The Beginning Piipaash class, Piipaash Immersion class and O’odham Immersion class and guests gather to celebrate the ending of the Spring 2016 classes.
Individuals Recognized for Learning the O’odham and Piipaash Languages
Submitted by the O’odham Piipaash Language Program

On Thursday, May 7, the O’odham Piipaash Language Program recognized all 53 participants who attended the O’odham and Piipaash language classes this semester. Students received either certificates of completion or participation.

As a program, the OPLP feels it is very important to recognize the individuals who dedicated their time and made a commitment to attend the language classes. Their participation is important not only to OPLP as a program, but to the entire Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

The evening started with a prayer and song by the O’odham Immersion class. Students from the Piipaash Immersion and Beginning Piipaash classes combined to perform a Vospo dance and round dance. After a light dinner, special guest speaker Senior Curator Luis Barragan of the language section for the Huhugam Heritage Center, provided a powerful message to all in attendance. Barragan specializes in linguistics and is employed at the Gila River Indian Community. His encouraging words were inspiring not only to the students, but to the staff as well.

Congratulations to all the students from the OPLP. We are so proud of each one of you. Please keep coming back to our classes to learn how to speak your language! Also, here’s a big “You’re Appreciated!” to the instructors. All the learning that took place this semester couldn’t have been done without you, and your strength and determination to share your knowledge with others is to be commended.

The next semester of OPLP language classes is scheduled to begin on September 6 and 7.

The OPLP would like to let everyone know to that summer classes are just around the corner. If you, someone in your family or anyone you know is interested in any upcoming classes, please contact the SRPMIC Cultural Resources Department at (480) 362-6325 or visit the website at

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Individuals Recognized for Learning the O’odham and Piipaash Languages