fb pixel

Anke al-Bataineh

Anke al-Bataineh Title: PhD, Instructor
Email: indigenouslanguages@uwinnipeg.ca


Mitákuyepi, čhaŋtéwašteya nape čhiyuzapi ye. Makhóče detáŋhaŋ owáwa kiŋ Dakhóta makhóče čha dakhódia napé čhiyuzapi wačhiŋ. Wamášiču ka Dakhóta Iápi kiŋ waniyetu 7 wahéhaŋyaŋ uŋspémič'ičhiye s'a ka waŋna yukínipi čha ȟtawáni s'a. De wóphida thàŋka hečha ye.

My relatives, I greet you with a good heart. I'm writing this from Dakota land so I want to greet you in the Dakota language. I am a White settler and have been learning the Dakota language for around 7 years now. Now I work for its revitalization. I'm very grateful for that.

I am the great-great-granddaughter of William Quinn Davern, who came from Ireland to Southern Minnesota and took land sacred to the Dakota people. I am also descended from a German family who took land near the sacred Pipestone quarries in South Dakota and Minnesota. Both sides of my ancestry gained significant wealth from the genocide and displacement of Dakota people, and I have come to understand that building a reparative and sustainable relationship with Dakota and other Indigenous peoples is necessary work in my lifetime. The opportunity to do this work is a blessing beyond description, and I am indebted to every person who has taught me, corrected me, checked me, or had patience with me as I have been learning to be in relationship with more humility and understanding.

I was born in northern Minnesota and grew up craving exposure to languages and cultures outside of my German and Irish settler family. Many years spent learning multiple languages and living in countries across the sea led me back to Minnesota and prepared me with skills to contribute to language reclamation and revitalization efforts. Of course, I cannot offer anything in the way of language or cultural expertise, but my work since before I graduated high school has been in language teaching methods, specifically in play-based, land-based, and oral methods for creating new, proficient speakers of a language in a very short time. My experience doing this for nearly 20 years and my research into effective methods used around the world for language teaching are what I can offer to this work. This has been the basis of my collaboration with speakers of endangered and Indigenous languages in the creation of multiple immersion programs and teacher training programs in several countries. I seek to do so in ways that are supportive to Indigenous language teachers, who are doing some of the hardest work on Earth. This work can only be done in the shadow of the impossible, and only through both sacrifice and collaboration, and so teachers need support and resources more than anything. It is my aim to provide support, resources, and any guidance I may be able, in ways that result in young Indigenous people enjoying and succeeding in their endeavors to reclaim their languages, and all of us benefiting from the reclaimed sovereignty of Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island. I apologize for any element of my introduction that may offend anyone or hurt anyone, as it is only my intention to be present, transparent, and supportive. I thank anyone reading this for their understanding and openness toward me.