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Ojibwe Language Meeting Held at LDF Prior to Chippewa Federation Meeting

Lac du Flambeau Tribe

Press Release

Years ago, under Tribal President Joe Wildcat, the motion was put forward through the Chippewa Federation to revitalize the Ojibwe language. At a Language Symposium held last week at the Round House, 78 representatives traveled to Lac du Flambeau from different Tribes across the Ceded Territory to discuss ways to move forward with culture and language.

During a Language Symposium held last week in Lac du Flambeau, Tribal representatives from across the Ceded Territory display a donation from the Sokaogon Chippewa Community - Mole Lake Band of Lake Superior Chippewa to support the preservation of Ojibwe language. The donation was made to the Waadookodaading Ojibwe Language Immersion School from LCO, represented by Keller Paap in the pic accepting the donation.

The gathering looked to develop a precedent for future generations to follow to revitalize Ojibwe language, Tribal President John Johnson said after the meeting in Lac du Flambeau.

"Without the language, we don’t have the ceremonies and teachings that found our way of life," President Johnson said. "Assimilation attempted to remove our language from our mouths by penalizing our ancestors for speaking and practicing our culture. This effort looks to revitalize our language, which is on life support, and the foundation of our ability to survive and thrive into the future."

Following the Language Symposium, the Chippewa Federation voted to allocate money to fund the effort from each Tribe, including Menominee who have spiritual leaders who speak both Menominee and Ojibwe, to build momentum for this effort that is part of the foundation of preserving Tribal Ways.

Tribes from Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin attended. Language revitalization meetings will be held the day prior to the regular Chippewa Federation meetings that happen every two months with Tribal Leaders and language carriers continuing to shape the plan.

"When an Elder walks on, we lose a part of who we are as a people," President Johnson said. "Language revitalization is a way to ensure their knowledge carries on through future generations."

"The architects of the assimilation policy knew that without language a people and culture cease to exist," he said. "It’s important we teach our language to our youth. It's one piece of sustaining our people forever, because culture and traditions follow from language."


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