ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Out of 125,000 living Lakotas, less than 6,000 speak their language. Albino Garcia is trying to change that, one Albuquerque middle school student at time
“They have a yearning and a want and a need to learn their culture and language here and so I have the great opportunity of providing it to them,” Garcia said.
Garcia is trying to preserve the Lakota traditions. He has been teaching for eight years at the Native American community academy in Albuquerque.
“my students here in Albuquerque this is their first exposure to the Lakota language because the land base of the language is in the northern plains there are a lot of Lakota families here because of the Relocation Act,” Garcia said.
Garcia has unique teaching style makes him stand out. He says he enjoys the connection that he has with his students.
“In our culture there isn’t terms for friends male or female…It’s all a relationship we have with one and another so my students are my nieces and nephews,” Garcia said.
He says he’s honored to be a Golden Apple Recipient.
“This award just reassures that I’m on the right path in my life and doing what I’m supposed to do,” Garcia said. “I believe it myself but when others believe in it, it just lifts me up.”
Garcia also works with Gear Up South Dakota, a college preparation program for Lakota youth. He’s also a guest teacher at Yale University.