Gidaa-ojibwemotaadimin

We hold the Anishinaabeg language and traditions to the highest degree with respect and value for other cultures.

Why Ojibwemowin?

Ojibwemowin is our sound. It is the sound we were given as a people. Embedded in our language is a cultural inheritance rich in understandings of ourselves, our land and our ancestors. If we want it to survive for the next generation each of us must act.

Make a commitment.
Find your motivation.
Create a plan.
Use as much as possible.
Make Ojibwe heard in your home.
Make using Ojibwe normal.
Take it one step at a time.
Dedicate time.
Repeat.

What can we do?

Even though we often hear that language and culture are important, it’s hard to identify what part each of us might play.

Each of us can take an active role in keeping our language alive in our homes. Set goals for yourself and your family.

Ojibwe heritage

How can we start?

Don’t wait until you know more. Don’t wait to take a class. Start now. Start with what you know and use it as much as you can. Select target language for your own learning and practice that with your children. The more Ojibwe we are using, the more your children will hear. It takes all of us to fill our community with our sound.

What do we need to know?

We are often reluctant to use our language with our children and with each other for a host of reasons. Perhaps we think we don’t know enough. Perhaps we think we don’t sound good enough, that we don’t know enough, that we can’t make a difference.

BUT WE CAN. We just need to make a plan for how to start and then stick to it.

Start with words you know

Brainstorm words and phrases you may already know. You might be surprised. You probably know a lot of words you could use each day.

What about these?

Boozhoo or Aaniin Hello
Miigwech Thank you
Giga-waabamin I'll see you
Weweni Carefully
Howa! Wow
Gaawiin No
Ojibwe Ojibwe

 

Our language is encoded with cultural knowledge and understanding. When we learn our language, when we listen to speakers, when we speak Ojibwe to our children, we are unlocking those understandings, we become more ourselves, stronger still and more resilient.

Make the commitment

It takes time and it takes commitment, but each of us has a role to play in using, maintaining and revitalizing our language.

Once you have identified Ojibwemowin you already know, set a goal and make a commitment to using those words with your friends and family each day. If you forget, don’t be harsh with yourself, just recommit. Make a play to remember. Perhaps you can hang a sign on your wall or set a reminder on your phones to help stay on track. Gently remind yourself, “niminotaagoz ojibwemoyaan” (I sound good when I speak Ojibwe).

How to use these language resources

This page is full of language resources. It includes pieces to help inspire you, to help you plan and to support you as you incorporate more and more language into your family’s daily routine. FIRST, take a quick glance through to see what’s here. SECOND, sit down with the family language plan and sample. Think about how you want to plan to use language with your family. Make it personal. It is, after all, our language. FINALLY, check out the resources we have included to support your plan.

The purpose of this language planning kit is to help you and your family get started speaking Ojibwe in your home and in our community.

Tips & strategies

Set small, doable goals. Success is easier to achieve in small chunks.

Make it a habit. Take one area of your life, such as meal times, and make a habit of speaking Ojibwe in that area. At first, incorporate 5 or so phrases in your daily language. As you master those, add 5 more. As you master that area, add another area to your regular routine.

Build your speaking community. As you make a plan on how you will incorporate more language with your family, identify allies. Share your goals with your child’s teacher, with your friends and larger family. Ask them to use the Ojibwe they know with you and your children. With work, we can hear Ojibwemowin wherever we go.

Celebrate success. Recognize the small successes as well as the large. Every miigwech, every word, every phrase you and your child use is another step forward in strengthening our language.

Ojibwe resources with links

Video vocabulary links