Ojibwe Language Program

The Ojibwe language is one of the indigenous languages of Minnesota and belongs to the Algonquian family of languages. Sister dialects of Ojibwe are also spoken in North Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Canada. Because of its endangered status today, there is a movement to preserve, document, and revitalize this beautiful language. It is the mission of the Ojibwe Langauge Program at the University of Minnesota to help in this important endeavor. Learn more about our efforts toward this goal on our Research and Collaborations page

Bachelor of Arts in Ojibwe Language

As part of our mission to preserve and revitalize the Ojibwe language, we have created the BA in Ojibwe Language degree program. This program provides our students an opportunity to gain an in-depth knowledge of the language with a focus on oral proficiency. Learn more about this degree program on our Degree Programs page.

Majoring in the Ojibwe language program will prepare you to:

  • be ready to fill an ever-growing need for immersion teacher positions;
  • begin bringing the Ojibwe language back into the home;
  • graduate with a more sophisticated knowledge of the Ojibwe language in general;
  • increase your fluency under instructor supervision;
  • learn language immersion pedagogy;
  • increase both your Ojibwe language credentials and earning potential upon graduation.

Learn more on our Degree Programs page.

Scholarships and Outreach

The Ojibwe Language Program offers a financial aid program for University of Minnesota degree-seeking undergraduates and non-degree seeking Continuing Education students, who demonstrate strong dedication to learning to speak and teach the Ojibwe language. Preference is given if you are of Ojibwe heritage, if you demonstrate financial need, or if you are a parent with children in an Ojibwe language immersion program.

Teacher-Student Practicum

Student Language-Teacher

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Language Practicum students earn college credits and a small stipend to assist a full-time Ojibwe language instructor within a Minneapolis Public School language classroom. The practicum provides you with teaching experience as well as the opportunity to improve your language skills.

Practicum also benefits community programs with much-needed classroom assistance and preparation for prospective employees. In recent years, students have served their practicum at Wicoie Nandagikendan Dakota and Ojibwe Immersion Program sites (Anishinabe Academy and Four Directions Family Center), as well as Bdote Learning Center, a K-3 Dakota and Ojibwe Immersion Program.

Ojibwe Teaching Certificate Program

We offer a language certificate program for Ojibwe language instruction to help meet our community's need for native-language speakers:

In this program, you can develop a level of fluency in the language that prepares you to conduct your own immersion classroom (taught entirely in the language). We connect our language program to state teaching licensure programs and other institutions that need certified language teachers. Our close ties help provide our graduates with careers, and attract prospective indigenous language speakers and teachers to our communities.

Ojibwewigamig (Ojibwe Immersion House)

In support of our Ojibwe language program, the Ojibwe immersion house was created to provide our students the opportunity to live together in an environment where only the Ojibwe language is spoken. Immersion houses such as Ojibwewigamig have proven to be a very powerful aide in increasing the fluency of their participants. Check back to learn more about this exciting and unique opportunity!

Ojibwe Immersion Lunches

Every Thursday from 12:15 – 1:15 p.m., our Ojibwe language students and instructors gather in the American Indian Student Cultural Center (AISCC) in Coffman Memorial Union to have lunch together while speaking Ojibwe. This informal immersion lunch allows students an opportunity to practice and implement what they have been learning in class. Everyone, including community members, are welcome to attend these immersion lunches. For more information, contact Dr. Brendan Fairbanks.