Golden Apple: Niigaane Immersion School
It’s been decades since anyone has heard Anishinaabe children regularly speaking their native language, but that’s happening every day at the Niigaane Immersion School. At Niigaane, students learn the usual school subjects, but are entirely immersed in the Ojibwe language. The school uses a language and culture based curriculum to bring the Anishinaabe culture into the modern day and age. Text books are replaced with hands on learning activities, and culture is a big part of every subject. Teacher Adrian Liberty said, “If they’re doing math, they’re talking about the ricing process. If they’re reading, they’re reading about the ricing process.” Students learn math and reading, but it can be a challenge to learn modern ideas in Ojibwe. But that hard work is rewarding, and for these students it means more than just an “A+” grade.