Grant Aims to Grow Ojibwe Language Speakers

$46,000 Granted to Create Online Instructional Videos

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Native Ojibwe speakers are hard to come by, but a big grant going to the College of St. Scholastica will aim to help change that.

Thanks to a $46,000 grant, Ojibwe elders, experts and teachers will create 12-15 online videos to help Ojibwe immersion teachers across the country.

“Through the webinars, we’re going to make them free and accessible to anybody in the world,” said Ojibwe language professor Michael Sullivan. “These teachers who are teaching kindergarten in Minneapolis and new immersion schools can have a resource.”

Ojibwe speakers believe their language is what connects them to their core beliefs.

Experts at CSS say there is pressure from elders to learn the language and carry it on into the future.

“We’re seeing a kind of shift in the tide and rather than losing speakers year after year as we have in the past we’re gaining speakers in these schools,” said Sullivan.

Grant funding includes $32,000 from the Grotto Foundation, $10,000 from the Blandin Foundation and $4,000 from the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation.

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