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Native Language Revitalization: Lessons for the Charitable Sector

10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.


MCF Members Only

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Across Minnesota’s 11 Native nations and communities, words are power. Anishinaabe and Dakota linguistic revitalization is happening alongside cultural revitalization, food sovereignty, and land protection. Language revitalization, in K-12, higher education, and community groups, is advancing childhood development, supporting cultural preservation, and strengthening mental health. Use of Native words is increasingly visible on road signs, place names, and even the state seal. Reclaiming a language can slowly begin to heal some impacts of cultural trauma. In this session, co-hosted by MCF and WASH-MN, we will explore how the charitable sector can learn from and work with Native initiatives to support individuals, families and communities across the region. Attendees will leave with greater appreciation for the role language can play in health outcomes; increased understanding of opportunities for collaboration and funding; and expanded appreciation for the breadth of Minnesota's Native communities.

Confirmed Presenters

Cantemaza (Neil McKay) is a Bdewakantunwan Dakota enrolled at Spirit Lake, ND. with his father. His mother is enrolled at Turtle Mountain, ND.. He is the senior Dakota language instructor in the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota, where he also teaches courses on American Indian history, Dakota linguistics, and Dakota language for teachers and the classroom. He co-authored 550 Dakota Verbs and has consulted with numerous organizations on language teacher training and curriculum development. He has a B.A. in American Indian Studies from the University of Minnesota, where he is currently working on an M.A. in a Second Language Education Track.


Log-in details will be provided in your confirmation email. This event is open to MCF members and others interested in funding Minnesota's Native organizations. Contact Paul Masiarchin, with questions.

*We Are Still Here - Minnesota (WASH-MN) is a collaboration fiscally sponsored by Indigenous Roots, an arts organization that supports a coalition of people, organizations and small businesses dedicated to the Reclaiming Native Truth research and its findings.  

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