Anishinaabemowin Teg 2018


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March 20th, 2018

Jane Doe

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Bezhig Giizhigad Anishinaabemowin Teg 2018

Jeremy Martin 03/29/18

NanaBoozho, Jeremy N’dizhnikaaz, menjiidig doodem, Flint n’doonjibaa, Saginaw Chippewa Nindaw. This is a blog about my time at Anishinaabemowin Teg 2018.

For me, the overarching idea that I took from today was that we need to pay more attention to our elders and children than we have been in recent years. At the University of Wisconsin presentation “How We Protect Our World”, the students were working on language revitalization through children songs. The part of this project that stood out to me the most was the part where Nathon Breu pointed out that the language also had, arguably, a direct impact on the surrounding ecosystems. With this, he pointed out the different times of the year and berry harvesting. Some of the elders thought that this was a great idea and a great approach to the idea, but the thing that a lot of language revitalization projects miss is the elder’s perspective. As the elder pointed out, the elders may have knowledge and stories that go far more in-depth than a website can. And this also made me realize that we need to pay more attention to the elders and ask them to teach us the words that they know, as well as the stories that were passed down to them, because when they go away, all of that knowledge will go too.

At Rochelle Allan’s presentation “Second language learning and inter-generational transmission”, she talked about her experience learning and teaching the language to her new born children and the struggles that she has encountered through her time, giving tips and advice on how to deal with said struggles. As elders are important to keeping the culture and language alive from dying, teaching the language and stories to the children as they are growing up is just as important. Children are scientifically better at learning multiple languages within their first few years of their lives, so learning Anishinaabemowin and keeping up with speaking it throughout their lives would help bring back the language and culture throughout all of our communities.


Gchi-twaa-endaan nishinaabemoyan (Value yourself when you speak it)

Grey Shea 03/29/18

Aanii, Meskwa Gekek n’dizhnikaaz. Migizi n’doodem. Grey n’dizhnikaaz Zhaaganaashimowin. Bahweting n’doonjibaa. Ojibwe Anishinaabe n’daw.

Today, I attended the 24th Annual Anishinaabemowin Teg, an Anishinaabe language conference in Bahweting (Sault Ste. Marie, MI). The theme of this year’s conference is “Ge-zhi-naanaagide’enmongba gdoo-kiimnaa (how we can look after our environment.)”

We first checked out a presentation by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee grad students (Susan Wade, Monea Warrington, and Nathon Breu) titled “Ezhi-ganawendamang gidakiimnaan (how we protect our world.)” Susan discussed her work on a grant she was a part of. She spoke of working with an elder-in-residence who used the language to help her understand the land she was working with. Monea discussed her use of children’s books and songs to help college students learn Anishinaabemowin. She also talked about how translating is more than giving something a name, it includes translating concepts into an Anishinaabe way of thinking. For example, the Humble Song teaches the circle of respect and the words for those we need to respect. The Traveling Song teaches conjugation of words. Nathon presented his research on changes to plants in Anishinaabe-akiing. He said that the language’s relationship to the land allowed us to have a deeper understanding of our environment and how to live as part of the ecosystem, and learning our language will help us to get back to this way. Elders also spoke up during question time, reminding us to bring elders to the classroom and that scholarly and land-based learning need to be in balance.

Later, we went to Mary Pheasant’s workshop titled “The Healing Art of Maaniinhs.” This workshop was about how cultural arts can be used for healing, wellness, and self care. She talked about her personal story and how her art comes from a place of healing. Her ideas were relatable - I often use painting and beadwork as a way to heal and assert myself in the face of what still causes me and my communities pain. Painting and drawing are also helpful to me in my language learning.

Lastly, we attended Rochelle Allan’s presentation titled “Endso-giizhigat noondaanaawaa (second language learning and intergenerational transmission.)” She lives in an urban environment without access to fluent speakers and language support for families and children. She talked about teaching her child Anishinaabemowin in this environment, and how he helps her learn. Rochelle also gave the audience tips on how to make learning less stressful, such as learning words that relate to daily life, and that repetition is key. Her ideas on bringing Anishinaabe language back to family included encouraging post-secondary institutions to explore family-based language courses, and creating more online content for children.

Notable quotes:

“Science is catching up with the Anishinaabe.” -Nathon Breu

“Crafts is when you work with tongue depressors and toothpicks, this is art.” -Mary Pheasant

Word list:

n’gitchi-nendam (I am happy)

aambe wiisini-daa (come on, let’s eat)

minwendaagod (fun)

waaninaagozi (cute)

shkaakaamikwe (mother earth)

baashkaabigwanii (blooms)

baashkaabigwaniiwinan (buds)

ziinzibaakwadwaatig (red maple)

ziigwan (spring season)

aki-mazina’igan (map)

miimii (pigeon, dove)

aandeg (crow)

bekaa (wait)

Day One at A-Teg

Kayla Bell 3/29/18


Boozhoo! Kayla n’dizhinikaaz. Mikinaak n’doodem. Eastport n’doonjibaa. Ojibwe n'daw. Today was our first day at the 24th Annual Anishinaabemowin-Teg Language Conference.

Learning any language is hard. When it’s connected to untying colonial violence – it’s even more difficult.

In the presentation this morning by the UW-Milwaukee grad students, Monea Warrington talked about using song to remember certain tricky concepts like conjugating. Listen to the Traveling Song to hear the ways conjugation switches.

It’s so beautiful to be hearing conversations going on around me in full Anishinaabemowin. Every recognized word is a reason to smile.

Rochelle Allan presented this afternoon on being a 2nd language learner and making sure that her children were growing up surrounded by Anishinaabemowin. She talked about how we need to bring the language learning back into our connections with others. It’s important to be able to speak things you commonly say so you are able to communicate with the people around you.

This made me think about the words I say most in a day and the routine activities that I can apply language to.

Inaabin! – Look!

Gooshkoozin – Wake up

Wegnesh maajyin? – What are you eating?

Gigii waabaandan ina waawaashkeshii? – Did you see the deer?

Miigwech giibinbwaachiweyin – Thank you for visiting with me

Naadamawishin – Help me

Aaniin  ezhi-ikidoyang Anishinaabemong? – How do you say it in Anishinaabemowin?

Rochelle asked us all to consider what we can contribute to keep the language strong and make it accessible to the next generation. As a beginning learner, right now what I can contribute is the commitment to continue and to integrate Anishinaabemowin more into my daily life.

I know that this is a question that will stay with me and my answers will change over time. I’m so excited to be here, in a place where other people are answering this question everyday.


Anishinaabemtaadidaa Ensa-giizhgad (Let's speak our language to each other every day)

Grey Shea 03/30/18

Today, we went to a workshop with Reta Sands-Clement titled “E-nweying Pii Nigamoying (Our Sound Through Songs).” We learned several songs and sang them together, with Eddie Taylor playing the guitar and Reta telling us stories about the songs. It was a great way to start the day, singing in the language together. Here are a couple of my favorite songs:

Dandelion Gamwin (Dandelion Song)

Written by Doopnibiikwe (Linda George) Walpole Island First Nations

Tune: Skip to my Lou


Dandelion, dandelion zaakiimgad (it is growing)

Dandelion, dandelion zaakiimgad

Dandelion, dandelion zaamkiigad


(verses 2-8)

Dandelion, dandelion ozaawaa (it is yellow)

Dandelion, dandelion waawyeyaa (it is round)

Dandelion, dandelion baatiinad (there are lots!)

Dandelion, dandelion mshkiiwan (it is medicine)

Dandelion, dandelion aamo miijim (it is bee food)

Dandelion, dandelion biijmaaksino (it has no smell)

Dandelion, dandelion kaadenan (you can braid it)

Dandelion, dandelion boodaandan (if you blow on it, it makes a noise)

Gzhemnidoo Anishinaabemowin Gii-miin Gonaa (The Creator Gave Us Our Language)

Written by Kaan-gaa-dese (Eddie Taylor)

Tune: Reach Out & Touch the Lord

Gzhemnidoo Anishinaabemowin gii-miin gonaa. (The Creator gave us our language.) [2x]

Aambe maaj-taa-daa wii-Ani-shi-naa-bem-ying, (Let’s start speaking the native language,)

Gzhemnidoo Anishinaabemowin gii-miin gonaa. (the Creator gave us our language.)  ///

Anishinaabem-to-shin pane, pane (Speak Indian to me always, always.) [2x]

Wiik-chi-toon Anishinaabemowin gaa-miiingoying (Try to learn the language that was given to us.)

Anishinaabem-to-shin pane, pane. (Speak Indian to me always, always.)  ///

Kwii-Anishinaabem-towaag na (Will you speak the language)

gdi-binoo-jiin-mag noongo? (to your children today?) [2x]

Anishinaabem-to-shin kidwag binoo-jiin-yag (Speak Indian to me, say the children.)

Kwii-Anishinaabem-towaag na (Will you speak the language)

Gdi-binoo-jiin-mag noongo? (to your children today?)  ///

They tried to take our language, but they could not. [2x]  ///

They tried assimilation, but we still speak,

Anishinaabemowin gaa-miingoying (the language that was given to us.)  ///

We are Residential School survivors,

gaagnig pane ji-yaayaang (forever we will remain.) [2x]

Gaagnig pane ji-yaayaang, A-ni-shi-naa-beg. (Forever we will remain good beings.)

We are Residential School survivors,

gaagnig pane ji-yaayaang (forever we will remain.)  ///

Aab-ji-toon Anishinaabemowin enso-giizhgak, (Use the language every day,) [2x]

miin-waa esh-kam ga-ni-taaw-toon. (and you will get better and better at it.)

Aab-ji-toon Anishinaabemowin enso-giizhgak. (Use the language every day.)  ///

Gzhemnidoo Anishinaabemowin gii-miin gonaa. (The Creator gave us our language.) [2x]

Aambe maaj-taa-daa wii-Ani-shi-naa-bem-ying, (Let’s start speaking the native language,)

Gzhemnidoo Anishinaabemowin gii-miin gonaa. (the Creator gave us our language.) [2x]

We later went to Helen Roy’s workshop, titled “E-izhi’iimigag e-zhi-izhi’oomigagag miinawaa e-aawang aki ida-idibaadade.” Helen explained her way of teaching Anishinaabemowin, which includes breaking down each sound. She says this helps us to understand the language better. It was over my head, but it was very interesting to see other's ways of understanding and learning. Helen also talked about how we need to get back to speaking to each other in Anishinaabemowin, and how the language was passed down to us to help us do what we need to do. This is a big inspiration of my own in learning Anishinaabemowin; it is very important to me to preserve the knowledge within our language. I would love to get to a more conversational point in my language learning journey someday.

We also went to Will Morin and Martina Osawamick’s workshop, “Giigi Kinoomaagewin (Indigenous Traditional Balanced Healing Guide of Contemporary Trauma, Grief, and Loss.)” They discussed how wounds are caused when our history is kept from us, and how healing is a path we are all on. The major point of the discussion was how the 7 Grandfather Teachings can be applied to the 7 Stages of Grief to create a balanced approach for Indigenous healing. Morin created a chart aligning each stage of grief with a teaching. They build on each other, culminating with acceptance/wisdom. We need to live all the teachings to have wisdom, just as we need to go through each stage to come to acceptance. They also talked about the tree as a symbol for truth - if you put an eye and ear on each branch it would see and hear everything and know the truth. And like the tree and it’s leaves, we need to let go if we want to take in something new.

Notable quotes:

“To understand Natives, people need to accept Natives have a different way of seeing, and participate in that way of seeing.” -Will Morin

“I do not work with Aboriginal youth, addicts, and elders - I work with the spirit.” - Gerard Sagassige

“If you are going to call yourself anything, say spirit - no male or female, just spirit.” -Gerard Sagassige

“We’ll hold onto our casino cards longer than we’ll hold onto a tobacco tie.” -Gerard Sagassige

“We watch Young and the Restless for an hour every day but don’t spend an hour on ourselves.” -Gerard Sagassige

“You all have a favorite slot machine but no one has a favorite medicine.” -Gerard Sagassige

“Our spirit is our medicine.” -Gerard Sagassige

Word list: