Their languages are nearly extinct. They're trying to change that.

It started with three simple words in English.

"I love you."

Those three words were the premise of a video project a University of Montana student group put together. To have people simply say "I love you" in different languages.

Swahili.


Spanish.

French.

But the student group — known as The Sacred Roots Society — had an extra-special focus on languages you also might not have heard before.

(Note: The following words are spelled phonetically.)

Blackfeet.

Dakota.

Salish.

They are indigenous languages and The Sacred Roots Society's mission is to preserve them:

"It is the belief of this society that without language, we will lose our culture. This group was formed to bring language awareness to our community, our campus and the nation."

There are more than 300 languages spoken in the U.S. and nearly half are indigenous. However, many of those indigenous languages are going extinct.

This is in large part due to a phenomenon that started in the 1890s, when many Native American children were often forced to study in boarding schools by the federal government. They were given "American education" and punished for speaking their language. Essentially, they were barely able to preserve their cultures.

The history behind the extinction of some of these languages is sad. But the future of these languages doesn't have to be.

What if we gave these near-extinct languages the same type of love, appreciation, and respect that we give languages like French, German, and Spanish? The University of Montana project gave indigenous students a beautiful chance to have their languages treated as worthy as any other language and to show us the beauty of preserving differences.

For more information on how to celebrate these beautiful languages, check out these resources: Enduring Voices Project, the Committee on Endangered Languages and their Preservation, UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger, and Cultural Survival.

More
BXGD / Flickr and Cody Bondarchuk / Twitter

Sometimes the smallest gesture can turn your entire day around. You find a $5 bill in the pockets of your jeans. There's no traffic on the way home from work. Or by some divine intervention, you get 11 chicken McNuggets in your 10-piece box.

Of course, if you've ever had such a blessing, you know your first thought is, "Must be some sort of mistake."

But do you return the extra McNugget? Nope. You don't even feel an ounce of guilt for it. You dunk it in barbecue sauce and relish it like a gift from the gods.

A former McDonald's employee in Edmonton, Canada let the world know that sometimes an extra McNugget is not a mistake and he's become a viral hero.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
terimakasih0/Pixabay

When Iowa Valley Junior-Senior High School principal Janet Behrens observed her students in the cafeteria, she was dismayed to see that they spent more time looking down at their phones than they did looking at and interacting with each other. So last year, she implemented a new policy that's having a big impact.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Facebook / Cierra Brittany Forney

Children in middle school can be super shallow when it comes to fashion. To be part of the in-crowd, you have to wear the right shoes and brand-name clothing, and listen to the right music.

The sad thing is that kids that age can be so creative, but they're forced into conformity by their peers.

Some people never escape this developmental phase and spend their entire lives wasting their money on material goods and judging those who do not or can not.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

They say that kids say the darnedest things, and seriously, they do. Anyone who has spent any significant amount of time with young children knows that sometimes the things they say can blow your mind.

Since teachers spend more time around little kids than anyone else, they are particularly privy to their profound and hilarious thoughts. That's why NYC kindergarten teacher Alyssa Cowit started collecting kid quotes from teachers around the country and sharing them on her Instagram account, Live from Snack Time, as well as her websiteand other social media channels.

Keep Reading Show less
popular