Updated: Jun 1, 2020
By Joe Morey
A language immersion two-year grant program known as the Gikinoo’amaagoowin Teacher Project at the Waadookodaading Ojibwe Language Immersion School that lasts through June 30 of 2021 has been a success according to Program Manager Dixie Dorman, with three Ojibwe language immersion courses being taught to date.
The project, which began in July of 2018, was funded through the Administration for Native Americans Esther Martinez Immersion Initiative.
“The goal is to assist language immersion programs in meeting the needs of aspiring speakers of their indigenous language,” Dorman explained.
In applying for the grant, Waadookodaading identified a need for licensed and formally trained immersion teachers. Three courses have been completed with Dr. Micheal Sullivan Sr.”Migizi” as the instructor.
Within the grant, Keller Paap “Waawaakeyaash,” Lisa LaRonge “Bebamaashiikwe,” Dustin Burnette “Gimiwan,” and Sullivan are considered the veteran teachers who have knowledge of Ojibwe language immersion practices to share with the current and future teacher trainees.
The current trainees are Hannah Orie “Niigaaniibinesiikwe,” Persia Erdrich “Netaaniimid,” Brooke Simon “Zhaangweshii,” Bezhig Hunter, Rosie Gonzalez "Waasegiizhiigookwe,” Julie Corbine “Awaanookwe” and Catherine Carlson “Niizhoobinesiikwe.”
"And of course the wonderful children and families of Waadookodaading because there would be no Waadookodaading without them,” Dorman added.
She explained currently, Dr. Roy Jonjak is writing a proposal for an application to Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction for Waadookodaading to become a teacher licensing institute.
“This hasn’t been submitted yet and it will take some time to get it approved, but we’re hopeful in the next three to five years making this possible for our teachers.”