Ofelia Zepeda Renowned Poet & Linguistics Expert


Ofelia Zepeda Renowned Poet & Linguistics Expert


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Ofelia Zepeda's work to inspire appreciation of the Tohono O'odham language is among her many efforts to preserve and revitalize the world's many endangered languages. She is considered one of the most prominent voices in the field. An internationally renowned poet, Zepeda was a key player in steering through the U.S. Congress the 1990 Native American Languages Act, which gave hope to indigenous language activists around the world. As co-founder and longtime director of the American Indian Language Development Institute, known as AILDI, an annual summer institute where American Indian teachers learn about language teaching and the development of instructional materials, Zepeda has overseen the training of more than 2,000 students, almost all of them American Indians working in their tribal communities. Regents' Professor is an honor awarded only to full professors. No more than 3 percent of tenured and tenure-track faculty members may hold the rank at any given time.


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