The Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTL) and Indigenous Language Partnership has funded several projects on Anishinaabemowin across the Great Lakes Region. Project descriptions and progress updates for a few successful proposals can be found below. A map of the different partners can be found further below on the page.
Bay Mills Community College (BMCC) developed a series of instructional videos and audio-visual teaching tools for Anishinaabemowin learners in the form of interviews between an instructor and a student. Once the interviews were completed, handouts and other written materials were developed for use alongside these videos for high school learners and teachers. Additionally, the Boys and Girls Club of Bay Mills worked alongside the BMCC Nishnaabemwin Pane Language Immersion Program to develop a coloring book for young learners.
College of St. Scholastica (CSS) held 20 online language tables with an Ojibwe elder first-speaker from beginner to intermediate levels. CSS and Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College (FDLTCC) also hosted the Biboon retreat, which focused on bird observation. Two drum feasts were also held in both October and December 2021.
The Gaganoozh team developed, translated, and created audio recordings of the book “Rabbit and Bear Paws: North” by Chad Solomon that form the basis of the augmented reality puppets. The story has been animated and transformed into an interactive video for young learners to use as a language resource. The app is free online and on mobile devices for general use. An estimated 15,000 students and teachers participated in the virtual event associated with the project.
The Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College (SCTC) translated children’s books and games into Anishinaabemowin and published the translations online. In addition to materials development, SCTC hosted the immersion activities at the SCIT Annual Pow-Wow on July 24, 2021.
Pow–Wow on July 24th, 20
The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians (Sault Tribe) Language & Culture Department is partnering with the Anishinaabe Theater Exchange (ATE) to develop a theatre piece that will be performed entirely in Anishinaabemowin. This piece will focus on loss of identity and how language revitalization and language learning will contribute to regaining identity and community. The piece will be performed at a local venue and streamed online once completed.
Harnessing the affordances of multimodal learning, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians will create an audiobook of 19th century tribal patriarch Simon Pokagan’s published stories. The stories, from his birch bark collection, will be read by language instructors and community leaders. The recordings will be made freely available to the larger Anishinaabemowin language learning community
The Bad River Tribe of Lake Superior Chippewa will hold two events to promote the transmission of both linguistic and cultural knowledge within the community. The first will be a series of seasonal harvesting workshops to discuss the harvesting of plants and animals. The second will be a winter storytelling event where elders shared aadizookaanag (stories) to pass down time-honored teachings about trapping, ice fishing, and sugarbush preparation to the next generation.
The Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma will hold a three-day Anishinaabemowin language camp in conjunction with their annual powwow. Through dances and cultural programming, attendees of all ages will gain knowledge and language about ceremonies, prayer, Medicine Wheel teachings, and traditional foods for decolonizing diets. The event will connect Oklahoma Ottawas with their Great Lakes relatives by highlighting their shared cultures and traditions, with the broader goal of providing students with the skills and resources to incorporate Anishinaabemowin into their daily lives.
Of the three language groups that make up the Three Fires Confederacy, the Potawatomi language is the most endangered. Bodwéwadmimwen Ėthë ték (The Center for Potawatomi Language) is combating this trend by publishing a series of bilingual books for learners of Potawatomi. These books are the product of interviews with L1 Potawatomi speaker elders as they narrate historical stories. The books will be published using the Learner Writing System, an orthography designed specifically for students who may not have access to L1 speakers of Potawatomi.
The Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians are creating virtual illustrated study guides. Through an iterative design process, where community members select topics and provide feedback on content, four multimodal study guides will be created. The guides are geared towards different age groups and language proficiency levels.
Indigenous Enterprise, LLC. is bringing Ojibwe language learning materials to social media. The team is creating 450 short- and long-form multimodal videos in the Ojibwe language to disseminate on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Their overarching goal is to build a virtual community of Anishinaabemowin learners by connecting them with high-quality materials.
The East Jordan Public School District is planning a language and culture immersion program for elementary, middle, and high school students. Students will engage in hands-on art activities while learning about Native American artists. They will prepare traditional foods for breakfast and lunch while learning about the cultural and culinary practices surrounding each dish and ingredient. Most importantly, older students will serve as mentors to the younger students to help create a community of language learners in East Jordan who are excited about language revitalization.
The Nokomis Cultural Heritage Center, in partnership with the Indigenous Youth Empowerment Program and Saginaw Tribal Community College, is addressing the gap of intergenerational Anishnaabemwin programs in Lansing, Michigan through Anishnaabemwin Gbeshing, a language day camp. Through family-oriented programming and take-home materials, the camp seeks to encourage the use of Anishinaabemwin in the home. Finally, the Nokomis Culturla Heritage Center will create a documentary on fluent Anishinaabemwin speakers in mid-Michigan to be shared within communities and internationally through festivals and online.