February 16, 2009

Ojibwe Language Weekend Pow Wow

American Indian Studies Ojibwe Language Weekend–“Ni’Shin!”The Michigan State Department of Linguistics & German, Asian, Slavic, and African Languages, The American Indian Studies Program, and the North American Indigenous Student Organization sponsored and organized the weekend event “Learning and Living the Language” which created an environment where students and community members could be immersed in the Ojibwe language. As language Professor Helen Roy communicated on the event flyer, “it is our duty and our inherent nature as Anishinaabeg to preserve the language of our ancestors.”

The Pow Wow which was held at a local community center meeting room was done completely in the Ojibwe language. Third year Linguistics Student Autumn Mitchell read aloud two stories in Ojibwe while a projection screen on the wall projected artful illustrations of the storyline. Autumn has been a student of Helen Roy’s language teachings since Middle School. Autumn read two stories “When you Give a Mouse a Cookie” and my favorite “When you give a Mouse a Drumstick.” Already with extensive language training for her age, Autumn will be graduating in a year and a half and will be able to utilize her skills in continuing the legacy of promoting the language.

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