Summer Institute for Elementary Teachers: Identity and Multilingualism through Picture Books

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is sponsoring a two-week summer institute designed for K-3 elementary teachers, “Identity and Multilingualism through Picture Books.” The institute will focus on pedagogical approaches to language learning through an equity lens.

All details about the application process, logistics, and program facilitators can be found on this site: https://earlyidentityandlanguage.org

For additional questions, contact co-directors Krista Aronson (karonson@bates.edu) and Margaret Boyle (mboyle2@bowdoin.edu).

American Translators Association Announces the 2021 Winner of the School Outreach Program Award

The American Translators Association (ATA) announced that Majlinda Mulla-Everett – an Albanian, Bosnian, Croatian, Macedonian and Serbian interpreter based in Portland, Maine – has been chosen as the winner of ATA’s School Outreach Program Award.

“We are delighted to present this award to Ms. Mulla-Everett for her weeklong presentation series at Portland High School in June 2021,” said Ted Wozniak, President of the American Translators Association. “Now in its seventeenth year, ATA’s School Outreach Program raises awareness of the role that translators and interpreters play in business, education, government, healthcare, technology and society at large. In today’s global economy, companies and other institutions are realizing the importance of using skilled professional translators or interpreters to communicate their message effectively and successfully to international audiences, avoiding potentially costly and embarrassing mistakes.”

ATA launched the School Outreach Program in 2004 to educate students about translation and interpreting and to interest them in these rewarding career fields. Through the program, professional linguists speak to students of all ages, highlighting the career benefits of studying another language and the increasing potential for exciting work with foreign language skills. Using a variety of model presentations and activities available on ATA’s website, presenters outline the requirements for becoming a professional translator or interpreter, emphasizing that these careers demand far more than simply being bilingual.

“The School Outreach program focuses on educating the public about exciting career paths in translation and interpreting and their wide range of applications around the world,” said Meghan Konkol, coordinator of the School Outreach Program.

In order to receive this award, participants must belong to ATA or an ATA-affiliated organization and must present to a school of their choice. Entrants must also submit photos or screenshots of themselves presenting to the students.

A legal and medical interpreter with over 10 years of experience, Ms. Mulla-Everett was honored to be asked to offer a weeklong class titled “Explore Community Interpreting as a Career” to students at Portland High School in Portland, Maine. Tackling the class as she would an interpreting assignment, Ms. Mulla-Everett engaged the students by giving them information, tips and encouragement using roleplay and memory games.

Seeing the students participating enthusiastically in the exercises and answering quiz questions correctly made her realize how important they viewed the language professions. Ms. Mulla-Everett also invited guest speakers to present their own experiences as in-person and remote interpreters. The bilingual students came out of the class understanding the value of knowing another language and the potential to help their community and make a living while doing so.

As winner of the award, Ms. Mulla-Everett received free registration to ATA’s 62nd Annual Conference, taking place October 27 through 30 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She will be presented with the award at an awards ceremony before more than a thousand of her colleagues in the translation industry.

To learn more about the American Translators Association and the School Outreach Program, visit http://www.atanet.org or call 703-683-6100.

Educational Resources to Help Honor National Hispanic Heritage Month

Today marks the first day of National Hispanic Heritage Month which is celebrated each year from September 15 to October 15 across the nation. The month is a time to honor Hispanic heritage by celebrating the histories, cultures, languages, and the remarkable contributions of Hispanic people to the fabric of the United States, whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. It is also a time to revisit ways to integrate diverse cultural material into education lessons all year long.

Here are some educational resources that can be used by schools to honor, recognize, and teach students about Hispanic heritage:

For further resources and information about integrating diverse backgrounds, cultures, and experiences into classroom lessons, please visit the Maine Department of Education’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion webpage.

 

June Wabanaki Conference Pays Tribute to 20th Anniversary of LD 291

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) hosted close to 100 educators on Saturday, June 12th for a morning-long virtual recognition event that paid tribute to the 20th anniversary of the signing of LD 291, a requirement for the teaching of Wabanaki history and culture in Maine classrooms.

“While we understand that there is still a lot of work to be done, it was important to recognize that 20 years ago this important legislation was signed,” said Joe Schmidt, Maine DOE Coordinator of Secondary Learning and Social Studies Specialist. Schmidt helped plan the June conference. “We carefully planned this event to both look to the past, recognizing how we got here, and to the present and future by providing meaningful resources to support relevant, robust, and inclusive education for our students here in Maine.”

The conference opened with a video message from Governor Janet T. Mills, remarks from Maine Commissioner of Education Pender Makin, and a keynote by LD 291 legislative sponsor, Honorable Donna Loring and featured three strands of virtual, synchronous professional learning opportunities:

Opening Remarks: Video Message from Governor Mills
View Message 
Commissioner Makin & Honorable Donna Loring
View Recording
 

Strand 1 – Wabanaki People and Culture:

Intro to MicMac Language
Presenter: John Dennis
View Recording
Maine Indian Policy History, Racism, and the Future of Wabanaki Tribal Sovereignty
Presenter: Darren Ranco
View Recording
Wabanaki Diplomacy and LD 291: Storying Protocols as Political Will
Presenter: Nolan Altvater
View Recording
Strand 2 – Classroom Resources: Wabanaki Stories in Your Secondary Classroom
Presenter: Margo Lukens & Ashton Carmichael
View Recording
Wabanaki Studies in the Elementary classroom
Presenter: Brianne & Kaya Lolar
View Recording
Resources to extend knowledge of Wabanaki Culture and History
Presenter: Melanie Brown
View Recording
Strand 3 – Decolonization: Towards Decolonizing Education: Settler Colonialism and Empire Building in the Classroom
Presenter: Starr Kelly
View Recording
Equity, Decolonization, Anti-Racism and Wabanaki Studies: Portland Public Schools’ Journey to Fulfill the 2001 Wabanaki Studies Law
Presenter: Fiona Hopper
View Recording
Decolonial Mirrors & Shifting the Gaze to Anti-Racist Education
Presenter: Rebecca Sockbeson
View Recording

Further resources from each of the presentations are available on the 2021 Wabanaki Conference webpage. The webpage also features a video message from Senator Angus King recognizing the importance the 20th anniversary of L.D. 291 and the integration of Wabanaki history and culture in Maine education.

The Maine DOE has also recently collaborated with UMaine and other state organizations on a grant to support enhanced access, utilization of Wabanaki resources and provided interactive workshops hosted by Wabanaki REACH, in addition to many other professional learning opportunities offered by Department specialists and partners throughout the past several years to assist and support schools across Maine in understanding L.D. 291 and integrating Wabanaki culture and history into education programming.

Further Wabanaki education resources and contacts can be found on the Maine Department of Education Maine Native Studies Resources webpage

We look forward to working with schools, tribes, and education partners throughout Maine to expand these important efforts. For more information or to make a connection with the Maine DOE, reach out to Joe Schmidt at Joe.Schmidt@maine.gov.

MEDIA RELEASE: National Funding to Support Enhanced Access, Utilization of Wabanaki Resources

Image: Courtesy of the Hudson Museum HM7182.133

Collaborators on the project include partners from Raymond H. Fogler Library, the College of Education and Human Development and Native American Programs at UMaine, members of the Wabanaki Confederacy and the Wabanaki Studies Working Group, the Maine Department of Education, the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Amherst College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a grant of more than $59,000 to the University of Maine’s McGillicuddy Humanities Center to support development of a centralized digital portal that will improve access to Wabanaki historical and cultural resources and archival collections currently distributed across UMaine and, in the future, to incorporate collections curated by several external institutions.

“Teaching about the people whose land we inhabit today is crucial work and I am excited to be able to represent the Maine Department of Education (DOE) in support of this grant,” said Maine DOE Coordinator of Secondary Education and Social Studies Specialist Joe Schmidt. “During my time at the Department I have strived to make sure that we remove barriers for educators when it comes to teaching about Maine Native Americans and from the start of her time at the Department, Commissioner Makin has made this one of her top priorities as well. By working to develop a centralized portal of historic artifacts, educators will be better equipped to develop and deliver inclusive and accurate curriculum related to Wabanaki history and culture. Through this grant, we will take another step in making sure that all of our students can see themselves as important contributors to the past and present of all that Maine has to offer.”

UMaine professor of English Margo Lukens, a faculty adviser to the McGillicuddy Humanities Center, will lead the interdisciplinary Wabanaki Resources Portal project, which seeks to enhance utilization of existing resources to promote the study of Wabanaki history and culture at the elementary, high school and post-secondary levels in Maine and to facilitate interdisciplinary academic and arts scholarship.

UMaine’s archival holdings related to Wabanaki history and culture are extensive, and include the collection of Fannie Hardy Eckstorm, an early twentieth-century independent scholar of Wabanaki history and culture; the Molly Spotted Elk Collection, which provides a Penobscot view of the United States and Europe; the Linda Gilbert Collection of Penobscot Indian Music featuring original audio recordings about traditional song and dance; and the Maine Indian Collection, one of the largest institutional collections of Wabanaki baskets and basketmaking materials and tools, which is curated by the Hudson Museum. The museum also maintains a collection of significant primary resources, particularly images portraying traditional Wabanaki activities such as basketmaking and harvesting.

Other Wabanaki artifacts stewarded by UMaine include photographs of Passamaquoddy and Penobscot people including prominent tribal members Andrew Sockalexis and Lucy Nicolar Poolaw, who was also known as Princess Watawahso, characteristic objects from the 1880s through today, and the Senator William S. Cohen Papers related to the Maine Indian Land Claims Settlement Act of 1980. Fogler Library also maintains copies of recordings of Wabanaki speech and story now in the Library of Congress collection.

Much of the Wabanaki history and cultural material now housed in University of Maine collections is the intellectual and physical property of the Wabanaki tribes. A 2018 memorandum of understanding between UMaine and the Penobscot Nation delineates a process of artifact co-curation that includes tribal members to ensure culturally responsive care and use of archival material held by a nontribal organization. Maine’s Native American communities will be included in decision and policymaking related to the collections, including controlling access to culturally sensitive materials. UMaine is working to develop a similar memorandum of understanding with the Passamaquoddy Tribe.

Currently, access to UMaine’s resources is limited by siloed storage across multiple, unconnected locations and formats. Developing a centralized portal where digital copies of historic artifacts can be archived as searchable files will enhance interest in Wabanaki history and cultures while serving a diverse stakeholder base with interests in American history, literature, linguistics, law, art and natural sciences, as well as the study of colonization and decolonization in American society.

The Wabanaki Resource Portal project will center the ideas and perspectives of Wabanaki people in providing access to significant historical materials meant to educate the public, facilitate scholarship, preserve Wabanaki traditions and art, and support development of inclusive and accurate K–12 curricula that enhance the teaching of Wabanaki history and culture in Maine schools.

Collaborators on the portal project include partners from Raymond H. Fogler Library, the College of Education and Human Development and Native American Programs at UMaine, members of the Wabanaki Confederacy and the Wabanaki Studies Working Group, the Maine Department of Education, the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Amherst College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Lukens has co-authored “‘Still They Remember Me’: Penobscot Transformer Tales, Volume 1” with Penobscot language master Carol Dana and University of Southern Maine linguistics faculty Conor Quinn. The book recounts traditional tales of Gluskabe, the tribe’s culture hero, as told by Penobscot Newell Lyon to anthropologist Frank Speck. Speck published the stories in 1918 in an academic report titled “Penobscot Transformer Tales.” The 2021 bilingual edition of Transformer Tales, which was designed for language learning, presents the stories in contemporary Penobscot orthography with updated English translations and features artwork created by tribal members. The book will be available from the University of Massachusetts Press in June 2021.

For more information about this project contact Joan Perkins, joan.perkins@maine.edu

Wabanaki Seminar June 12, 2021 9am-12:15pm

The Maine Department of Education is delighted to invite educators statewide to our June 12 recognition of the 20th Anniversary of the signing of LD 291 which requires the teaching of Wabanaki History and Culture in Maine classrooms.

Please join us and a variety of educational leaders from 9-12:30 on Saturday, June 12. We will begin the morning with greetings from Governor Mills, Commissioner Makin and a keynote by legislation sponsor, Hon. Donna Loring.

Register here

For more information about the Wabinaki Seminar contact Joe Schmidt at joe.schmidt@maine.gov