Several endangered Native American languages are being spoken this week at Missouri Southern State University.

The Siouan and Caddoan Language Conference is taking place from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. today through Thursday, June 15, in Room 105 of Webster Hall at Missouri Southern State University.

Approximately 20-30 people are in attendance.

Attendees include scholars from across the nation, in addition to two European scholars and representatives from Native American tribal language programs, according to Dr. Jill Greer of the MSSU Social Science Department.

The Siouan language family includes the languages spoken by the Crow, Dakota, Lakota, Osage and other tribes on the Great Plains, Ohio and Mississippi valleys. The Caddoan languages were originally spoken by Native Americans in the Great Plains of the central United States from North Dakota south to Oklahoma.

The languages are critically threatened today, with only a small number of speakers.