My role as a linguist is to support language preservation and teaching efforts through language documentation, pedagogical grammar development and grammar teaching, and language curriculum and materials development, particularly place-based curriculum. I work collaboratively in a situation where language teaching is a priority, and an important part of this work is to assist with teaching materials collection and preparation.
I have worked with NILI since 2001, and with elders and language teachers at the Yakama Nation since 2004. I am grateful for all I have learned from my teachers. My dissertation, completed in 2010, is a grammar of Yakima Ichishkiin/Sahaptin. It is intended to be a speech-community accessible reference grammar that provides information to both speech community members and academic researchers.
Much of my work with NILI centres around our Ichishkiin language projects. Other NILI projects that I am currently or have recently worked on include the Strategic Plan for Karuk Language Restoration, Nimiipuu Language Teaching and Family Learning, Takelma Language restoration, and teacher training. I am also working on a research project called Referential Heirarchies in Morphosytnax (RHIM, http://www.rhim.uni-koeln.de/) that looks at Sahaptian (Ichishkiin/Sahaptin and Nez Perce) morphosyntactic systems that are based on a hierarchy of referents.