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Lakota speakers looking to start immersion daycare

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- A group of Lakota speakers on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwestern South Dakota is trying to start a Lakota language immersion daycare for infants on the reservation.

The hope is that by immersing kids in the language starting as infants, they would be learning Lakota as a first language rather than a second language.

The effort is one of several to revitalize the Lakota language, which has fewer than 6,000 fluent speakers. This represents less than 14 percent of the Lakota population in North Dakota and South Dakota.

Peter Hill is one of the people behind the idea for the Lakota language immersion daycare. Hill, who learned Lakota himself and has taught it at several schools, is trying to raise funds for two teachers and one administrator.