Dakota Language and Culture Institute
Concordia College Corp.
2010 Grant Activities Plan and implement a five-day immersion methodology training session for 20 Dakota participants, with a follow up weekend workshop. Create a thematic based immersion curriculum, along with assessment tools, for Dakota learners that will be available in print and via an interactive web page. Implement two successful intergenerational immersion sessions for a total of 80 participants, by hiring/training leaders and staff. Grant Amount $100,000
2011 Grant Activities
Grant Activities: The Fond du Lac Tribal College will provide two-day language immersion weekends for students and teachers having intermediate level fluency. They will be offered one weekend each month for eight months from September 2011 through April 2012. The weekends will focus on participatory activities including individual and small group discussions, skits, meal preparation, games, and field trips to seasonal camps. A wing of the college dormitory will also be set aside for language students to speak Ojibwe together and participate in language enrichment programming. Grant Amount: $108,787
2012 Grant Activities
Grant Activities: The purpose of this grant is to continue to positively impact all of the Dakota communities in Minnesota, where there are fewer than six first speakers. The Concordia Language Village’s Dakota language and culture institute society will expand to include youth specific programming to engage and excite young people about learning the Dakota language by offering a language and cultural immersion session for middle and high school youth. This week long pilot session will occur in the summer of 2013. The first objective is to convene five society representatives to attend two days in the Language Villages to observe a full day of programming. Additionally, staff will be meeting for a full day of planning for this summer pilot program. The final project objective is that three Dakota Society members will attend the annual Village Leadership Council meeting in March of 2013.
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.