How Language Changes Things

Today, I’d like to give a global shout out to………… Michael Meuers and The City of Bemidji from my home state of Minnesota.

In an effort to create a more positive environment for Native Americans(Ojibwe) and other residents of Bemidji(a city surrounded by 3 reservations), Minnesota, Michael Meuers came up with the idea of putting the Ojibwe translation of “Women” and “Men” on the bathroom doors through out the city. Well, the language project has taken off and now includes 119 businesses throughout the city. It has also spread to Bemidji State University where signs all over campus have been translated to Ojibwe.

Read Michael’s recent blog post and an article by Tanya Lee, Indian Country to get the full story. She quotes Dr. Anton Treuer, Professor of Ojibwe at BSU saying, “Promoting the language does a lot to bridge barriers.” Well said Dr. Treuer, well said.

Why do I like this? I like this because it helps keep the Ojibwe culture and history alive and bridging cultural barriers is my passion. I’m also familiar with Bemidji and it’s problems with racism so this project to create a positive influence on the community is great!

While writing this article, I also found Ojibwe vocabulary with English translations that Michael had put together. Nice work! To learn some Ojibwe Click here! Enjoy!

Can anyone tell me what this word means in Ojibwe? “Inwewin”

New to the blog? Check out ExchangeALanguage.com – Free Language Exchange Community. “Improving Languages by Creating Friendships”

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