What is Gegawewamingo Miniss?

Answer: Stockton Island.
Question: What is Gegawewamingo Miniss?

Answer: Bear.
Question: What is makwa.

So goes Ojibwe Jeopardy, a game invented by Ojibwe park rangers David and Daniel Grooms. As all language learners know, the acquisition of vocabulary is a long, painful process, and a wide range of activities can make learning more fun.

The article “Citizen Dave: St. Scholastica students fight to keep the dying Ojibwe language alive” in the online Isthmus talks about efforts of the Grooms brothers to learn and revitalize Ojibwe, along with a brief history of efforts by the US government to eradicate the Ojibwe language.

Ojibwe (oji) is a macrolanguage with eight dialects according to Wikipedia, and seven according to the Ethnologue. The variety spoken on the Red Cliff Reservation is Chippewa (ciw). Of 720 first-language speakers of Chippewa, one is on Red Cliff, and of about 75,000 second-language speakers, 50 are on Red Cliff–according to Wikipedia (and my calculations).

Hopefully Ojibwe Jeopardy will inspire people to increase that number, and the Red Cliff Band has language classes and resources (Objibwe Language) to help as well.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: