Impact & Accomplishments

Waadookodaading Ojibwe Language Institute exists to use Ojibwe medium education to strengthen the Anishinaabe people, language and culture. We envision a future where the longevity and quality of life for Anishinaabe people are made certain by their ability to think in the Ojibwe language and live our culture.

IMPACT

The concept of language immersion instruction as a revitalization of a nearly exterminated language presents educators with the complex challenge of creating tiered multi-sensory experiences supported by visual aids and manipulatives in Ojibwe, where none exist, and lacks the resources of university-trained individuals fluent in the language to serve as teachers, staff and curriculum developers.
 
Linguists define a language without native speakers (people who grew up speaking the language as a child) as “dead” or “extinct.” A language with no native speakers in the youngest generation is called “moribund.” A language with very few native speakers is called “endangered” or “imperiled.” 
 
 A review of research literature on language loss and language revitalization quantifies the status of Ojibwe language at Lac Courte Oreilles. According to Dr. Joshua A. Fishman’s Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale for Threatened Languages, Ojibwe language at Lac Courte Oreilles falls between Stages 7 and 8. An endangered language can be revitalized through extensive, well-defined efforts.

The Ojibwe language at Lac Courte Oreilles is in a revitalization stage. Less than a handful of first-language elders are left. But there is a window of opportunity with the Waadookodaading Language Immersion Institute, which provides language instruction to young children ages 5–11, a prime stage level of learning languages. However, the challenges are many and include funding, developing a curriculum, employing/retaining certified Native teachers with the requisite language abilities, and a lack of classroom space.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS