April 16, 2013

Tribal college partners with immersion school

Fort Belknap Reservation, White Clay Language is Spoken

By Matt RemleFort Belknap Reservation is the only place in the world where the White Clay language is spoken. In addition to the uniqueness of the language, the White Clay Immersion School is unique because it is based at a tribal college: Aaniiih Nakoda College. Over the past 40 years, the tribal college movement has led the fight for educational self-determination among Indian people. The creation of tribal college-immersion school partnerships represents the next important movement for Indian education. White Clay Immersion School K-8 school on the campus of Aaniiih Nakoda College has established the precedent for this innovative model.

This unique and innovative partnership serves as a model for other American Indian communities faced with the impending loss of Native language(s) and unsatisfactory learning experiences for their children within the local public school system. In this way, the school’s benefits will extend far beyond the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation and serve as a model for indigenous communities across the United States and throughout the world.

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