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Native American sign-talking with Ron Garritson
November 17 @ 7:00 pm
Native American sign-talking with Ron Garritson. 7pm. Billings Public Library Community Room. In honor of Native American Heritage Month, the Library welcomes Ron Garritson, an expert in Plains Indian Sign Language, who will talk about the language and the preservation efforts surrounding it. This informative and entertaining talk is co-sponsored by The Friends of the Library as part of the Friday Night Fun series.
Ron Garritson is a 4th generation Montanan, born and raised in Billings, Montana. He grew up near the Crow Indian reservation and became an adopted member of the Beads Don’t Mix family of the Big Lodge Clan. Ron began learning the Plains Indian Sign Language in the mid-1970’s from the Crow, and today is counted among one of the most fluent Indian Sign Language speakers in the country, with a vocabulary over 1700 signs. He served as a guide and interpreter for the Plains Indian Sign Language Digital Field Research Project in 2009 and 2010 he taught the PISL in the MSU-B Native American Studies Department as an adjunct professor. Garritson was the recipient of the 2010 Yellowstone Western Heritage Center’s Eugene T. Carroll Historic Preservation award for his work on the preservation of the Plains Indian Sign Language and is currently in pre-production of a in depth instructional video of the PISL. Ron’s mission is the preserve and maintain the Plains Indian Sign Language for future generations.