitalize the language in the community and provide language instruction at the kindergarten to adult level, and develop a Umatilla Language Dictionary.

“This is a gift to the youth. No matter where they find themselves, they will have access to the beautiful words of their elders. May this kindle their curiosity!  And may their elders’ legacy never fade,” said Dr. Noel Rude, author of the Dictionary and Tribal Linguist at Tamástslikt Cultural Institute.