Montessori Language Nest Program
-Engage young children, strengthen families' cultural wellness through Indigenous language acquisition
-Revitalize cultural parenting practices
-Teaching parents to be advocates of holistic health for children
-Enroll 12-15 children and their families
-Bi-weekly language nest sessions with focus on language and cultural identity
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.
As languages are inherently inseparable from individual and communal identity, they are difficult to eradicate from a culture. Severing the people from their lands, denying them sustenance, and forcing them into English-only boarding schools was not successful in destroying these languages. For more than 100 years such assaults were aggressively pursued as the official policy of federal and state governments in the United States in attempt to eradicate the languages, and yet the languages of the Dakota and Ojibwe people survive. The survival of Dakota and Ojibwe languages, however, remains threatened. Indigenous language revitalization now requires heroic measures in order for these languages to not only survive, but to thrive and to live on for future generations.
The project goals of this organization include engaging young children and their families in strengthening their cultural wellness through language acquisition and revitalization of cultural parenting/rearing practices while also preparing the family to be good advocates for their whole child’s needs. One objective is to establish a child care center licensed to offer services so that outreach and enrollment of 12-15 children and their families can begin. Another objective is to offer bi-weekly language nest sessions that focus on language and parenting/child rearing practices that strengthen parenting and cultural identity.