Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal
Community & Government Center
483 Great Neck Road South
Mashpee, MA 02649
508-477-0208 ext. 168 (Director) ext. 176 (Language Teachers)

 

Jessie Baird - Tribal Council Liaison

Email: Jessie.Baird@mwtribe-nsn.gov

 


Jennifer Weston - Director 

Email: Jennifer.Weston@mwtribe-gov

 

Department Overview:

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Language Department was established in cooperation with the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project (WLRP) by Council Ordinance 2009-ORD-005 on June 10, 2009 to recognize the role of language as “central to the protection of the customs, culture, and spiritual well-being of the people,” and to acknowledge the “critical state of the newly reclaimed Wampanoag language, and the need to secure its survival for the benefit of future generations.” The department is a unit of the Cultural and Historic Department. The Tribal Council reaffirmed its commitment to language revitalization in resolution 2011-RES-025 to recognize the inherent “birth right of each Wampanoag child adult to speak his or her language given by Creator”, and the decades of work by WLRP to return language home to Wampanoag families.

 

The Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project/Tribal Language Department and Mashpee Wampanoag Youth Programs Department are pleased to announce the K-8 Neekun After School Immersion and Enrichment program

 

Register for "Neekun Summer Program" (Our House)


Culture, Healthy Lifestyles and Academic Retention


A program for Mashpee Wampanoag Youth ages 5-13

 

Neekun Summer  Program Registration Packet - Click here!

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**Please note the Day's activities will take place at the MWT C&G Center/Gymnasium

483 Great Neck Road - South

Mashpee, MA 02649

 

Click here for Mashpee Family Immersion Day notice

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Services Provided by WLRP/MWT Language Department

 

•     Year-round family and elders’ language classes and curriculum development
        (Free evening classes in Mashpee, Aquinnah, Quincy, New Bedford, Plymouth, and Boston)
•     Weekly language blocks, or “Lunch Bunches,” at the Coombs and
Quashnet Schools, Weekly Preschool Language Hour at Tribal Museum
•     Translation services for Tribal departments, events & programs on request
•     Wôpanâak language workshops, film screenings & presentations on request
•   Summer Turtle Program (3 week-long youth language/culture program for 5-13 year-olds)
•    Annual Family Immersion Days (Free day or weekend-long language immersion activities)
•      Year-round language apprentice/linguists-in-residence program
•      Community Language Instructor certifications on request (oral, written exams)
•    K-8 regional immersion charter school planning and curriculum development (to open a language immersion school in August 2016)
•     MWT Employee Language Classes
•   More than 500 Tribal Community Members Served (75% are Mashpee Tribal Citizens)
•     450+ hours of community language and cultural instructional time delivered annually

 

 


 

Wampanoag Language Reclaimation Project

 

Per longstanding memoranda of understanding and WLRP’s by-laws, the Tribal Language Department is staffed by the community-run intertribal non-profit organization, the Wôpanâak Language and Cultural Weety8, Inc., also known as the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project (WLRP). WLRP is governed by a Board of Directors and Language Committee drawn from all tribal household members who enroll as language students. WLRP’s Language Committee members and Board of Directors meet monthly to review project activities, progress, policies, and funding.

Founded more than twenty years ago with the key objective of reclaiming Wôpanâôt8âôk (Wampanoag language) as the principal means of expression within the Wampanoag Tribal Nation, WLRP’s efforts have gained international recognition for becoming the first American Indian community to reclaim and revitalize a sleeping tribal language after many generations without living speakers. This unprecedented effort was made possible through formal linguistics training in Algonquian languages, and by working with the largest Native-written corpus of 17th and 18th century documents in North America translated and written by Wampanoag people—including the King James Bibles of 1663 and 1680, and hundreds of personal letters, wills, deeds, and land transactions written in Wôpanâôt8âôk. Wampanoag people were also the first American Indians to develop and use an alphabetic writing system. Read more at wlrp.org

 

Language Immersion School Planning (2012-2016):


WLRP and the Language Department are committed to training new generations of fluent speakers of Wôpanâôt8âôk through master apprentice and other language immersion techniques. Twelve language teachers have also been trained and certified to provide community language classes covering the complex grammar and structure of Wôpanâôt8âôk, and other topics. Students of all ages are welcome in community language classes. Visit wlrp.org for our teacher roster, class catalog and listings.

WLRP’s Language Committee and Board of Directors have prioritized a Wôpanâôt8ây Pâhshaneekamuq (Wampanoag language immersion school project), based on widespread community demand for children’s language classes. Weekly language classes and immersion programs will continue as well; however, in order to train a new generation of proficient speakers fully bilingual in both Wôpanâôt8ây and English, WLRP and the Language Department plan to open a publicly-funded regional K-3 charter school Wôpanâôt8ây beginning in August 2015. On additional grade level will be added annually until the school serves K-8 students.  Visit wlrp.org for more Charter Planning details, media coverage, and proposed school trustees.

 

 

Department Advisory Boards:


I. WLRP Memoranda of Understanding with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council, Aquinnah
Wampanoag Tribal Council, and the Herring Pond and Assonet Wampanoag Councils.
II. WLRP Language Committee and Board of Directors
III. Weetumuw Wôpanâak Charter School Founding Board of Trustees

 


For more information about Wôpanâôt8âôk visit WLRP.ORG or call 508.477-0208 ext.168
To see clips from the WLRP documentary “Âs Nutayuneân: We Still Live Here” visit the following sites: 
www.makepeaceproductions.com
www.ourmothertongues.org
www.pbs.org/independentlens/we-still-live-here/