New Niagara University Courses Embrace Tuscarora Culture, Language
Tuscarora Indian School Principal Elizabeth Corieri is on record stating that she would like to see an indigenous languages teaching certificate program offered for instructors in New York state.
Until then, Niagara University has collaborated with the Niagara Wheatfield Central School District to develop a strategy to help ensure the preservation of the language.
This strategy includes a new sequence of university-level courses that introduce students to the Tuscarora language, a native dialect belonging to the Iroquoian language family. Basic conversation, grammar and orthography skills will help students acquire communicative competence, while becoming aware of the unique cultural and historical context.
Niagara’s College of Education worked in tandem with the university’s department of modern and classical languages and three teachers from the Niagara Wheatfield Central School District to develop the three-course sequence: Tuscarora 1, Tuscarora 2 and Tuscarora Culture.
The first course was approved by NU’s senate curriculum committee in November and is being offered to students in the spring semester. It is being taught by Mary “Betsy” Bissell.