Supporting Minnesota’s Indigenous Languages

By Mary Ann Zehr — March 20, 2008 1 min read
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I’m always interested in how speakers of languages other than English are keeping those languages alive, since the pressure to use English in this country often overshadows efforts to help people maintain their native languages.

The Minnesota Humanities Center, which receives funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, is one source of funding for projects to revitalize indigenous languages and culture in Minnesota. The center recently announced $5,000 grants to six different educational projects.

The projects are expected to produce an illustrated alphabet book in Dakota, a children’s book written in Ojibwe and Dakota featuring an elder who is fluent in Ojibwe, publications of several volumes of an academic journal in the Ojibwe language, Ojibwe family language kits, and 10 early-reader books in Ojibwe.

I’m glad someone is looking out for the revitalization of these less-commonly-spoken languages. What a boring world it would be if everyone spoke only English.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.