Shakopee Tribe donates $25K to fund Lakota language immersion

Students at Lakota Woglaka Wounspe on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Photo from Tanka Bar

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community of Minnesota has donated $250,000 to support Lakota language immersion efforts on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

The Oglala Lakota College will use the money to fund Lakota Woglaka Wounspe, or the Lakota First School. The program immerses students from kindergarten to fifth grade in the Lakota language.

YouTube: Lakota Woglaka Wounspe

The donation will help OLC match a $75,000 grant from the Administration for Native Americans, the Associated Press reported.

"Looking at student assessments and hearing Lakota through the halls, I could tell the project increased use of the language," Megan Kauffmann, an impact evaluator for the agency who visited the school in 2013, wrote in a post on the Administration for Children and Families blog. "I was equally impressed when the director said his students have a more positive outlook, deeper connection to culture, and increased self-confidence as a result of the program."

The Shakopee Tribe's Dakota language is closely related to Lakota.

Get the Story:
Minn. tribe donates to SD language program (AP 6/12)

Join the Conversation