Division of Indian Work
$550,000 the first year and $550,000 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.
The Division of Indian Work’s First Language Project will service youth who attend Minneapolis Public Schools. The goal of this grant is that American Indian youth, ages 7-17 will increase their knowledge and practice of conversational Ojibwe language. Additionally, the goal is that these students will continue to study the language after the grant cycle is over. Measurement of these goals will be determined through periodic testing of the Ojibwe language acquisition.
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.
These languages embody irreplaceable worldviews. They express, reflect, and maintain communal connections and ways of understanding the world. Deeper than the disuse of vocabulary or grammar, the loss of an indigenous language is destruction of a complex system for ordering the relationships among people and the natural world, for solving social problems, and connecting people to something beyond themselves.