Resource Directory and Public Awareness Project
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.
A Dakota and Ojibwe Language Culture Circle will be formed which will complete a documented multiyear plan for development of the Dakota and Ojibwe Language Resource Directors, including implementation of a regional public awareness campaign focusing on the origins, context, meanings, and narratives associated with Dakota and Ojibwe place names. This Culture Circle will receive technical assistance trainings on website development, wiki platform development and research methods so they can create, compile, and establish online and downloadable Language Resource Directories with a comprehensive database. The Dakota and Ojibwe Language Culture Circle will also have monthly one- on-one meetings with elders of the Dakota and Ojibwe Communities. The members of the Culture Circle may voluntarily participate in a self-assessment of their strengths and sense of meaning in their lives and anonymously share their growth by completing a questionnaire designed to measure such. Accordingly the product of the resource directory will also show of the outcome of this project.
The youth team has been established with regular weekly meeting times. In addition the website for project activites and deliverables has been established: (www.nativeyouthlanguageproject.org) with an associated social media site
email address and Youtube channel
The language and cultural needs of the American Indian community in the Twin Cities urban area are high. Additionally, the urban area has Dakota and Ojibwe tribal members, as well as, other tribal members. The purpose of this grant is to develop web based Dakota and Ojibwe language resource directories that will provide an online and downloadable documentary compilation of the location of teaching tools currently available in North America including media, instructional materials, online programs, and academic programs, using a wiki platform to maximize accessibility and resource upload capability. This directory will also be used to support a comprehensive public awareness project emphasizing the cultural relevance of the Twin Cities and regional Dakota and Ojibwe place-names.
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.