Summer Language Immersion Academy Applications Open


Ojibwemotaadidaa Omaa Gidakiiminaang Summer Academy Applications Open!

Ojibwemotaadidaa Omaa Gidakiiminaang wiindamaage wii-ayaag miinawaa eko-zhaangaching endasokinoonowin Ojibwemong eta go gikinoo’amaagoowin. Wii-maawanji’iding Niizho-anama’e-giizhik, 9 Ode’imini-giizis biinish 22 Ode’imini-giizis 2019, imaa Nagaajiwanaang Gichi-gabe-gikendaasoowigamigong Mookomaan-onigaming, Chi-mookomaanakiing.

Daga mooshkinebii’an miinawaa bi-izhinizha’amawishinaam gibiindigebii’ige-mazina’igan imaa jibwaa-naawakweg naanogonagizid Onaabani-giizis. Awashime wii-kikendaman daga biindigeyaabin imaa maagizhaa ge gagwejimishinaam omaa


Ojibwemotaadidaa Omaa Gidakiiminaang with Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College are pleased to announce the ninth annual Ojibwe Immersion Academy Summer Academy be held June 9th – June 22nd, 2019 at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet, MN.

The Ojibwe Immersion Academy Summer Academy is a rare opportunity for language-learners who are interested in a complete immersion experience to study one-on-one and in small groups with Ojibwe elders and faculty speakers. Participants live together for two weeks from June 9-22, 2019.

Please help us by forwarding this announcement and/or posting this flyer. If you have questions, please visit our website at or email us at All applications are due by noon on March 5, 2019.

Biindigebii-mazina’igan Application class:download)

Description. We are pleased to announce an opportunity that previous participants have called “the chance of a lifetime.” This summer, the ninth annual Ojibwe Immersion Academy will be held at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet, Minnesota. The academy will offer a complete immersion experience in Ojibwe language and culture for two weeks from June 9 – June 22, 2019. Taught by master speakers and university faculty, the academy enrolls upper-level high school and college students, immersion teachers, language instructors at all levels, and other Ojibwe learners who seek to improve their proficiency and pass the language on to others. The goal of the academy is to ensure the longevity of the Ojibwe language by increasing the quality and quantity of proficient speakers in Minnesota and surrounding states.

Eligibility. Language background. We welcome anyone who is adequately prepared for language immersion. However, applicants should recognize that speaking Ojibwe for two weeks without using English is very difficult and can be disorienting. Individuals considering application should possess a minimum language background equivalent to two years of study of Ojibwemowin as shown by course credits, a language résumé, or two teacher or first speaker recommendations. They should have intermediate facility in hearing and speaking Ojibwe as demonstrated by a video-sound clip submitted with their application. Successful applications will make apparent the applicant’s past and present determination to learn Ojibwemowin and commitment to continue to advance his or her proficiency in the language following the academy. Even if an applicant meets the above expectations, he or she may not be able to participate because the number of spaces is limited. In addition, the admissions committee reserves the right to assemble a cohort of participants who it deems will work well together and maximize advancement of the language. On occasion, this may include learners who might not have as much experience, but who offer exceptional long-term promise for learning and advancing the language.

Age. Participants should be 16 years of age or older by the start of the academy. No one younger than 16 years can be accommodated at this time. Anyone under 18 years old will need a parent or guardian’s permission to participate.

Residence. One of our goals is to build a community of speakers in a specific geographical area who can share the language in follow-up sessions after the academy and in years to come. Applicants should reside in or attend school in Minnesota, northwestern Wisconsin, eastern North Dakota, or the region of Ontario bordering Minnesota. If temporarily removed, they should have a relationship with an Ojibwe language community in this region.

Dissemination. Among the applicants who meet the above qualifications, priority will be given to applicants who plan to advance the language through teaching, performance, writing, community programs, family instruction, or by similar means of dissemination.

Exceptions. The above requirements are not meant to be exclusionary. We are trying to build a group of strong speakers who can carry the language into the future and pass it on to the next generation. Nonetheless, we know that each person has a different situation. If you do not meet one of the above requirements, but you feel that we should consider your application, please email us with a compelling explanation for why we should do so. If you make a good case, we will consider yours alongside other applications.

Expectations. Before the Academy: All participants will be expected to complete homework assignments to prepare themselves for the intense immersion environment that they will be living in for two weeks. Assignments will be designed to help students prepare themselves for what they will learn at the Academy. It is strongly recommended that new students also enroll in the May-term immersion course at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. More information about the course and scholarships for tuition will be provided to new applicants during the interview process, if applicable.

During the Academy: Participants in the academy will commit themselves to speak Ojibwe and only Ojibwe for the duration of the two-week program as they engage in large and small group learning with first speakers, receive grammatical instruction from language faculty, and engage in field trips using Ojibwe in a variety of situations and environments. This commitment includes giving up using cell phones, computers, iPods, and other English language media during the academy. A phone number will be available for family and friends to contact participants, and participants will have access to their phones if needed once daily. This is not meant to be restrictive; it is our intention is to create as close to a complete Ojibwe immersion environment as possible.

Academy participants will meet for the entire duration of the Academy. The first week will run from Sunday noon until Friday after dinner. The second week, from Sunday late afternoon until the next Saturday afternoon. We understand that participants have families and other commitments and may need time to leave the academy on the weekend. However, we highly encourage participants to stay through the weekend and continue speaking the language to one another. There are no structured activities or meals on the weekend, but groceries will be supplied. Also each dorm room has its own kitchen if students would like to cook their own meals. In past years we have cooked meals together and gone to different events and powwows on the weekends. It’s a time to relax and process the week while still staying in an Ojibwe language environment.
After the Academy: All students will be expected to stay until the end of programming on Saturday, June 22nd, 2019, and must stay after programming to pack up and clean their room.

Visitors. In our efforts to create a stable Ojibwe language learning environment, and due to our classroom space limitations, we cannot easily accommodate visitors to the academy. This includes children and family members of participants. Our hope is that through this intense language learning experience, participants will gain an increased language proficiency that they can then bring into their families and communities after they have completed the academy.

Academic Credit. Participants may have the option of enrolling in the academy for up to six academic credits offered through Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. These completed credits will then be transferable to other colleges on a case-by-case basis. Participants taking the credit option will receive a grade, will incur tuition and fee charges, and will be encouraged to seek additional support to cover these expenses. Often, tribal education departments and sometimes college and university education, language, or native studies departments have funds available for the costs of immersion experiences such as this. If you are interested in receiving academic credit while attending the Academy, please note this on your application.

Costs. Every applicant accepted into the Ojibwe Immersion Academy will be able to attend regardless of his or her financial resources. No one accepted will be turned away for financial reasons. At the same time, a labor-intensive instructional program with a low teacher to student ratio costs a great deal. To help sustain this program, we must ask participants to help defray the costs of their room, board and travel by contributing up to $1,000 from their home tribe, community organizations, local businesses, or family resources. As part of your application, we will ask for your good-faith commitment to seek financial support if you are admitted. We will pay for your instruction and materials if you will do your best to cover the costs of your room, board and travel. Identifying local financial support will help you now and will lay the groundwork for support for participants from your area who may attend the academy in the future.

Applications. Application materials can be requested by email to or downloaded at our website at The packet will contain instructions in Ojibwe for providing information about your language background, formal education, speaking proficiency, and future plans. Your application will include answering questions about your Ojibwe language learning experience and a short Ojibwe essay. The Ojibwe portion may be difficult, but consider it a learning experience. Use your Ojibwe notes, literature resources, or dictionaries. Get advice from a first speaker, friend, or teacher and send us an email if you need further assistance.

In addition, applications should include a short video clip with quality sound of the applicant speaking the language informally in a natural, conversational style. The video- sound clip can include another person as long as the applicant clearly demonstrates her or his facility with the language. We suggest you submit your application and video well before the deadline, to avoid technical difficulties preventing your application from being complete.

All applications must be submitted by email to Please submit an organized application. The written portion should be typed and submitted as an email attachment along with your video clip.

We will not accept late applications, including missing portions or videos.

We may also contact you for a Skype interview. After reviewing your application, we will inform you of available dates to choose from for your interview. Please continue to check your email to ensure you do not miss the deadline to sign up for an interview.

Deadline. All applications must be submitted by email to before noon on Tuesday, March 5, 2019. No applications can be accepted after that date. Application review involves multiple reviewers, so that an optimal group can be selected. We will notify you of your acceptance, non-acceptance, or assignment to the waitlist by Wednesday, April 17, 2019. Acceptance decisions will be made by the review committee comprised of faculty, program staff and community members.

Summary of 2019 Application Schedule

February: Announcement and application packets available.
March 5: Applications due by noon. No late applications.
April 17: First-round invitations sent and wait-list announced.
April 24: First-round acceptances confirmed by noon. Wait-list invited, if applicable.
April 30: All participants confirmed.
April-June: Participants fundraise to help defray their costs.
June 9-22: 2019 Ojibwe Immersion Academy

To Request an Application Packet

To obtain an application packet please download a copy on our website at You can also email your request to with “application request” in the subject line. All applications are due before noon on Tuesday, March 5, 2019.