Archive for the ‘Ojibwe (oji)’ Category

Movies of daily life invigorating Objiwe

21 November 2011

New home movies resurrect endangered Native American language” by Science Nation. Mary Hermes takes movies of daily scenes to help speakers expand their vocabulary.

What is Gegawewamingo Miniss?

13 September 2011

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.

Ojibwe rap on language revitalization

24 June 2011

This blog will be on hiatus for another two weeks or so. In the meantime, here is a rap “Prayers in a Song” by Point of Contact on language revitalization, including two portions in Ojibwe:

Job offer: curriculum and resource developer in Manitoba, Canada

21 May 2011

The Frontier School Division covers 41 schools in northern Manitoba, Canada, some accessible only by boat or plane. Their mission statement includes the statement: “Language and culture celebrated in the community and school builds identity.”

Within the FSD is the Social Studies/Native Studies Department, whose mission statement includes the belief that, “…students will learn best and experience success when the language and culture of the community influences programs in schools.”

The FSD is currently seeking a full-time curriculum and resource developer for Ojibway at the divisional level. The job is permanent and will begin this September. The deadline for application is May 27.

Education requirements are:

  • Bachelor of Education degree
  • Masters Degree (completed or in progress)
  • Valid Manitoba Teaching Certificate

Other requirements include at least five years of instruction and fluency in Ojibway are required. Ojibway probably refers to Northwestern Ojibwa (ojb).

Unfortunately, the Aboriginal Education page with language information is under construction, but according to the Ethnologue, Assiniboine (asb), Chipewyan (chp), Dakota (dak), Northwestern Ojibwa (ojb), Plains Cree (crk) and Woods Cree (cwd) are spoken in Manitoba, along with English, French and Plautdietsch (pdt).

US Conference May 16-17

6 May 2011

In cooperation with the Grotto Foundation, the Eni–gikendaasoyang (Center for Indigenous Knowledge and Language Revitalization) at the University of Minnesota Duluth is holding Minnesota Indigenous Language Symposium VI on May 16 and 17.

Topics on the provisional agenda include:

  • Skits based on the popular Ojibwemodaa immersion software for learning Ojibwe (oji)
  • Teaching Dakota (dak) without using English
  • The importance of morphology in learning Ojibwe (the “sound-based method”)
  • Technology and learning
  • Inter-generational learning

Theme: Weaving Indigenous Language Through Family, Education & Community
Dates: September 16-17, 2011
Location: Black Bear Resort & Casino, Carlton, Minnesota
Fees: USD 175, 140 elders, 100 higher education students; USD 200 after May 11

This post was inspired by “Language Symposium in Minnesota to take place May 16th & 17th” on the Spoken First website.

News in Brief: Ojibwe conference big success, Indigenous teacher agreement, indigenous speaker population increase in Mexico

4 May 2011

According to “Big turnout for Ojibwe conference,” the third annual Ojibwe (oji) conference “Our Language is Our Culture” was a great success. With 90 people in attendance, the conference was extended from one to three days and covered such topics as technology and learning styles.

According to an article on Market Wire, three educational organizations in Canada are set to sign a memorandum of understanding on May 6 as a basis for working more closely on Indigenous educational issues. The three parties are: ABCDE (the Association of British Columbia Deans of Education); IAHLA (the Indigenous Adult Higher Learning Association (IAHLA), and FNESC (the First Nations Education Steering Committee).

In “Is the number of speakers of indigenous languages in Mexico increasing?” Geo-Mexico reports that yes, the number is increasing. According to the article, while the number of indigenous speakers who cannot speak Spanish decreased slightly, the number of people speaking an indigenous language has decreased from 5.3 million in 1990 to 6.0 in 2000 to 6.7 in 2010. Nahuatl (family) is given as the indigenous language with the largest population, though that might be misleading as Wikipedia lists 29 Nahuan languages. It may be that language varieties generally considered as different languages are being bundled up as “Nahuatl.”

Language Bowl

24 April 2011

A spelling bee is a contest where participants must correctly spell words. Widespread throughout the English-speaking world because of the difficult nature of English spelling, the spelling bee is a great way to draw attention to the importance of spelling and provides a motivation to students to learn spelling.

Since at least 2007, the Minnesota Indian Education Association has been holding “quiz bowls” to encourage high school students to learn Ojibwe (oji). To continue this motivation at the university level, the Fifth Ojibwe Language Quiz Bowl was held this past week at Augsburg College.

This post was inspired by and based on “A Friendly Competition in Ojibwemowin.”

Update: Nixyaawii Community High School evidently has a language bowl coming up on April 27 (the link is for last year). It appears the language used is Umatilla (uma).

Bodéwadmi, Keepers of the Fire

9 April 2011

Potawatomi (pot) is a language spoken in the Great Lakes region and Kansas in North America. It is spoken by the Potawatomi, who call themselves the Bodéwadmi, which means “Keepers of the Fire.”

According to the Ethnologue, there are 1250 speakers in Canada and 50 in the US. The APWAD blog says there are less than 20 in the US.

Along with the Algonquin, Nipissing, Oji-Cree and Odawa, the Potawatomi are an Ojibwe people, and one of the interesting aspects of Ojibwe culture is the use of birch bark scrolls, known as wiigwaasabak and mide-wiigwaas. These scrolls have complex glyphs (writing symbols), though according to Wikipedia, not much is known about them due to their secret nature.

Many resources are available for learning Potawatomi.

This post was inspired by “Endangered Language: Potawatomi” on the (sometimes outrageously funny) Languages Hell Yeah blog, and the many links in “Potawatomi language” on the Pokagon blog.

Indian Affairs Council of Minnesota Releases Report

6 April 2011

Serving as a liaison between the State of Minnesota and Native American tribes located there, the Indian Affairs Council of the State of Minnesota was established in 1963 and is the oldest such council in the US.

In 2009, the Minnesota legislature authorized a feasibility study on Dakota (dak) and Ojibwe (oji) revitalization. Last month, the volunteer working group issued the report, titled “Dakota and Ojibwe Language Revitalization In Minnesota.”

The contents of the report are:

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction: Language Loss
  • Volunteer Work Group on Ojibwe and Dakota Language Revitalization
  • Context: Language Immersion and the State of Language Revitalization
  • Working Group Responses to Issues Identified in Enabling Legislation
    • Directive 1: Existing Language Programs
    • Directive 2: Inventory of Resources
    • Directive 3: Curriculum Needs / Barriers to Teacher Training
    • Directive 4: Curriculum Needs for Teaching Students
    • Directive 5: Meeting Curriculum Needs
    • Directive 6: Creating a Repository of Resources
    • Directive 7: State Technical Assistance
    • Directive 8: Funding
    • Directive 9: Laws, Rules, Regulations and Policies
    • Directive 10: Community Interest
  • Conclusion
  • Appendices
  1. Volunteer Working Group Membership
  2. Surveys
  3. Models for Language Material Repositories
  4. Research Bibliography

A summary of the report is available on the index page of the MIAC, but the first half will likely be removed, so it is provided below. The second part is at “Minnesota’s Lakota & Ojibwe Language Report.”

  • Dakota and Ojibwe languages are in critical conditions.
  • The population of fluent and first speakers of these languages is small, and only a few first speakers live in Minnesota.
  • Virtually nobody who speaks Ojibwe or Dakota as a first language has standard teaching credentials.
  • Successful models do exist for bringing Indigenous languages from the brink of extinction.
  • More than 100 programs and activities in Minnesota provide exposure to and/or instruction in Dakota and Ojibwe languages, reflecting the importance placed on this effort by language activists, educators, tribal governments and the Minnesota   Department of Education. Few of these programs, however, recognize the essential pedagogic requirements for language   revitalization, which include a role for strong immersion programming and the leadership roles for fluent speakers.  Language immersion programs are crippled by a lack of trained teachers; a dearth of curriculum materials; policies that   adversely affect the licensure, training and availability of required personnel; and limited funding. Currently, only the University of Minnesota campuses in the Twin Cities and Duluth offer preparation for licensure for teaching across the curriculum in Ojibwe and Dakota languages; neither of these operates for teachers in grades 9-12 and subsequently languages are seldom taught formally at that level.

This post was inspired by “Minnesota: Dakota And Ojibwe Language Revitalization in Minnesota” on the Indian Peoples Issues and Resources page.

Immersion Signs

6 April 2011

In Hawai’i, signs are filled with Hawaiian (haw): aloha (hello/good-bye), kāne (men) on the restrooms and more. Ojibwe (oji) has now come to the American town of Bemidji, Minnesota in the same way.

This is a fantastic development. Not only does it assist those who speak Ojibwe and educate people wanting to learn Ojibwe, it raises the awareness of the existence of Ojibwe and confirms the place Ojibwe holds in the community.

Read the exciting details at “Whole Town of Bemidji Becomes Ojibwa Language Immersion Experience” on the SAIVUS blog.