Native Americans on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation used to be punished for speaking their native language instead of English.
And while Lakota has long been taught in reservation schools, it has never had the kind of educational structure of other subjects like math and science.
After six years and $2.2 million, the Red Cloud Indian School is in the final stages of developing a full K-12 Lakota curriculum - a first among the Lakota-speaking bands.
The program at the private Catholic school has the potential to be picked up by other reservation schools and help improve Lakota fluency across the Great Plains.
The curriculum's spread might also mean a unification of its written form.
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