years Osages living outside the service areas for the Osage Language
Department have wanted courses online. In January, the language
department made it so.
"Online Osage language classes are providing a connection to
our heritage language for many Osage people across the country who,
otherwise, have no way to experience learning our language," said
Osage language staff in an email.
Language staff said online courses are being offered to reach
out to Osage members who are unable to attend a class locally. The
method of online language classes is to provide an awareness of
Osage language and its sounds and symbols through a series of classes.
The classes will offer video and audio presentations and will be
conducted by Veronica Pipestem, language instructor. The classes
are part of the Language Department's ongoing effort to revitalize
the Osage Language.
"The online classes that the Osage language department is now
offering are a blessing for those who live away from home. Taking
the Beginner 1A Osage language class last semester was wonderful
experience," said Jim Ryan, a tribal member who lives in San Antonio,
Texas. "We learned the Osage orthography and began building vocabulary
of common words. It is a great feeling to be able to now recognize
the letters and sound out the Osage words that I see. I have just
begun the Osage Beginner class 1B and am now learning some sentences
and building my vocabulary. We should all thank the Osage language
department for making these amazing classes available to us."
Currently available are two beginner level classes: Beginning
Osage 1A and 1B. The courses are basic introductions into the Osage
language through the use of the Osage Nation orthography and learning
some basic words and phrases and learning to write and read them.
Students should complete Beginning Osage 1A before enrolling in
1B and should be able to read and write the Osage writing system
before enrolling in the course. The course will elaborate on how
to form thoughts in Osage and will focus on sentence structure and
vocabulary building, according to the website.
The online courses are self-paced and there is no time limit
on how fast students must work. The class course lessons consist
of a video tutorial with accompanying handout for the student to
use as a self-study guide. The course is closely monitored and frequently
updated with new material. There could be more classes added to
the website depending on student interest and teacher availability
and funding, according to the website.
"Having the option to take the Osage Language class online has
been wonderful. The videos Veronica Pipestem made for each lesson
add so much to learning the orthography, not to mention the pronunciation,
since she repeats each word multiple times while modeling the writing,"
said David Conaway, a non-Osage student from Springfield, Mo. "I
especially like hearing the stories behind the words, like Pawhuska,
or money, or the number 1000. Thanks for providing this class, Osage
The classes currently have 39 students enrolled in Osage 1A
and eight students in the Osage 1B class. Students may enroll at
anytime to begin classes since the classes are self-paced and students
work independently. There are 100 seats for each class available.
To enroll in classes go to www.osagelanguage.com
and register and begin free classes to learn the Osage Language.
For more information on the classes or help if enrolled in the
classes, please contact the Language Department at (918) 287-5505.