That means "Hello" in Anishinaabe (also called Ojibwemowin), the native language of the Ojibwe Tribes. You might be more familiar with hearing "Chippewa" which is an anglicized version of Ojibwe. Over 50,000 people in the Northern United States and Southern Canada speak Ojibwe, which is an Algonquian language. Although there are several dialects of Ojibwe, the main ones are: Western, Eastern, Northern, Southern, and Ottowa. Speakers of all five dialects can understand each other, though there are clear distinctions between them.
Ojibwe in Red Cliff
Currently, Red Cliff has only one remaining tribal member who is a native speaker of Ojibwemowin. We offer language activities and classes for children and adults in an effort to preserve the language within our community. A comprehensive Ojibwe Language Plan is expected to be released this year, and includes various methods of language preservation, including free books and audio for community members, language lessons online, and in-person language workshops.
If you are interested in learning more about the Ojibwe language, the following are good sources of information:
- A Dictionary of the Ojibway Language, Friedrich Baraga, Frederic Baraga, John D. Nichols, Freidrich Baraga
- A Concise Dictionary of Minnesota Ojibwe, by Earl Nyholm, John D. Nichols
- A Northern Land: Life with the Ojibwe, by Howard D. Paap
- Living Our Language: Ojibwe Tales and Oral Histories (Native Voices), by Anton Treuer (Translator)
- Ojibway Heritage, by Basil Johnston (Author)
- Ojibwemowin Zagaswe'idiwin - Ojibwe Language Society
- Ojibwe History, Lee Sultzman