Date of Award


Document Type




First Reader

Dr. Margarita Pintado

Second Reader

Dr. Kevin C. Motl

Third Reader

Dr. Barbara Pemberton


The story of the Quapaw, or Downstream People, and their language is an integral part of both the American Indian experience and the larger, universal tapestry of multilingualism. Despite historical setbacks and contemporary challenges, preserving the virtually extinct Quapaw language adds to the diverse cultural narrative of the Americas and shares a nation’s unique story with the rest of humanity. Consulting linguists, historical records, tribal members, and experts on indigenous studies, this project aims to answer questions concerning the state of the Quapaw tongue: how it arrived at virtual extinction, what is being done to preserve it, and the challenges associated with trying to maintain a dying language. Additionally, this project demonstrates the value of the Quapaw language, as the survival of the Downstream People serves as a powerful reminder of the North American heritage and the culturally unifying forces at the heart of the indigenous identity.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.