Rather than turning to South America as she first thought, Mallory Schleif decided to do her Division III work on Malecite-Passamaquoddy (pqm). A student at Hampshire College, a university in Massachusetts, US, she was required to do a major independent project, referred to as Division III, to graduate.
As Passamaquoddy is spoken in nearby Maine (and to the north in Canada), her final choice saved a great deal of travel. The number of speakers of the language is declining quickly, particularly in Maine.
Working as a classroom assistant, she made language games for the students and storybooks. The end product of her Division III was her project titled “A River as a Stale Thing: Passamaquoddy Language Loss and Reclamation,” documenting the history and current usage of Passamaquoddy.
This blog entry is primarily from “Studying, and Working to Preserve, an Indigenous Language” on the Hampshire College site. The same story is on the College News site, but appears to have been published one day later.