Evan Gardner, the original developer of WAYK, was born in Oregon City overlooking Willamette Falls. He grew up around the Clackamas, Molalla, and Willamette rivers and is now working in Bend, OR.
Evan has worked extensively in education from early childhood to university. He has worked for the Oregon School for the Deaf, Portland Public Schools, Salem Public Schools, International Red Cross Youth Quito Equador, Red Cross Youth Havana Cuba, and has taught English as a second language throughout Central and South America.
Evan has been teaching languages and language revitalization to teachers and students using his “Where Are Your Keys?” fluency game since 1992, facilitating workshops internationally.
He has taught Chinuk Wawa (chinook jargon) locally since 2002 as well as teacher development for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and Chinuk Nation. His greatest passion is supporting and strengthening endangered languages by creating professional youth teachers who enter college with years of teaching experience.
April Charlo is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, located on the Flathead reservation near Missoula, Montana. April’s commitment to restoring her tribal language motivated her to pursue a master’s degree in Education Leadership from the University of Montana. April intends to utilize her knowledge and experience to aid in the recovery and revitalization of Native Languages.
After graduating, April was introduced to Evan Gardner and the “Where Are You Keys?” concept. After only one short demonstration of “Where Are Your Keys?”, she signed up for the Summer Institute of Play internship. April has also recently graduated from the Healthy Native Communities Fellowship and has been experimenting with combining her new facilitation and community building skills with her understanding of working with Native youth. April sees the massive potential of incorporating community building methods into the “Where Are You Keys?” language learning techniques.
Sky Hopinka is of the Hochunk Nation and Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians. He has been interning with Evan and “Where Are Your Keys?” since February, 2011, and learning Chinuk Wawa, which he will apply to his university foreign language requirement. Sky is graduating in the fall from Portland State University with a BA in English and minor in film studies. Currently, he is interning with the “Where Are Your Keys?” Summer Institute of Play through the Indigenous Nations Studies department (formerly Native American Studies) at PSU. After graduating, he plans to work in filmmaking and with WAYK in learning and teaching the Hochunk and Luiseno languages.
David Edwards is an undergraduate student at Stanford University, working on an interdisciplinary major between the computer science, psychology, linguistics, and philosophy departments. He got interested in languages in middle school when he tried inventing one for fun; that led him to research other world languages, which fostered an interest in language revitalization and Native North American languages in particular. He discovered “Where Are Your Keys?” in March of 2010 and quickly became addicted to “language hunting,” sharing the system with friends in classrooms and workshops in California, Colorado, and Mongolia. Just recently he returned from a study abroad program in China and is looking forward to further expanding his cultural horizons through revitalization internships with WAYK.