The Powhatan Language Revitalization Project has been a collective effort of the Mattaponi, Pamunkey, Chickahominy, Rappahannock, Patawomeck and Upper Mattaponi tribes. Our goal is to provide a complete set of classes for citizens of the Powhatan Confederated Tribes. Many of the previously available data for the language was recorded in the 17th and 18th centuries in Old English. This spelling was of course of little use to us in the modern day. That made revising the orthography an important first step in reclaiming our language. For writing, we use two different forms. The first is a modified English alphabet with most letters the same as their Standard English counterpart. The second is a modified version of the United Aboriginal Syllabic. Syllabics are used throughout Indian Country for many indigenous languages. It is the most widespread non-English orthography used by Algonquian speaking peoples. Now that we have a comprehensive orthography we have begun classes in vocabulary and grammar. The language is currently considered extinct but classes are in progress and the language can once again be heard aloud in our tribal communities.
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Tribes of Virginia