The First Nations Development Institute in Longmont, Colorado, has announced the inaugural grantees in its three-year Native Language Immersion Initiative.
Funded the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Lannan, Kalliopeia, and NoVo foundations, NLII is designed to foster dialogue and a community of practice around Native language immersion programs. Through the initiative, each grantee will receive $90,000 to build the capacity of its Native language-immersion or culture-retention programs, including American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian languages.
The inaugural recipients include Chickaloon Native Village in Alaska, which will implement a pilot program serving pre-K-8 students aimed at implementing a curriculum and assessment standards developed over the past three years for Ahtna culture and language immersion instruction; Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College in Baraga, Michigan, which will expand the use of Ojibwe language and cultural activities in a preschool program and provide teachers with recurring training, evaluation, and a curriculum; the Oneida Nation in Oneida, Wisconsin, which will expand its Oneida immersion program to include Oneida Head Start students; and Sitting Bull College, in Fort Yates, North Dakota, which will create a comprehensive, coherent pre-K immersion curriculum based on Dakota/Lakota immersion activities and materials developed since 2012.
"We sincerely thank all of the organizations that applied this year, all of whom are doing great work in their communities and often under challenging circumstances," said First Nations associate director of programs Marsha Whiting. "For those who weren't selected this year, there will be another call for grant proposals next year, so please plan to apply again."
(Photo credit: Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College)