Dr. Jerry Yellowhawk Continues Decades-Long Lakota Bible Translation

Lakota Translation Team

Dr. Jerry Yellowhawk, our Respected Elder, continues his work of translating the Bible into the Lakota Language.

This Lakota translation project began in 1960 when several Native believers came together and decided it was important to have the scriptures accurately translated into the heart language of the Lakota people.

The project was on and off for a number of years until 1999, when Dr. Yellowhawk was asked by Wycliff to revive it.  Now sponsored by the American Bible Society, the work progresses on a weekly basis.

Lakota Translation Community Testing Team

Dr. Yellowhawk and other translators first individually work on a section of text. Then they gather together as a translation team to look at their drafts and make any needed revisions. Next, the drafts go to a community testing group for input and then come back to the translation team for revision. When all that is done, the American Bible Society consultants come to check their work.

Several books of the Bible have been translated so far, but there’s still a long way to go until the entire Bible is completed.

The members of the translation team are pictured above.  From left to right (front row):  Jerry Yellowhawk, translator; Rosalie Little Thunder, translator; Carla Marshall, book keeper; (back row) Ben Black Bear, translator; Steve Berneking, American Bible Society consultant; Jack Rushing, Exegetical Resource Facilitator.