Concordia College Language Villages
Language Preservation and Education. $550,000 the first year and $700,000 the second year are for grants for programs that preserve Dakota and Ojibwe Indian languages and to foster educational programs in Dakota and Ojibwe languages.
Concordia Language Villages and American Indian Studies representatives met on several occasionis to coordinate grant funded activities
looking ahead to next steps and what needs to be accomplished in the months ahead. The winter Intergenerational Weekend took place February 10-12
2012. Enrollment was a little less that expected (30); the April weekend has the capacity to make up the difference. The participants
almost all first-timers
provided positive feedback about all program components and the level of Dakota spoken was high. A total of five First Speakers were present. The second language development weekend for teachers of Dakota was held March 17 & 18. A core group of repet program staff members joined a few other teachers of Dakota in an enriching session that focused on hands-on learning
including the setting up of a tipi. Unusually nice spring wether contributed to outdoor activities. Given the more activity-focused approach to the weekend
both formal as well as informal increased over the weekend. On the curriculum development front
the program planning and preparation meetings have been invaluable for the staff and signficantly contribute to the program quality. Program staffs are documenting their activites as they go
which will greatly assist when compining the comprehensive curriculum later this spring.
The purpose of this grant is to build on what was created with last year’s grant funding by creating a Dakota Language and culture institute. The purpose of the institute is to offer multilevel teacher training seminars and Dakota language and culture immersion sessions for intergenerational groups. There will be teacher seminars to reinforce the learning from the first summer seminar and subsequent intergenerational immersion sessions, and to expand instructional repertoire of the participants, as well as, offer immersion weekends for Dakota language teachers to increase their own language proficiency and to build their experiential educational skills. The short term goals of the project are to design and to implement a five day summer session for 12 current Dakota teachers at the Concordia Language Village site near Bemidji, hold three language development workshops for twenty participants each. The long term goal of the Institute is to offer a multidimensional schedule of teacher trainings on an annual basis throughout the year that addresses the linguistic and pedagogical needs of Dakota teachers at all levels of experience.
Minnesota’s most enduring languages are in danger of disappearing. Without timely intervention, the use of Dakota and Ojibwe languages – like indigenous languages throughout the globe -- will decline to a point beyond recovery.