July 25, 2011

Ojibwe signage spreads in Bemidji

Bemidji's Ojibwe Language Project Seeks to Make Effort Irreversible

Permanent Signage Posted by Sanford Health, Schools, OthersMany businesses and organization are trying new things with Ojibwe words demonstrating permanence, creativity, and fun. Beaver Books and others are using portable street ad signs to get their message across. Business owner Brian Larson had his business name translated into Ojibwe Mezinibii'igaadegin Wenizhishingin (Amity Graphics).

Noemi Aylesworth of the Cabin Coffeehouse, (the first business to post Ojibwe/English signage) has headings on menus written in Ojibwe, such as Dekaagamingin (Cold Drinks), Gitigaanensan (Salads), Gigizhebaa-wiisining (Breakfast), and more.

The Sanford Center has "Permanent" Ojibwe/English bi-lingual signage. All doors coming and going at the Sanford Center says Boozhoo (Hello) and Miigwech (Thank you) respectively. There are twelve pairs of restrooms in Sanford Center, each posted with permanent signage with Men/Ininiwag or Women/Ikwewag. And the parking lot has animal images with names in both languages to help you find your car.

Last but not least, Bemidji State University continues to be a leader in this effort by posting first class permanent Ojibwe/English signage throughout both campuses. Bemidji State Park, Itasca State Park, MN DOT, and the DNR are also participating along with over 130 other businesses and organizations.

"One of our concerns when soliciting businesses and organizations to post bi-lingual signage, was permanence," noted Meuers. "We wanted plastic, vinyl, or metal; we are hoping paper signs are only temporary. We are so excited, with Sanford Health, the schools, BSU, and others demonstrating leadership in posting permanent signage...and more. With efforts like this and the new creativity being shown, Bemidji will surely soon be known for its Ojibwe/English signage."
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Bemidji Businesses Post Ojibwe Signs.

Below:  "Principal Drew Hildenbrand points out a sign that says, "Greetings, welcome to Bemidji Middle School."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

By signage, I thought you meant sign language. All plains Indians had the same sign language; one aspect of this being that terms for tribes are all what, if coined today, would be offensive. (The word for Sioux, for instance, is made by slashing the throat with the index finger. "Cutthroat".)