Shakopees Fund OLC Immersion School

Jun 15th, 2015 | By | Category: Online TC News, Tribal College News, Web Exclusive

Oglala Lakota College (OLC) president Thomas Shortbull has announced that the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, a federally recognized Indian tribe located southwest of Minneapolis, has awarded the college a $25,000 grant to assist with the operation of the Lakota Woglaka Wounspe Lakota Immersion School. “This is the second grant we have received from the Shakopee Community,” Shortbull says. “The first one helped offer our program during the 2013-14 school year and this grant will help us during the 2015-16 school year.”

Currently, OLC receives funding from the Administration for Native Americans to operate the school, but must provide a match of $75,000, plus other funds, to meet costs. This past year a grant from the Lannan Foundation helped meet the match. The funding from Shakopee will help OLC to operate an immersion program for about 40 students in grades K-5.

OLC is also seeking other funds to help with the operation and improvement of the school. “Five years ago, our Council of Elders directed me to do something about the loss of the language and the Lakota Woglaka Wounspe (Lakota Speaking Academy) is the result,” explains Shortbull. “We have obtained state accreditation, developed an immersion curriculum and instructional methods, and have hired a qualified staff, including principal Valarie Charging Eagle.”

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