As Wikwemikong’s first language, Anishinbemowin is taught in each class at Wikwemikong Junior School. It is the WBE’s belief that students do have a significant advantage and increased pride in their identity when they speak their native language, as becoming increasingly fluent shapes these young students to appreciate and understand their own culture.
Students at the Wikwemikong Junior School learn Anishinabemowin as a subject. At the elementary level, students must accumulate a minimum of 600 hours of Native Language instruction by the end of Grade 8.
Student’s proficiency in Native Language increases based on the amount of time and the level of intensity of instruction. The program is not an immersion program, but, one that provides students at the Junior School with a basic command of the language in order to increase their skills in later grades.
The Vision for NSL:
- The development of language skills combined with cultural awareness together form the basis of NSL instruction at the Wikwemikong Junior School.
The Objectives of NSL:
- Develop student’s language skills and improve their use of language through study, practice, and communication.
- Develop language skills in all three areas of language use – oral communication, reading, and writing.
Within Wikwemikong, we are fortunate to be home to the Three Fires Confederacy of Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawotami people. There exists three distinct variations of language dialects within Wikwemikong based on the three fires people. Therefore, special attention is given in the curriculum to the Native oral tradition and inviting speakers from the community and planning learning experiences that allow students to hear these speakers tell stories, legends and history and to learn songs.