Dakotah culture is in stark danger of extinction. Just 27 people in all of Minnesota, original home of the Dakotah Sioux, speak Dakotah, DeCoteau says. About 100 speak it on the Lake Traverse Reservation of South Dakota, where DeCoteau held the recent tournament. When those elders die, the language could die, too.
That, DeCoteau hopes, is about to change, thanks to the game found in one of every three American homes: Scrabble.