There was a need to revitalize and restructure the Ho-Chunk
language community classes and the Hoocak Academy was made to make
To meet that need, the Ho-Chunk Language Division has created
the "Hoocak Academy," designed to teach the language in a structured
environment as well as implementing culture into the classroom.
"To make sure the program is successful, we need to develop
an assessment evaluation, as well as implement our cultural values
or simply to have respect for our language and how we instruct,"
interim Hoocak Academy Manager Angelica Greendeer said.
"We've never had proficiency standards before. This is something
new but we need to try it and go from there."
Registration for the classes begins on January 5 and will continue
until January 22. Classes begin on February 2. A new Web site has
been developed for the Hoocak Academy at www.hocak.info and registration
can be completed online, by phone or in person.
"It's brand new," Greendeer said. "We've had community classes,
but the problem is retention. With this new format, our goal is
retention within the program and student/instructor success."
The Hoocak Academy is a community outreach program designed
to teach Ho-Chunk tribal members the Hoocak language.
The foundation of Hoocak Academy has been in the development
stages for several months, working to create Hoocak Academy's vision
and then implementing it into the community classes for the year.
The development of retention planning for community classes has
been underway. They will be utilizing instructor experience, technology
and modern strategies to build retention to the community. Most
importantly, they will look at ways to include cultural aspect within
The problem with language instruction, according the Greendeer,
is that there are few instructors compared to the Ho-Chunk population.
With four "Instructor 1"s, the population to instructor ratio is
about 1,750 to 1.
"We are working to bridge the gap as much as possible, but for
now, we can only do so much. Eventually we will get to the point
where we'll have many instructors and can accommodate more community
needs," Greendeer said.
The Hoocak Academy will be offering three types of classes available
to the community. When a student wants to enroll into a class, the
Hoocak Academy will call each class a "program." Therefore, each
student will have to enroll into a program. Each class is tailored
to meet different schedules and learning styles.
"It's important that the Hoocak Academy keeps track of each
student and what program he or she has enrolled in. Therefore, we
can tailor each program according to classroom hours and assist
in student success within each program," Greendeer said.
The Pathway Accelerated Program is an evening course in which
students meet for 1.5 hours three times per week for 12 weeks. This
course layout is designed for dedicated learners who want to engage
in a more classroom style setting. The classes are offered by a
Hoocak Academy instructor and an Eminent Speaker.
The Pathway Program is a course in which the participants meet
during the day for one hour, three times per week, for nine weeks.
This course is designed to move at a fast pace and is offered by
a Hoocak Academy instructor and an Eminent Speaker.
The Direct Response Session will be offered for two hours per
day Tuesday through Thursday. These classes will offer tutoring
for both Pathway Accelerated Class and Pathway Class participants.
The classes are offered by the Hoocak Academy instructors.
They are presently working on policies and a student handbook,
in which the expectations for the students and instructors are clearly
"We expect to be as consistent as possible," she said.
They will use a number of techniques, communication, white boards
and handouts to help with instruction. They hope to implement social
media in this endeavor, and they have developed an email account
to handle all correspondence for the Academy: HoocakAcademy@Ho-Chunk.com.
The classes are being planned in Wisconsin Dells, Tomah and
Black River Falls, with specific locations depending on the course.
Besides language courses in the three communities, Greendeer
wants to provide instruction to people who live outside those areas.
"We need to develop an online class," Greendeer said. "We have
a lot of tribal members who would like to attend a class but due
to time scheduling and location, they're unable to. Therefore, we
need to look into the future and work on creating online classes."
But just learning the language is not enough, she said. We need
to use the language every day in everyday settings.
For now, the Hoocak Academy is a good start into developing
a solid basis of learning. From the courses, other avenues can be
Once participants complete the courses, Greendeer plans to present
each with a certificate and a gift.
"I would like to have an event that combines the three areas
for those people who completed the program. We could provide a reward
for them," Greendeer said.
Instructors have been designated for certain areas and will
have their own style and method of teaching And each of them are
dedicated to seeing the students succeed.
"It will be really good for them to see the students' progression,"
said Hoocak Language Instructor 1 Dana DeBoer
Haci Language Division
The Hoocak Waaziija Haci Language Division is dedicated to ensuring
the Hoocak Language continues to be a "LIVING LANGUAGE".
As a sign of respect to our elders, and the speakers that have come
before us. We will continu to speak our language, celebrate our
customs, respect The Hoocak value system and teach our future Generations
the "HOOCAK WAY OF LIFE"