Leanne Hinton is a linguist and advocate for the perpetuation and revival of Native American languages. Dr. Hinton is chair of the Linguistics Department at the University of California at Berkeley and has been a professor in that department since 1978. She is a founding member of the Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival, whose mission is to assist California Indian communities and individuals in keeping their languages alive.
She strongly supports interdisciplinary approaches to linguistics and linguistic research that relates to community needs and interests, as well as to theory. Dr. Hinton has published 8 books and numerous articles on the state of indigenous languages. She co-developed a language learning technique for communities in which the only Native speakers are elderly and few in number. Called the Master Apprentice approach, this immersion method pairs an elder, fluent speaker with a younger non-speaker, where the language is taught and learned in a culturally meaningful setting. She also organizes the bi-annual Breath of Life Workshops at UC Berkeley, where California Indians with no living speakers of their Native languages use scholarly and other resources to reconstruct and start speaking their Native languages again.