As a part of our ongoing commitment to support Indigenous students, families and communities, we were proud to launch our Anishinaabemowin Language Program on December 11, 2021. This non-credit class, part of the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) International and Indigenous Languages Program (IILP), is open to students in Grades 1-12 and adults.
Nikki Shawana, a member of the Odawa nation, Eagle clan, leads the Anishinaabemowin language classes and hopes this program provides an opportunity that she did not have when she was in school.
“I’m so excited that the Waterloo Region District School Board is offering this program…because I know what it’s like growing up in southern Ontario and going to school here,” Shawana said to CBC-KW in December. “When I went to school, there was no access to Anishinaabemowin programs anywhere. There was no chance or opportunity, really, for you to learn if you were in southern Ontario and not close to an Anishinaabe community.”
For Shawana, the virtual nature of the program is especially important, as it opens the door for more people to sign up, and get started on learning about the Anishinaabemowin language and culture.
So what can students expect from this course? Shawana explained that they’ll be starting with a focus on the sounds used in the language. Once students learn each of the sounds included on a sound chart, they’ll have the building blocks to say any word in Anishinaabemowin.
“We’re really starting from the beginning, really starting from the basics,” They’re starting from square one, Shawana explained, hoping to make this course approachable for anyone who is interested.
If you’re interested in signing up to learn more about Anishinaabemowin language and culture, check out the link below:
Register for the Anishinaabemowin Language Program