Meet Lokosh (Joshua D. Hinson), the host of the @NativeLangsTech Twitter account for October 3 – 9

Lokosh (Joshua D. Hinson), Chickasaw / Choctaw / Mvskoke Creek / Cherokee / Euro-American, citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. Photograph by Ryan RedCorn, Osage.

In 2019 as part of a social media campaign to celebrate linguistic diversity online, Native American and First Nations language activists and advocates will be taking turns managing the @NativeLangsTech Twitter account to share their experiences with the revitalization and promotion of Native American and First Nations languages. This profile post is about Lokosh (Joshua D. Hinson) (@lokosh_saya and @chikashshanompa) and what he plans to discuss during his week as host.

Rising Voices: Please tell us about yourself.

My name is Lokosh (Joshua D. Hinson) and I am the director of the Chickasaw Language Revitalization Program. We are a small team of a dozen people who work fulltime in language revitalization. We work closely with the Chickasaw Language Committee, a 25 person committee composed of native speakers of Chikashshanompa’ (Chickasaw language). Our program was founded in 2007. We provide a variety of language instruction programs including adult immersion and enrichment activities for learners of all ages.

RV: What is the current status of your language on the internet and offline?

We have fifty native speakers of Chikashshanompa’ still living, with roughly 7,000 learners accessing our programs in a given year. I tweet on Chikashshanompa’ @chikashshanompa and the language has a robust presence on Facebook in the We Speak Chickasaw community language page.

RV: On what topics do you plan to focus during the week that you’ll manage the @NativeLangsTech Twitter account?

The current status of Chikashshanompa’, including revitalization efforts. My journey to acquiring Chikashshanompa’. The challenges and difficulties of revitalization in our context. Hopes for the future. Some language examples. Etc.

RV: What are the main motivations for your digital activism for your language? What are your hopes and dreams for your language?

We are committed to ensuring that Chikashshanompa’ remains an active, dynamic, living language and that includes growing the language into new domains including the internet and social media. We desire to meet our people where they are, worldwide, and that often means seeking a technological solution to what is, at its core, a very human problem, that of language loss.

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