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Keeping A Dying Language Alive After Finding Your Birth Parents

Credit Gabriel Spitzer
Lois Landgrebe

This story originally aired on December 9, 2017.   

Lois Langrebe has taught Lushootseed for over two decades, a dying language of the Tulalip tribes that she’s struggling to keep from going extinct.

It’s an important role that she never expected to fill while growing up.

A child of adoption, Lois was raised by a white family, knowing little about her origins or the culture of Native Americans. For years she struggled with her identity and finding a place that truly felt like home.

And then she says God, or the Great Spirit, stepped in and helped her fill a void, like a drop hitting water and making a ripple.

Gabriel Spitzer is a former KNKX reporter, producer and host who covered science and health and worked on the show Sound Effect.