Visitors from Hawaii Help Ojibwe School

Immersion language schools help each other grow and learn.

The Waadookodaading School just outside of Hayward celebrates the language and culture of the Ojibwe people.

The language education program is in it sixteenth year and some say they wouldn’t have had their success without the help of another school in Hawaii.

Over thirty years ago, a program started in Hawaii to help schools there promote their native language and culture. They reconnected with their friends in Wisconsin and shared stories through the language of education.

The classroom at the Waadookodaading School might sound different because the school immerses its students in the Ojibwe language.

The mission of the school is the same as other area schools and that’s to educate its young minds.

“For indigenous people this type of school is really reclaiming our identity,” said director Brooke Ammann.

The school outside of Hayward is reconnecting with visitors from Hawaii, their original partners who helped establish the school in Wisconsin.

Each school may speak a different language, but has one goal.

“We just want to be able to come and witness physically the good work they’re doing and what we want to be able to advocate together,” said Amy Kalili, Executive Director of Mokuola Honua.

While the languages are different, they’ve found similarities in culture, learning techniques, and linguistic styles.

“They know who they are cause they are grounded in their culture and their language,” said immersion school graduate Iwalani Kualii Kahoohanohano.

The language brings them together and reclaims an identity that could’ve been lost.

“This is something to be proud of and that we don’t have to be afraid to learn and be who we are,” said Iwalani Kualii Kahoohanohano.

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