Native Values, Language Embraced at Montana School

Indian Country Today published a story this week about a school experience that directly counters the one we blogged about below. Twenty-six eager students at White Clay Immersion School on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in Harlem, Montana are hard at work learning the A’ani language. While the school’s curriculum is composed of standard classes like math, science and reading – classes that students need to be successful – teachers know that success also means embracing traditional native values.

 
Director of the school, Dr. Lynette Chandler told local television station KFBB,

“Historically, Native people have not had a good relationship with education. So I wanted to turn that around and make it a holistic experience –basing it first and foremost on bringing back our language, revitalizing it, having it spoken every day, and used every day.”

Dr. Chandler’s insight is welcomed at a time when students elsewhere are sometimes still punished for speaking their heritage languages.

To see a short video about the school, click here.

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