Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
SAULT STE. MARIE, MICHIGAN In an ongoing process of keeping the Anishinaabemowin - language - of the Anishinaabe of the Great Lakes region alive, some 1,000 delegates will attend the "18th Annual Anishinaabemowin - Teg Language Conference" this coming week in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
The Conference will be held March 28 - April 1 at the Kewadin Hotel
This conference brings together a large group of Anishinaabe individuals who are experts in protecting, preserving, writing and speaking Anishinaabemowin. The conference will draw children, parents and elders. The close proximity to Canada across the St. Mary's River will draw many First Nations people.
The theme of the conference is "Naagidoodaa Anishinaabe Maadiziwin" or translated into English: "Let's follow our way of life." The conference will be held March 28 - April 1 at the Kewadin Hotel and Convention Centre, which is owned and operated by the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, based in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
The conference features workshops that allow participants to develop their usage of Anishinaabemowin. Other sessions will screen films about Anishinaabemowin.
"It is my hope the youth attending this year's celebration will take a moment to try and understand the importance of this milestone and endeavor to learn their language and culture. These are the foundations for our future and are essential to our survival as distinct peoples,"
states Martina Osawamick, president of the Anishinaabemowin - Teg, Inc., the organization that puts on the conference each year during the last week of March.
Children as young as four years old who will be speaking Anishinaabemowin and presenting before a scholarship banquet audience of an estimated 600 people.
The keynote speaker for the conference is Dr. Anton Treuer, who is a professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University. Dr Treuer received his Bachelor's of Arts from Princeton University and his Master's of Arts and PhD from the University of Minnesota. He is the editor of "Osahkaabewis Native Journal" and has authored nine books, including "Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask."
Dr. Treuer's session will screen the Emmy Award winning documentary "First Speakers: Restoring the Ojibwe Language." The session will include a detailed discussion of immersion schools and communities profiled in the film. Narrated by acclaimed Ojibwe author, Louise Erdrich, First Speakers tells a contemporary and inspirational story.
Sault Saint Marie Tribal Chairman Joseph L. Eitrem, Garden River First Nation Chief Lyle Sayers, Batchewana First Nation Chief Dean Sayers and Union of Ontario Indians Chief Patrick Madahbee will partake in the grand opening of the conference on Thursday morning.
posted March 26, 2012 6:00 am edt
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