"Native informant"

While the main objective of the IU African Studies Program, had always been the education of American students, African students played an important role in that education from the beginning, that of “native informant”. Native informants were distinguished from linguists (professors) and language assistants (graduate students). The language instruction portion of the 1966 budget request below was submitted by Gus Liebenow to HEW, with the reference to "native informant"s on the last page. 

Today, Africans, typically graduate students, continue to lend their expertise as indigenous language instructors and cultural insiders, through various government-funded programs including the US Department of State Fulbright and US Department of Education Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) programs. 


Taken from a letter dated May 10, 1966 from J. Gus Liebenow, addressed to Dr. Maxwell Flapan, Head Institutional Assistance Section, Bureau of Higher Education, Office of Education, Department of Health and Welfare (HEW).