Major in American Indian Studies: Language Track
American Indian Studies:
The goal of the Dakota and Ojibwe Language Programs is to produce new generations of indigenous language speakers. Majors in American Indian Studies are part of a global indigenous movement to revitalize indigenous languages and cultures. Language revitalization works to preserve valuable perspectives and knowledge of the world.
The Dakota and Ojibwe languages are indigenous to Minnesota. Like many other indigenous languages in the US, they have become endangered due to the effects of boarding schools and policies that prohibited their use. As of 2009 in Minnesota, it is estimated that there are 678 first-language speakers of the Ojibwe language and eight first language speakers of the Dakota Language within those communities. While a small number of these speakers are in their fifties, most are over the age of sixty. The number of native speaking Dakota/Ojibwe speakers is rapidly decreasing.
The Dakota and Ojibwe Language Programs also offer 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 Dakota/Ojibwe language. Please see our Scholarships page.