Using Computers to Learn and Preserve Indigenous Languages

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NASHUA, N.H. – (Business Wire) Mary Hermes, a Dakotah woman and University of Minnesota professor with years of experience in education, and her husband Kevin Roach, an Ojibwe artist with expertise in both tribal art and computer graphics, wanted give their children the gift of being raised in their tribal language during their young years. They helped found Waadookodaading School, an Ojibwe immersion school, on the reservation where they live. Over time, however, Mary and Kevin came to feel that immersion schools were not reaching enough people. Ojibwe learners and teachers needed more strategies for revitalization in addition to immersion schools. Ojibwe is the third most widely taught indigenous language in North America after Navajo and Cherokee. Yet, the lack of fluent Ojibwe teachers and teaching materials, as well as the physical separation of Ojibwe people across multiple reservations in the U.S. and Canada, has stymied people’s efforts to learn and preserve their language. They felt that people needed effective curriculum materials and opportunities to learn and practice their language outside of schools.

In 2000, Mary and Kevin founded the nonprofit organization Grassroots Educational Multimedia (GEM) with the mission of developing curriculum materials especially designed to teach Ojibwe and other First Nation languages. Mary and Kevin later hooked up with Nora Livesay, a master’s student in the University of Minnesota-Duluth’s World Language Revitalization Program.,703836.shtml


2 Responses

  1. […] on February 4, 2009 by gregornot. Please read article, cited after the quote. See the rest here: Using Computers to Learn and Preserve Indigenous Languages … climate-change, indigenous, legalese, media, nuclear-waste, Uncategorized, university, […]

  2. Thank you very much for this information.
    Good post thanks for sharing.

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