Tribal students at Mashpee High School this fall are enrolling
in a daily Wôpanâak Pasuq (Wampanoag Language I) course
held daily in the Indian Education room for the first time ever.
Students who successfully complete the course, taught by Wôpanâak
Language Reclamation Project certified language teachers, will receive
a World Language Credit on their transcript.
Wôpanâak Pasuq is listed in the course registration
platform as an elective during this pilot year, and with Mashpee
Public Schools (MPS) World Languages Department Chair Tim Rumberger
as the instructor of record; however, the course is offered daily
by WLRP Language Specialist Melanie Roderick and Mashpee Wampanoag
Tribes Education Department Director Nitana Greendeer, PhD.
Funded by a three-year U.S. Department of Education grant to
the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, this exciting opportunity represents
a new partnership between the Tribe, WLRP, the Mashpee School District,
and the MPS Indian Education Parent Committee. The course is the
result of requests in recent years from tribal high school students,
including Indian Ed committee student representative Abigail Peters.
WLRP annually fields requests to offer Wôpanâak language
instruction at area colleges and universities, but has prioritized
offering local language education to Mashpee students families.
WLRP and MWT will also support students in documenting on their
future college applications that Wôpanâak Pasuq (Wampanoag
Language I) fulfills the same academic requirement as any other
world language course in a students college prep track. Indigenous
language education and fluency development is a foundation of success
for tribal students throughout Indian Country, as well as globally,
and WLRP is honored to partner with the Tribe and local schools
to empower tribal youth with this exciting new academic opportunity.