The Mentor-Apprentice Program is a one-on-one language immersion program that helps people to become fluent speakers by learning the language for daily life at home and on the land.
The Mentor-Apprentice Program supports one-on-one learning between an adult learner (16 years of age and older) and a fluent speaker. This program is intended for B.C. First Nations individuals learning one of the 34 First Nations languages in B.C. You do not need to be living in your community (on reserve) to be eligible to participate, but you must be living in B.C.
The Mentor-Apprentice Program is now offering two program types to better suit different types of language learners. Please review the descriptions below and select your preferred program type. Applications to both types will not be accepted.
Mentor-Apprentice Program (MAP) – Intensive
This option is intended for language learners who want to actively pass on the language to others, most often through a career as a language educator. MAP participants complete 300 hours of language immersion with a fluent speaker over approximately nine months.
MAP is best suited for:
- Learners who are or want to become language teachers in the school or community
- Parents of young children or soon-to-be parents
- Learners aged 16 – 50 who have a plan for actively passing on the language to others
Mentor-Apprentice Program: Connections (MAPC) – Flexible
MAPC is for language learners who want to strengthen their connection to their language and who want greater flexibility and minimal reporting requirements. MAPC participants complete 100 hours of language immersion with a fluent speaker over approximately six months. The project term for Map Connections is June 1 – Dec. 15, 2022.
MAPC is best suited for:
- Learners who want to strengthen their connection to their language
- Learners with some language knowledge or silent speakers who want to gain confidence in speaking
- Learners who want to complete their Mentor-Apprentice hours at a relaxed pace
FPCC provides training and support to successful applicants. Each grant is for a single fiscal year, and reapplications are permitted for up to two additional years if the previous year’s requirements are met.
While completing this program is a big commitment, it works! Some apprentices have become highly proficient speakers in three years. This program is funded by the First Peoples’ Cultural Foundation, the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, Aboriginal Neighbours and The Anglican Foundation of Canada.
Join our Info Session!
To learn more about the program and how to strengthen your application, register for our webinar on September 21, 2021 from 12:00PM – 1:00PM. *This session is now full*
NEW! Additional Info session added: September 23, 2021 from 12:00PM – 1:00PM.
To register email: email@example.com
We are here to help!
If you have any questions or would like assistance with your grant application please contact the program staff listed at the bottom of this page. FPCC staff are available to answer questions about grant eligibility, project proposal ideas, what activities are permitted during COVID-19 restrictions, which program or grant may be best for your project and more. You may also contact an Outreach Coach for information on project planning, resources and information sessions.
FPCC started a B.C. Mentor-Apprentice Program in 2008 with 12 teams from 11 different B.C. languages. The goal for each team was to complete 900 hours of immersion in their language (3 years of 300 hours per year). These 12 teams showed great success and all of the apprentices became more fluent in their languages. Since then, FPCC has supported hundreds of teams across the province to learn and share their languages.
The Mentor-Apprentice Program (MAP) was first developed in California for Native American languages, but the same model can be used to learn any language. It was initially created by Leanne Hinton, Nancy Richardson, Mary Bates Abbott and others (Hinton 2001) based on a suggestion by Julian Lang, a Karuk speaker. For more information on the program in California, see the website for the Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival: www.aicls.org
Tools and Resources
Click here for more information regarding the MAP toolkit. The program toolkit includes helpful resources to assist with planning your program activities from application to submitting your final report.
Page Image: Levi Martin and Tsimka Martin, Tla-oqui-aht First Nation, 2019 Mentor-Apprentice training.
Aurora Skala has worked with Indigenous communities in Territories within B.C. and Alberta as an archaeologist and anthropologist for almost 10 years. She received her M.A. from the University of Victoria.