Ishkodeke (Making a Fire) and the Bagidinise Project
District 318-American Indian Services
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
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.