Georgian College is launching Anishnaabemowin Language Programming, a new two-year diploma program at the Barrie Campus in September 2013. Anishnaabemowin is the Ojibwe language.
As Canada’s original languages are used less and less frequently in daily life, it is more important than ever to take action to preserve and revitalize indigenous languages. If action is not taken immediately, the majority of original languages will be extinct or bordering extinction within the next generation, says Greg McGregor, Manager, Indigenous Services at Georgian College. That is why the launch of the new program comes at such a crucial time.
This fully accredited diploma program is the only one of its kind in Ontario. It focuses on creating functional Anishnaabemowin speakers by incorporating a multi-pronged approach to language retention. Students will receive support in class, as well as one-on-one sessions with a language specialist and facilitated group discussions to help with pronunciation and sentence formation. Students can expect to spend 18 hours a week taking courses in the program, with another 11 hours each week participating in language-based activities that also aid in retention. Applicants do not need to have any prior knowledge of the language, but McGregor expects the program will attract students with varying degrees of Anishnaabemowin language comprehension.
The program also prepares students to design, develop and implement language programs at the community level. Students will study the language as a whole, including the history, changes and current issues affecting Anishnaabemowin today, as well as teaching methods and curriculum design. Graduates of Anishnaabemowin Language Programming may find employment in a variety of areas including band offices/administration, Aboriginal organizations, cultural centres, childcare facilities, government agencies and others.
“The chance to learn to speak Anishnaabemowin is an amazing opportunity to deepen your understanding of the culture and bring more joy into your life,” said Niigaan Enaabid (Lorraine McCrae) of Rama First Nation.
The School of Indigenous Studies at Georgian College develops and delivers a variety of programs and services to ensure Aboriginal student success, including four Indigenous Resource Centres located at the Barrie, Orillia, Owen Sound and Midland campuses.