SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The man who oversees a Lakota language program at Sioux Falls public schools is now offering Lakota classes to the public.

The Argus Leader reports that Tim Easter will teach one-hour classes one Sunday a month at the Downtown Library in Sioux Falls until January.

Less than 10 percent of Lakota people speak the language, and most of them are elders. Easter says the language was "pretty much forbidden" for years.

Easter says that even after being marginalized and repressed for decades, there has been a resurgence of interest in the Lakota language.

He says there's now a strong interest in preserving the language at reservation schools and in South Dakota communities, especially in the western half of the state.

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