(Rama, Ontario November 27, 2020) The Ogemawahj Tribal Council announces that with the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation through a Grow grant, it is launching an exciting and innovative indigenous language project. The project will see local classrooms and First Nations bring Indigenous language learning into the digital world.

Working with leading education and technology provider Nelson and EssayJack, two First Nation schools in Simcoe County will collaborate with the York Region District School Board. The goal is to create, curate, and test a grade six Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe) language collection within Edwin, Nelson’s digital learning ecosystem, with support from EssayJack’s interactive writing software platform.

Ogemawahj Tribal Council First Nations work hard to reclaim and revitalize their original language. Each of the six First Nations that comprise the Tribal Council is at different stages in terms of language loss and community fluency. In looking at regional strategies and plans, local community language champions identified meeting learners in schools where they are. They called upon the Tribal Council to help the region digitize lessons aimed at teaching Indigenous language.

The project will pair local First Nation teams in Simcoe County with York Region District School Board teachers to raise Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe) lesson plans into an innovative digital learning ecosystem, Edwin. These lesson plans are to be tested on grade six Anishinaabemowin learners in classrooms for their ability to engage students and strengthen learning outcomes.

There are three First Nation schools within the Ogemawahj Tribal Council, two of them provide grades K-8 education; Mnjikaning Kendaaswin Elementary School in Rama First Nation and Christian Island Elementary School in Beausoleil First Nation. The third school, providing instruction in grades K-5 is located on the Chippewas of Georgina Island who works closely with the York Region District School Board to achieve student success for its members.

With Indigenous language at a critical state, it is hoped this project will make an impact in the classroom.


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