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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Wôpanâak Now Being Taught At Mashpee High School
by Nashauonk Mittark

Tribal students at Mashpee High School this fall are enrolling in a daily Wôpanâak Pasuq (Wampanoag Language I) course held daily in the Indian Education room for the first time ever. Students who successfully complete the course, taught by Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project certified language teachers, will receive a World Language Credit on their transcript.

Wôpanâak Pasuq is listed in the course registration platform as an elective during this pilot year, and with Mashpee Public Schools (MPS) World Languages Department Chair Tim Rumberger as the instructor of record; however, the course is offered daily by WLRP Language Specialist Melanie Roderick and Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s Education Department Director Nitana Greendeer, PhD.

Funded by a three-year U.S. Department of Education grant to the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, this exciting opportunity represents a new partnership between the Tribe, WLRP, the Mashpee School District, and the MPS Indian Education Parent Committee. The course is the result of requests in recent years from tribal high school students, including Indian Ed committee student representative Abigail Peters. WLRP annually fields requests to offer Wôpanâak language instruction at area colleges and universities, but has prioritized offering local language education to Mashpee students families.

WLRP and MWT will also support students in documenting on their future college applications that Wôpanâak Pasuq (Wampanoag Language I) fulfills the same academic requirement as any other world language course in a student’s college prep track. Indigenous language education and fluency development is a foundation of success for tribal students throughout Indian Country, as well as globally, and WLRP is honored to partner with the Tribe and local schools to empower tribal youth with this exciting new academic opportunity.

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