Frequently Asked Questions


Where can I get Otoe-Missouria language information?

This website is a great place to start! Also feel free to contact the Otoe-Missouria Language Department. If you live nearby, you are encouraged to visit the library at the tribal campus and see what is available on our Archive Server.


What other programs/departments do you work with?

We work with any department that is interested in language information for their particular efforts. On a regular basis, we work with the kids at the Otoe-Missouria Head Start and the After School Program.


My personal knowledge conflicts with some of the information you have here. What happens now?

We’d love to hear from you! We are always looking for new information and want to add what you know to our database.


I’ve seen the information you have here but I’ve seen it spelled differently. What does that mean?

An orthography (writing system) is entirely arbitrary and is simply meant to represent a spoken language.  What this means is that different spellings do not always mean different pronunciations.  It is the pronunciation that is important, not the spelling.  So if you have old name lists that spell Otoe-Missouria words syllable by syllable (for example, “toe-way”), it is no less valid than our current system (which spells that same term “dowe” (four)).


What does the Language Department do?

We record and research the Otoe-Missouria language. This includes locating rare documents and books, interviewing tribal members, digitizing audio and video media, performing linguistic analyses, and more. We also create various means to distribute and teach the language such as this website, language lessons, coloring pages, and more.  We also work with the After School Program and Head Start to expose tribal youth to the language.


Do you offer language classes?

Currently we offer weekly language classes in Edmond every Tuesday evening at 6:30pm.  We hope to start language classes on the tribal campus soon.


What if I don’t live near Edmond or Red Rock?  What options are available for me?

First, there is the information on this site to help get you started.  Second, feel free to contact us for anything specific you’d like.  Last, we are looking at options to have our language classes online.  More on this later.


I have some old tapes with songs and/or some elders speaking Otoe-Missouria. What can be done with those?

We heavily encourage anyone with language information on any kind of media to come to us so we can digitize it. We are gathering any language information we can find to help with our preservation and revitalization efforts but that aside, old media such as cassette tapes, reel-to-reel tapes, etc. will not last forever. Eventually those tapes will splinter and fall apart and the information on them will be lost forever. Digitizing old media is a great way to preserve this information for future generations.


What kinds of media can you digitize?

We can digitize cassette tapes, reel-to-reel tapes, and records. We can also pull information off of phones and digital voice recorders. We can also digitize VHS and Betamax video tapes. If we can’t digitize it here, we can find other ways to outsource it but ONLY with the donor’s permission.


I have some culturally sensitive information on my tapes that are not meant for the general public. What happens with those?

Any stipulations made by a donor will be honored. This can range from no distribution at all to full distribution as we see fit. It is up to the donor.


Do I have to donate my tapes for you to digitize them?

No. If you want to donate your original tapes, records, etc., we will gladly take them.  But if not, we can digitize your media and then return the originals to you if you wish. We will also provide you with the digitized files as well.


What if I just want you to digitize my material without you keeping a copy?

We stipulate that in providing this free service to you that we be allowed to be able to at least keep a digital copy for our archive. That said, any restrictions on distribution will be honored as mentioned above.


My tapes have a lot of background noise and the speakers/singers are hard to hear. Can anything be done about that?

Yes, we can work with the audio to remove background noise, hiss, pops and clicks from records, etc. We can also work with the audio in an attempt to better hear what is being said.