Archive for the ‘Assiniboine (asb)’ Category

First Nations Language Speaking Circle in Saskatchewan

5 June 2011

Dene speaker Allan Adam and Woodlands Cree Cathy Wheaton started the First Nations Language Speaking Circle in April 2009 and continue coordinating it to this day.

The group meets Tuesday nights from 7 to 8:30 at the Albert Branch of the Regina library system in Saskatchewan.

According to the First Nation Language Speaking Project page on Facebook, lessons are provided free of charge in the following languages:

Among the spectacular features of this group is the lessons that Adam has stockpiled on his website. They include video and audio learning, glossaries, links and more. In addition to the languages mentioned above, the page lists Michif (crg), with the hope of adding lessons at some point.

Another great product of this group is the flash cards provided by Cathy Wheaton on the Quizlet website. She has created 82 sets of cards with up to 35 cards in a set. Like Adam’s lessons, the flash cards are offered free on the Internet.

The contact person for the group is Natalie Owl and the lessons are on a drop-in basis. Refreshments are also provided. See the Regina Library calendar for more details.

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Job offer: curriculum and resource developer in Manitoba, Canada

21 May 2011

The Frontier School Division covers 41 schools in northern Manitoba, Canada, some accessible only by boat or plane. Their mission statement includes the statement: “Language and culture celebrated in the community and school builds identity.”

Within the FSD is the Social Studies/Native Studies Department, whose mission statement includes the belief that, “…students will learn best and experience success when the language and culture of the community influences programs in schools.”

The FSD is currently seeking a full-time curriculum and resource developer for Ojibway at the divisional level. The job is permanent and will begin this September. The deadline for application is May 27.

Education requirements are:

  • Bachelor of Education degree
  • Masters Degree (completed or in progress)
  • Valid Manitoba Teaching Certificate

Other requirements include at least five years of instruction and fluency in Ojibway are required. Ojibway probably refers to Northwestern Ojibwa (ojb).

Unfortunately, the Aboriginal Education page with language information is under construction, but according to the Ethnologue, Assiniboine (asb), Chipewyan (chp), Dakota (dak), Northwestern Ojibwa (ojb), Plains Cree (crk) and Woods Cree (cwd) are spoken in Manitoba, along with English, French and Plautdietsch (pdt).

Teachers looking for budgets

19 May 2007

The US education system is complex. Education is the responsibility of individual states, and with 50 states, that means a wide variation in how language revitalization programs are handled both because of state language policy as well as budget availability. Nevertheless, there is a national Department of Education and funding is provided from time to time for national educational policies. Additionally, the Administration for Native Americans provides funding for projects.

The most successful method of teaching a language is considered to be immersion, where only the language being taught is used in the classroom. Setting up an immersion program for an endangered language not only requires establishing a curriculum, but often creating textbooks as well, costly ventures that states may not be willing or able to fund.

In the “Treasure State” of Montana, it was hoped that the state would provide money to fund immersion programs for three languages, Gros Ventre, Salish and Blackfeet (Blackfoot). The bill did not even pass out of committee, however, as noted in the Billings Gazette article Tribal-language teaching struggles. (Salish perhaps refers to what the Ethnologue refers to as Kalispel-Pend D’oreille.)

Last year, the national government stepped up to the plate and passed the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation Act (text / PDF of bill) to provide funding for immersion programs. Fort Belknap, home of the Gros Ventre and the Assiniboine (language: Assiniboine) tribes, has applied for a grant under that act. Perhaps this funding will provide the budgets educators need.

The Native Languages of the Americas website offers some glossaries of Gross Ventre, and a dictionary is underway as shown on the legacy site for the “Plains Center“. Gros Ventre and Assiniboine (noted as Nakota/Nakoda) classes are available from Fort Belknap College. A small glossary of Salish words with sound files is available from the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes site. The Native Languages of the Americas website offers language links including a few short glossaries and one to The Blackfoot Dictionary of Stems, Roots, and Affixes.