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University of Oregon

Summer Institute 2017

NILI Summer Institute: June 19-30, 2017

Carrying Our Languages Forward

NILI’s Journey – Pulling Together for 20 Years


Summer Institute registration now open!

Our online registration form is now available for Summer Institute 2017! Please click here to register as a Summer Institute participant.

(Note: if you need a hard copy form instead, please e-mail us and we will be happy to send you a pdf version).


Summer Institute 2017 Scholarship application available!

The cost for this year’s Summer Institute is $2050 plus room and board fees of $708-852. If you would like to be considered for a scholarship, please fill out the form here: NILI 2017 Scholarship form

The deadline to submit an application is April 3, 2017. [For more information on scholarships please see section below.]


Summer Institute Teacher Training Program

At NILI’s 2-week teacher training Summer Institute Native language teachers and learners study linguistics, an indigenous language, teaching methods, and language activism, and apply teaching strategies and develop materials to take home to your classroom.


  • Learn how to teach whole language (moving from words to sentences)
  • Have guided teaching opportunities
  • Create needed language materials for your community
  • Learn more about the structure, vocabulary, and pronunciation of Indigenous languages
  • Experience language learning from a student point of view
  • Become more familiar with a variety of teaching practices and methods
  • Speak in Indigenous languages with your team members and classmates


Summer Institute Youth Program

High school students study language, linguistics and teaching methods, and design and create activities to support preschool learners. Guest speakers (UO faculty and Native students) present information and experiences introducing youth to college life and creating a bridge to higher education. Students are mentored in project brainstorming, planning, linguistic guidance, pedagogy, evaluation, tool support, and product delivery.


  • Gain skills in language learning
  • Take on leadership roles in language preservation and teaching while demonstrating a commitment to their Tribe’s values and traditions.
  • Become more technologically literate
  • Learn to manage their own projects
  • Contribute to language revitalization within their communities

In addition, this year Summer Institute youth will have the chance to talk about their experiences and needs in language revitalization at a special panel on Saturday of our Summer Conference.

See below for more detailed information on classes:


Intro to Linguistics of Native Languages
Janne Underriner

Intermediate Linguistics
Scott Delancey

This course is intended for students who have taken the introductory linguistics class at NILI or have a similar background in linguistics. We will work with texts and sentences and address your particular questions. The class will be useful to anyone who is learning a language and trying to improve their skills and knowledge. The practice we will get in analyzing the words of a language and understanding how a grammar works will also be useful to anyone trying to write curriculum or materials for a language class.

Sahaptian Linguistics
Joana Jansen

Applied Methods:

Teaching Methods for Native American Languages: Second Language Teaching and Learning for Indigenous Language Revitalization
Lindsay Marean

We’ll discuss good practices in language teaching, and then we’ll describe and evaluate some teaching methods that are often used for indigenous language revitalization, ranging from full immersion to memorizing lists of words. We’ll move on to curriculum planning, based on the concept of backwards design: starting with the big picture goals and working down to the daily activities, with assessment integrated throughout. We’ll finish with activity ideas. Get some new tools for language teaching; more importantly, reflect and decide whether, when, and why to use them.

Teaching Methods: Teaching and Home-Schooling for Young Learners
Ruby Tuttle & Joana Jansen

Applied Methods: Youth
Jaeci Hall & Carson Viles


Materials Development
Judith Fernandes

Materials Development: Youth
Robert Elliott

Language Courses:

Chinuk Wawa
Janne Underriner

Zalmai Zahir

Sahaptin (Ichishkíin)
Virginia Beavert, Arlita Rhoan, and Gregory Sutterlict

NILI students will work in groups with elders on a topic of their choosing to create a home domain. They will work together to gather the language, develop materials to teach this unit, and by the end they will create a video that will narrate their domain. Each participant will leave with material from their unit, as well as all the other domains created, so that they will be able to use it back home in their class. During classroom time we will also look at the grammar involved with all of the units so that participants will return home with a good understanding of the domains. Each day will also consist of some Ichishkíin conversation and interaction.

Tolowa Dee-ni’
Pyuwa Bommelyn & Joana Jansen

(Note: Language classes are tailored to enrollment and we will keep students updated as to which languages will be offered.)

Saturday seminar:

Details coming soon!


NILI Summer Institute Costs for 2017

  • Tuition: $2,050 (4 university credits)
  • Elder registration: $250 (no university credits)
  • On Campus Housing (optional):
    • Single room: $852 (check in 6/18 – check out 6/30)
    • Double (shared) room: $708 (check in 6/18 – check out 6/30)
  • Optional on-site parking pass: $67

Limited scholarships are available. Scholarship information is below.

If you have questions or need further information, please email us.



Please complete a scholarship application by April 3, 2017. Please be sure to apply early as the deadline will not be extended. The scholarship application can be found here: NILI 2017 Scholarship form

Due to generous support, some years NILI is able to give at least some funding to those applying for scholarships. Other years we are challenged to do so. Scholarships are for partial tuition for the two-week Summer Institute only and do not cover housing, meals, or parking (if applicable).

Scholarship funds are targeted towards those who could not attend the Institute without support. If you are employed as a teacher or at a language program or school district, you must first seek funding from your program. We encourage all those in need of financial assistance to seek funding from other sources as well.


Policy for Youth Participants Chaperones
(High School Students from Ages 14-18)

It is our experience in providing a youth component to NILI Summer Institute over the last two years that communities have wanted to provide their own chaperones for youth participants.

If you are bringing youth, someone must be designated in your group who will assume responsibility for chaperoning youth participants. If boys and girls are attending, then both male and female chaperones are needed. Youth and chaperones will attend all NILI events during the Institute. Chaperones need not be present in the classroom with youth, but must be responsible during out of class hours and at night. Chaperones will need to cover their own dorm expenses (room and board) in order to stay in the dorms with the participants.

All youth attending NILI must have consent forms signed by parents/guardians prior to the Institute.

If you are considering bringing youth to NILI, please contact our office at to make arrangements.