University of Winnipeg launches Indigenous language courses

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The University of Winnipeg (UW) will launch three new certificate programs in Indigenous languages ​​this fall, as the university continues to add courses and programs to teach and share Indigenous languages.

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“Having an Indigenous Languages ​​program at the University of Winnipeg signals to Indigenous peoples that Indigenous languages ​​are important and that there is a place for them at the University,” said the Indigenous Languages ​​Program Coordinator at the University of Winnipeg. ‘UW, Lorena Fontaine, in a statement this week announcing the new certificates. .

According to UW, the certificates will provide a “pathway” for students who are not ready or able to commit to a full degree, or who wish to incorporate a specific certificate in Indigenous languages ​​into a current degree, and it will supplement the Bachelor of Arts. in a Major in Indigenous Languages ​​that launched last fall at UW.

The three certificates added this fall are Indigenous Language Revitalization, Teaching Indigenous Languages ​​for Vitality, and Supporting Multilingualism and Indigenous Languages.

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“The University of Winnipeg’s Native Languages ​​program has two main objectives,” said Ms. Fontaine.

“The first is to teach students who want to learn a local Indigenous language to become proficient. The second is to provide students with historical context as to why Indigenous languages ​​are endangered.

“We are not only looking to teach students how to speak the language, but also to understand language revitalization locally and globally.”

The UW and local community organizations said they were excited to see the new Indigenous Languages ​​for Vitality Teaching Certificate being offered, as they said there was a need in the province for more people teach languages.

“Indigenous language educators are essential to revitalizing Indigenous languages,” Heather Souter of the Prairies to Woodlands Language Revitalization Circle said in a statement.

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“The new certificates support educators by providing them with training in how to teach, in a way that motivates children to use the language among themselves, in their families and in their communities.”

Additionally, according to UW, the Frontier School Division, which includes schools in several remote and northern communities, has pledged to help 20 teachers, staff and administrators earn the Teaching Indigenous Languages ​​for Vitality Certificate or Certificate. Supporting Multilingualism and Indigenous Languages. at UW.

— Dave Baxter is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter with the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

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