SHARP Grantee Spotlight

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Can you give a brief history of your organization?
The Crow Language Consortium (CLC) is a collective of Crow schools, colleges, and educators, founded in 2014 by Dr. Janine Pease, Michael Fitzgerald, and Wilhelm Meya. CLC is led by members of the Crow community we serve. Our organization aims to reawaken Apsáalooke (the Crow language) to ensure we can pass it on to future generations. Dr. Pease, a lifelong advocate for the Crow language, was put in contact with Mr. Meya by Michael Fitzgerald, a mutual acquaintance with strong connections on the Crow Reservation. Mr. Meya, the co-founder of the Lakota Language Consortium and the executive director of The Language Conservancy, was interested in partnering with Dr. Pease to produce Crow educational materials like those he had spent decades creating for the Lakota language. Dr. Pease organized a series of community nights at schools throughout the Crow Reservation to establish a community-led plan for improving Crow language education.

Do you have an example of a program that exemplifies your organization’s mission or work?
CLC’s Crow Dictionary Project has created an online, mobile, and physical dictionary as the foundation of our work. This dictionary will allow us and others to create more language resources in Apsáalooke. We worked with Elders to document and record the Crow language. Working with our Elders and community in person gives us extra insight into the language and its significance to various individuals because it fosters discussion.

How do you intend to use the SHARP Grant?
CLC is using SHARP grant funds to finish the print version of our Crow dictionary as well as working on a student dictionary for K–12 students.

How did you learn about Humanities Montana, and why did you choose to apply for a grant with us?
We have been aware of the work of Humanities Montana and its efforts to share and safeguard arts and culture. We were excited for the chance to apply for both the project-based and general operating support grants and are thrilled to work with Humanities Montana on our projects.