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Dakota language classes to be offered in Saskatchewan high schools

Click to play video: 'Dakota to be taught in Saskatchewan high schools'
Dakota to be taught in Saskatchewan high schools
The province is planning to soon offer Dakota language classes in Saskatchewan. Local Dakota speakers are hopeful this will bring change. Jeanelle Mandes has more on the initiative. – Aug 25, 2022

The Dakota language is officially being added to the list of secondary level Indigenous language curricula available in Saskatchewan.

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The Dakota 10, 20, 30 curriculum will join other provincial secondary level Indigenous languages already available to those in grades 10, 11 and 12, including Nēhiyawēwin 10, 20, 30; Dene 10, 20, 30; Nakawe 10, 20, 30; Michif 10, 20, 30 and Nakoda 10, 20, 30.

“Providing Dakota language curriculum ensures more opportunities for First Nations and Métis languages to be learned and used by younger generations and supports revitalization of First Nations and Métis culture and heritage,” said Dustin Duncan, the minister of education for the Government of Saskatchewan.

The Ministry of Education will work in collaboration with Dakota nations in Saskatchewan to develop Dakota 10, 20, 30.

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“Our Dakota language is in a perilous state, as we have very few fluent Dakota Oyate Language speakers left on Wahpeton Dakota Nation,” Chief John Waditaka said. “Our elders have prayed for a way to bring our language back for our youth.”

The curriculum will be developed during the 2022-23 school year, and is expected to be implemented for the start of the 2023-24 school year.

“The new curriculum will support the revitalization of the Dakota language, will provide an authentic Dakota Oyate worldview for the greater provincial student population and will open the doors for further authentic research of the Northern Dakota Peoples,” Chief Waditaka said.

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