ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The University of New Mexico is launching a program to keep the Navajo language alive. Thanks to a $250,000 grant, UNM’s Department of Linguistics and Lobo Language Acquisition Lab are launching the Indigenous Child Language Research Center.

Research shows, despite continued usage of the Navajo language by Tribal elders, fewer children than ever before are learning it as a first language, and worldwide, there are only 120,000 Navajo speakers.

This group, which will include UNM students, aims to not only teach the language to kids as young as three but to transcribe and translate recordings of Navajo language. They will also be working with YDI, dual language education of New Mexico, and other groups to better teach them how to teach the Native language to kids.