Federal Reserve Touts Importance of Native American Language Immersion Programs

The Federal Reserve Bank just published an article discussing the importance of the Dakota and Ojibwe language revitalization work going on in our community and around the country.

The article highlights the work at Wicoie Nandagikendan, a Dakota and Ojibwe early childhood language immersion program in Minneapolis. The story ran Friday in the Federal Reserve’s publication “Community Dividend,” written by economist Rob Grunewald. The headline reads: “Early childhood Native language immersion develops minds, revitalizes cultures: Learning their indigenous languages from a very young age may prepare Native American children for success in school and life, with benefits spilling over to their families and communities.” Continue reading

Thinking About Food

Just a couple of quick food items for a weekend post.

First, the 4th Annual Great Native American Cook Off is set for April 21, 6-8 p.m. at the Minneapolis American Indian Center, 1530 East Franklin Ave., Minneapolis. It is a fundraiser for the Wicoie Nandagikendan, an important Preschool Language Immersion Program to preserve the Dakota and Ojibwe languages. You can show your support by attending the event, entering a dish, sponsoring a cook, buying raffle tickets, donating raffle prizes, or volunteering.

Registration for cooks is now available on line at http://wicoienandagikendan.org/current-events/.

For more information or to help out, contact event coordinator Betty Jane Schaaf at bettyjaneschaaf@gmail.com or call her at 651-366-9175.

Fry Bread 101

And continuing the food topic, for all those out there who love to eat fry bread but have never made it, I have been saving this article from Indian Country Today titled Frybread 101: A Basic Recipe and Timeline. Click and enjoy!

Broken Promises on Native Language Revitalization; Art Exhibit: Singing Our History

We do a pretty good job in this country of writing reports and making recommendations, where we fall down is implementation.

For example, on this day in history, Jan. 23, 1992, the White House was in the middle of the three-day conference on Indian Education. It issued a 57-page Executive Summary with many recommendations. Here are a few of those recommendations specific to Native languages.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that American Indian /Alaska Native students will have access to curriculum and material which provides accurate and relevant information on the language, history, and culture of the American Indian/Alaska Native. (p. 21)

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that successful Early Childhood Programs shall be affirmed by the President and Congress to include the following components ….7. Respect the use of Native American culture and language in the educational process of Indian children at an early age to enhance the level of pride and self-esteem in learning … (page 29)

Ensure the strengthening, preservation, and revival of native languages and cultures to permit students to learn their tribal language as a first or second language. (page 32)

You get the idea. Continue reading