A man named Edwin Benson from the Fort Berthold Indian reservation in North Dakota died in early December.
He was the last living person who could fluently speak Nu'eta, the Mandan language.
"This language, which made dad so well-known across the world, I'm afraid it's extinct," his daughter told The Dickson Press after he died.
But what of efforts that continue to preserve the language?
MPR News host Tom Weber spoke with Twin Cities writer and artist Vincent Moniz Jr., who's one of the people trying to keep the language alive. He's part of an effort called the Nu'eta Language Initiative.
To hear the full conversation, use the audio player above.