Ishkodeke (Making a Fire) and the Bagidinise Project

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2011 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
District 318-American Indian Services
Recipient Type
K-12 Education
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2009, Chp. 172, Art. 4, Sec. 3 (b)
Appropriation Language

$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

Language Preservation and Education. $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.

2011 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Number of full time equivalents funded
2010 .5, 2011 1.2
Measurable Outcome(s)

Ojibwe 1 and 2 have been added to the Grand Rapids High School 2011-2012 curriculum guide. Netbooks and adapters have been ordered and the Ojibwemodaa DVDs were received. The Ojibwe language teacher is now reviewing both the DVD and the CD to determine how the information they carry will be used in the new language curriculum she is writing. The Ojibwemodaa is a grassroots interactive multimedia program and the Pimsleur CD carries conversational Ojibwe language lessons taught by Native speakers. Two organizational meetins have been held for the Ojibwe Quiz Bowl

Measurable Outcome(s)

an activity that provides a special way to build fluency and cultural knowledge in students. It appears that the program has expanded to include two Quiz Bowl teams.

Project Overview

2010 Activities
Complement one on one teaching with technology. Create a new curriculum for two Ojibwe language classes. Introduce interactive online educational software to appeal to today’s techno-savvy students, along with other online teaching aids. Base grammatical language instruction around Ojibwemowin texts. Continue Indian student quiz bowl team. With online activities, use Ojibwe literature and nonfiction books to build literary skills. Bring fluent Ojibwe speakers into the classroom and to the family language tables that will be established at existing family nights. Have language table participants create printable materials. Let students become teachers when they put together elementary school curriculum. Amount Funded in 2010 $23,841

2011 Activities
The primary project of the Bagidinise Project is to add wood to the fire of learning and revitalization of the Ojibwe language sparked by the Ishkodeke Project. Short term goals are to continue to create high school level curriculum for two more Ojibwe language classes, Ojibwe III and IV, to expand the Ojibwe I offering by an additional section. Additional long-term goals are to align all Ojibwe language classes with the national standards for world language and to continue to develop preschool, elementary, and middle school curriculum that focus on Ojibwe language and culture and that meet state social studies standards. Amount funded in 2011 $20,746

About the Issue

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. 

Project Manager
First Name
Mary Lou
Last Name
Organization Name
ISD 318-American Indian Services
Street Address
30172 LaPlant Road
Grand Rapids
Zip Code
(218) 327-3428