A recent article written by Linda Grover for Budgeteer News describes how Ojibwe Language and Culture are taught in Duluth, MN public high schools. The curriculum is growing, with Ojibwe culture and history classes being added this year. Both Native and non-Native students have the opportunity to learn Ojibwe language and culture in the classroom, just as they can any other “foreign” language.
In her article, Grover states, “This is the right thing to do. Ojibwe language, like all Native languages, has as its foundation the truths, values and spiritual ways of our people.”
The question of whether non-Native people should be encouraged (or even permitted) to learn Native languages is an important one. Ms. Grover is clearly pleased that the Ojibwe language is being revitalized and taught, regardless of whether language learners are Ojibwe or not.
What do you think about this? Do you feel members of other tribes should be able to learn your language in public schools? What about non-Native individuals? Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.