The Mentor-Apprentice Program is a one-on-one language immersion program that helps people to become fluent speakers by learning language for daily life at home and on the land.
The Mentor-Apprentice Program supports one-on-one learning between an adult learner and a fluent speaker. The program funds 300 hours of immersion over the course of a year and FPCC provides training and support. 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 and Aboriginal Neighbours.
This program is intended for B.C. First Nations individuals ages 16 or older. You do not need to be living in your community (on reserve) to be eligible to participate.
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.