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Posts Tagged ‘Dakota Language Revitalization’

Backyard Initiative Update Harvesting Learning from the Dakota Language Revitalization Citizen Health Action Team

By Janice Barbee and Madeline Gardner, Cultural Wellness Center Residents of seven neighborhoods in south Minneapolis (in the area around Allina Health System”'s headquarters) have been implementing their ideas for health improvement for the past year with the support of Allina and the Cultural Wellness Center. The Dakota Language Revitalization Citizen Health Action Team (CHAT) was the first project to be approved by the Community Commission on Health and the members of this CHAT (made up primarily of Dakota community residents) have been going through a reflection or harvesting process to pull out their learning from their experiences and share it with the Commission, with other CHATs, and with the community. The Dakota Language Revitalization CHAT was formed out of the recognition that the health of a culture is essential to the health of a people and language is how culture and world view are transmitted. The Dakota language is at a crisis point right now; one CHAT member estimates there are only five fluent Dakota speakers left in the state of MN. The vision of the CHAT was that Dakota children learn their language at an early age, and their strategy was to start a day care for young children where they would be immersed in the Dakota language. The CHAT members learned a lot about the regulations, licensing and challenges of setting up early childhood care facility. A teacher was hired for the immersion program, one of the few Dakota speakers under 40 years old.  Due to the challenges in setting up a licensed day care in a house, the strategy changed to setting up a part-time Dakota language childhood immersion program within an existing day care, with the help of Wicoie Nandigikendon, the CHAT”'s fiscal agent and incubator.  Up to six children attended. CHAT members also hosted a weekly or biweekly moccasin making class for about 50 community members from February to May of 2011. Besides the challenges around regulations and [...]

Update on the Backyard Initiative: BYI Citizen Health Action Teams Update

By Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center Every month at the Cultural Wellness Center, members from the Backyard Initiative Citizen Health Action Teams, or CHATs, come together to update each other on their activities and talk about common principles and problems in their community building work. Last month, on February 17, CHAT members discussed what it takes to work together and accomplish what they set out to do. The Backyard Initiative was started two years ago as a community partnership between Allina Hospitals and Clinics and the residents of Phillips, Powderhorn Park, Central, and Corcoran with the goal of improving the health of the community. Most of the work of the Backyard Initiative is carried out within Citizen Health Action Teams, where community members on each team have developed a strategy for improving health and are now in the process of implementing that strategy. CHAT Leadership in the Community Elder Atum Azzahir from the Cultural Wellness Center, the facilitator of the meeting, explained to the CHAT members that the Commission on Health, a body of primarily community members from each CHAT, will be looking at the work of each CHAT this year in terms of how the work contributes to the health of the whole community and involves people from the community. She told the members, “The Commission is going to be asking ”˜Is the CHAT growing in its connection to other people?”' How are you adding to your list of people in the Backyard? Are they connecting to what you are doing, becoming part of what you”'re doing? She then asked the CHAT members to think about their leadership skills and what skills they need to develop to be effective leaders. The CHAT members identified building relationships, identifying resources, strategic planning, and influencing, directing, and organizing people as the set of skills that are needed to do the work. Elder Atum told the group that last year the CHAT members were more focused [...]

December Backyard Initiative

December Backyard Initiative

Click for a full size PDF of the Backyard Initiative page with info on all of the participants.

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