Education of our young is an investment that will continue to pay off for generations of our people. But consider – if they could be educated while immersed in their native language, the return would be beyond measure.
The numbers of Ojibwe people that can converse in the language is rapidly declining. Other Ojibwe Reservations the Great Lakes Region are facing the same situation. Of all reservations, Lac Courte Oreilles is one of a handful where Ojibwe children are immersed in their language as a strategy of saving an endangered Native language. The PreK-7 school is the first and only Wisconsin Indian language immersion school where a Native language is the medium of instruction.
The school organizes its curriculum around common core learning standards, including experiences in English language arts, mathematics, and fundamentals of other subjects. Instruction is conducted entirely in the Ojibwe language with sequenced coursework provided to students that simultaneously offers an academic and authentic cultural elementary education foundation.
Waadookodaading was publicly chartered by the Hayward Community School District from 2001-2014. As a non-instrumentality Charter School of the District, Waadookodaading was free to design its own instructional program as long as students continue to meet Wisconsin educational performance standards. In Wisconsin, Charter school status does not come with funding support from the public school system, nor the state. Waadookodaading raised its own funds from federal grants, foundations and other resources. Since the beginning of 2015 Waadookodaading Ojibwe Language Institute has worked with the Lac Courte Oreilles schools and the BIE to offer an Ojibwe Languae immersion tract for students enrolled at the LCO Ojibwe School.