Photo by Tribal Elder Vine T. Marks Sr.

Photo by Tribal Elder Vine T. Marks Sr.


The SWO Dakota Language Institute.

Founded in 2002, the SWODLI has a main focus of creating language learning materials for our families, our schools and our community.

Dakotah, classified as an endangered language, is a dialect of what was commonly called the "Sioux" language that is spoken by ten Dakota tribes and communities in the United States and by the Dakota people of Canada.  Once a flourishing language, today there are estimates of only a few hundred first language speakers.  Some of our Dakota communities have either none or only a handful of speakers.

In addition to creating printed language materials, the SWODLI also has an online learning system with our partner, Transparent Languages and is also in the process of creating iBooks for children.

The staff


Tammy DeCoteau, SWODLI Director

Jodi Eastman, Graphic Designer

Janet Brown,  Administrative Assistant

Joshua Max, Summer Temp

Orsen Bernard, Treasured Elder

Caroline BlackThunder, Treasured Elder

Gordon Redday, Treasured Elder

Spencer Wanna, Treasured Elder