Indigenous Language Education at UW-Milwaukee:
At UWM, students can earn credit for the following languages: Ojibwemowin, Menominee, Ho-Chunk, Oneida, and Potawatomi. These courses are offered synchronously online with students on campus attending in-person.
Both Margaret Noodin, Angela Mesic, and Michael Zimmerman Jr. coordinate this program and teach classes on campus. We also work with teachers approved by Wisconsin Nations who are currently teaching at the Indian Community School. These courses focus on language revitalization and understanding the lexicon and grammar needed to become fluent. They do not cover ceremonial aspects of the language which can only be taught by fluent elders.
You may register for the following courses:
AIS 161: First-Semester Indigenous Languages of Wisconsin – basic introduction to reading, writing, speaking, listening in the language of your choice. This course will teach students the basic history and cultural context for each of the languages and their connected Sovereign nations.
AIS 162: Second-Semester Indigenous Languages of Wisconsin – continues introduction to the language and helps students understand how to continue learning through the use of available resources and indigenous language revitalization practices.
AIS 261: Third-Semester Indigenous Languages of Wisconsin – in this course, students focus on archival recordings created by elders and practice speaking to one another.
AIS 262: Fourth-Semester Indigenous Languages of Wisconsin – in the final semester, this course will focus on how the language is being used today and the new materials being created now. This course has an emphasis on speaking in the language.
Please note: at this time, AIS 161 and AIS 261 are only offered during the Fall semester and AIS 162 and AIS 262 are only offered during the Spring semester.
Review the chart below to see what the best enrollment option would be for you:
|For high school students||Are you interested in learning one of the Indigenous languages of Wisconsin to 1) simply satisfy your high school graduation credits or 2) satisfy your high school graduation credits AND begin earning college credit? Work with your parents and school counselor in February the year before you want to start taking the language classes to discuss what fits best for you.
This program is state legislated, meaning all public high schools and public colleges/universities must offer this program. Most high schools enforce the state deadlines of March 1st for Fall Semester courses and Oct 1st for spring semester. The program is open to Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors in high school. More information can be found by clicking here.
|For college students at UW-Milwaukee||Are you interested in learning on of the Indigenous languages of Wisconsin to satisfy degree requirements at UW-Milwaukee or simply take this opportunity while at UWM to connect with the language? UWM offers 4 semesters of Indigenous language courses that satisfy CD and World Language Requirements.
AIS 161 – basic introduction to reading, writing, speaking, listening in language of choice. This course will teach students the basic history and cultural context for each of the languages and their connected Sovereign nations.
AIS 162 – continues introduction to the language and helps students understand how to continue learning through the use of available resources and indigenous language revitalization practices.
AIS 261 – in this course, students focus on archival recordings created by elders and practice speaking to one another.
AIS 262 – in the final semester, this course will focus on how the language is being used today and the new materials being created now. This course has an emphasis on speaking in the language.
|For college students NOT at UW-Milwaukee||Do you need to establish a record of academic success in order to qualify for admission to a degree program?
Or, are you enrolled at another institution but want to earn a few credits at UWM?
Then being a non-degree student could be your path.
|For the community||Are you someone who is not enrolled in college, but wants to learn one of the Indigenous languages? Do you want to engage in class but not receive any academic credits on your transcript? Maybe auditing is the right step for you. Contact Angela Mesic to indicate which language you want to study and which semester you would like to begin.|
|For the community interested in self-paced resources||Want to learn at your own pace with no formal instruction? Visit these online resources!
|For other institutions of higher education||Here at EQI, we strongly believe it is important for everyone in the Native community to have the opportunity to learn their heritage language. Ojibwe language instruction is part of our research agenda and we have staff here who can provide this support for your students. Contact Angela Mesic for more information.
If there is no capacity for an Ojibwe instructor at your institution, students can also enroll in distance learning here at UW-Milwaukee.