Dakota Language Immersion Camp
$550,000 in 2010 and $700,000 in 2011 are appropriated to the Indian Affairs Council to issue grants for programs to preserve Dakota and Ojibwe Indian languages and to foster educational programs in Dakota and Ojibwe languages.
Increased ability to speak and understand Dakota in daily activities and conversations. Increased knowledge of culturally appropriate manners and behavior. Increased connectedness to the community.
The Dakota immersion camp will last for nine weeks, beginning June 7, 2010 and ending on August 6th, 2010. It is expected that there will be 25 participants at the camp. Specific camp activities include: speaking, listening, and interacting in Dakota. Going on field trips; nature, culture, others. Preparing and eating meals. Participating in community services. Attending Dakota culture presentations. Mentoring children with Dakota play. Nurturing community garden. Playing games; moccasin, lacrosse, other. Learning and participating in Dakota singing and dancing, as appropriate.
The population of fluent speakers in all Dakota communities is decreasing at a rapid rate. The Upper Sioux is no exception to this. Because the Upper Sioux Community is small, accurate data on the number of Dakota speakers is easy to obtain. In 1936, when the first residence/land assignment list for Upper Sioux was established, almost every member could fluently speak the Dakota language. In 2010, there were six fluent speakers within the Upper Sioux Community.