Children at ANC and in Namibia Exchange Letters

Feb 19th, 2015 | By | Category: 26-3: Global Indigenous Higher Education, Tribal College News

Children at the Clever Cubs School in Namibia, Africa correspond with their peers at ANC’s immersion school in Harlem, Montana. Photo by Jack Sommerville

For the past couple of years the children in Aaniiih Nakoda College’s (ANC’s) language immersion school have been writing to students at the Clever Cubs School in Namibia, Africa. This cultural exchange is the brainchild of Dr. Lynette Chandler, director of the immersion school, and Dr. Liz McClain, a science instructor who has lived and conducted research in Namibia.

In Namibia, Hilma Kapewasha, a teacher at Clever Cubs, had her pupils write about their favorite animals while the Aaniiinen children in Montana responded by doing the same. They also wrote about where they lived and what they do in school. All of the letters are in both English and in their respective Indigenous languages. The letters are works of art, with colorful borders of flowers or animals that give the reader a sense of the pride these children have when using their native language to communicate with other Indigenous children halfway around the world. The children on both sides of the Atlantic dream of a day when they will visit each other and see the places and animals so vividly described in their letters.

“We will continue with the exchanges and will try to Skype them to forge the wonderful bond already in the making between these two groups so far away,” McClain says. “And to think Native languages are going away? Just ask these young children to speak to you and the heart and soul of their cultures comes through with each word!”


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