Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
“There is no word for the word "school" in Anishinaabemowin. Even though some people use a word that may sound close to school, there was no such word,”
Helen Roy Fuhst speaks Anishinaabemowin fluently.
Helen Roy Fuhst told those attending her "Understanding Anishinaabemowin"workshop at the 19th Annual Anishinaabe Family Language & Culture Camp on Saturday in Manistee, Michigan.
“There was no word for school because our ancestors believed learning takes place everywhere,”
continued Fuhst, as she spoke under a large tent outdoors on a beautiful July Saturday in this resort town located on Lake Michigan.
Fuhst, who speaks Anishinaabemowin fluently, teaches the language at Michigan State University, used a PowerPoint presentation as an educational tool during her workshop of approximately 75 people. She inserted plenty of humor into her presentation.
She is the creator of the Sound Based Method of Understanding Anishinaabemowin, which many elders and fluent speakers see as a groundbreaking form to teach the language with complete understanding. Fuhst has taught Anishinaabemowin for almost 30 years. Fuhst also sings and has ma.de many CDs of recognizable pop music in the language accompanied by her guitar
Hundreds Wait to Register Early Saturday for this Great Family Event.
The language camp is in its 19th year and attracts American Indians and non-Indians from near and far. By 1 pm Saturday, 444 people had registered for the three day language camp. Participants came from several Great Lakes states, Canada and beyond. Some came from far away as Florida - and even across the waters from Japan to attend.
Flying in the Michigan breeze were over a dozen tribal flags representing various tribal nations from the United States and Canada. Five large tents were used to conduct simultaneous workshops surrounding the perimeter of the powwow circle owned by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians. Beyond the public area where the workshops were conducted, small campers and tents were scattered for overnight lodging.
The workshops provided educational and enjoyable experiences for entire families. American Indian children laughter could be heard as they sat down to listen were given workshops filled with examples of the language. One workshop the children were read to from a book that uses the Anishinaabe words for animals. Another workshop taught the uses for "wiigwaas" or birch bark, using terms from Native language.
Later in the day, Fuhst, along with others, participated in ceremony where the Tribe's language coordinator Kenny Pheasant was presented a hand carved sacred pipe. It was given to him for appreciation for beginning and continuing the language camp.
“We encourage people to come together and enjoy their language,”
Saturday evening camp participants were treated with a "jiingtamok" or powwow. Fuhst served as one of the emcees of the jiingtamok. Several young Anishinaabe girls made their debut as jingle dress dancers wearing colorful regalia made by family and friends.
The 19th Annual Anishinaabe Family Language amp; Culture Camp was sponsored by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians and catered by the Little River Casino Resort.
photo credit Lucy McClellan Hunter;
posted July 30, 2012 6:30 am edt