Saturday 3 March 2012 - 07:16

US school punished indigenous girl for speaking her own language

Story Code : 142489
Miranda Washinawatok
Miranda Washinawatok
On February 28, Tanaes Washinawatok said that she was not satisfied with a letter of apology sent by the teacher and would ask the Catholic Church’s Diocese of Green Bay in the US state of Wisconsin to fire her.

Twelve-year-old Miranda Washinawatok was told off by her teacher for saying “I love you” in the language used by the Menominee Nation of American Indians during class at the Sacred Heart Catholic School in the city of Shawano, Wisconsin, on January 19.

“What she (the teacher) has done is try to justify her actions against Miranda and diminish the character of a 12-year-old child,” Tanaes said, in reference to the teacher’s letter of apology.

Miranda was also banned from playing in a basketball game for having “an attitude problem” later on January 19, she added.

The federal government of the United States established boarding schools in the mid-1880s that banned the students from acknowledging their culture and language.

Native American students in the United States were punished for using their native languages until the 1960s, and the incident at the Wisconsin school brings back painful memories for the country’s indigenous people.