Mukayuhsak Weekuw: The Children's House, a Wampanoag Language Immersion Nest
The Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project (WLRP), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization registered with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as the Wôpanâak Language and Cultural Weetyoo, Inc., has partnered with tribal families and Montessori educators experienced with Tribal languages and communities to open Mukayuhsak Weekuw: The Children's House, a full day language immersion preschool open to children who are enrolled members or household members of one of the four Wampanoag tribal communities served by the project: Mashpee, Aquinnah, Assonet & Herring Pond.
Mukayuhsak Weekuw first opened its doors in September 2016 to 10 preschool students thanks to a generous Esther Martinez grant from the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) that will span from August 2016 to August 2019. In 2017, we increased the number of students served to 20.
Through a previous Administration for Native Americans (ANA) Language preservation grant (2012-2015), WLRP’s teachers developed a culture-based language immersion nest curriculum framework, and more than 1,000 daily Wôpanâak language lesson plans for elementary school students spanning all subject areas (social studies, history, science, math, health, gym, art, and Wôpanâak literacy). Our Montessori teacher trainees are now incorporating Wôpanâak language into Montessori instructional methods and classroom routines. Funding from the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe also supports advancing the fluency of WLRP’s language instructors, and Montessori Teacher Certification.
WLRP’s teaching team is also delivering instruction to immerse local tribal students in Wampanoag culture and Wôpanâak language through Neekun (Our House). This language immersion program for students in grades K-6 draws on WLRP’s rich base of curriculum materials and is taught in collaboration with Wôpanâak speakers, learners, and staff from the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Youth Programs, Language, Education, and Historic Preservation Departments.
Pre-enrollment for Mukayuhsak Weekuw can be found at the following link.