Saturday, April 12, 2008

Language immersion school to save the Ojibwe language

This is a piece from Minnesota Public Radio about a kindergarten through third grade school on the Leech Lake Reservation here in Minnesota that's trying to preserve the Ojibwe language. There is a partial transcript on the web page, some photographs of the school and its students, and a stream of the audio piece.

As a person who has some ancestors whose language is linguistically related to Ojibwe (Algonquin), I think this is wonderful. There is a part of me that wants *some* working knowledge of all of my ancestral languages, but this is problematic because at the moment I can only speak English and German, so I'd have to learn Norwegian, Swedish, Polish, Welsh, and Algonquin, Algonquin being the most problematic because it faces the same risk of linguistic extinction as its cousin Ojibwe, and because I as a mostly-white person am aware of the many implications of an outsider being perceived as intruding upon an already marginalized cultural group. I wouldn't know where to begin looking or how to approach the subject without being awkward or rude.

1 comment:

Adrian Preston said...

I'd look up the American Indian Cultural Center (or whatever they're calling it these days) at the U of M, as they might have some resources, and were VERY accepting of me and my obvious whiteness.

Also note that your link lacks an href tag, so it just just a textural URL instead of a proper link that one can click on.