Shopping cart is empty.

Birchbark Blog

First Speakers: Restoring the Ojibwe Language

Birchbark Books - Monday, November 01, 2010
Narrated by Louise Erdrich.  Featuring Anton Treuer.
From Twin Cities Public Television.

The entire show can now be viewed online!

A language is lost every fourteen days. One of those endangered tongues is Minnesota’s own Ojibwe language. Now a new generation of Ojibwe scholars and educators are racing against time to save the language. Working with the remaining fluent-speaking Ojibwe elders, they hope to pass the language on to the next generation. But can this language be saved?  Told by Ojibwe elders, scholars, writers, historians and teachers, this tpt original production is filled with hope for the future.
Find all airdates here.

Video preview:

About First Speakers: Restoring the Ojibwe Language

As recent as World War II, the Ojibwe language (referred to as ojibwemowin in Ojibwe) was the language of everyday life for the Anishinaabe and historically the language of the Great Lakes fur trade.  Now this indigenous language from where place names like Biwabik, Sheboygan and Nemadji State Forest received their names is endangered.

The loss of land and political autonomy, combined with the damaging effects of U.S government policies aimed at assimilating Native Americans through government run boarding schools, have led to the steep decline in the use of the language.  Anton Treuer, historian, author and professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University and featured in First Speakers: Restoring the Ojibwe Language, estimates there are fewer than one thousand fluent Ojibwe speakers left in the United States, mostly older and concentrated in small pockets in northern Minnesota with fewer than one hundred speakers in Wisconsin, Michigan and North Dakota combined.

Treuer is a part of a new generation of Ojibwe scholars and educators who are now racing against time to save the language and the well-being of their communities.  Narrated by acclaimed Ojibwe writer, Louise Erdrich, First Speakers tells their contemporary and inspirational story.  Working with the remaining fluent Ojibwe speaking elders, the hope is to pass the language on to the next generation.  As told through Ojibwe elders, scholars, writers, historians and teachers, this TPT original production reveals some of the current strategies and challenges that are involved in trying to carry forward the language.

First Speakers takes viewers inside two Ojibwe immersion schools: Niigaane Ojibwemowin Immersion School on the Leech Lake Reservation near Bena, Minnesota and the Waadookodaading Ojibwe Language Immersion Charter School on the Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation near Hayward, Wisconsin. In both programs, students are taught their academic content from music to math entirely in the Ojibwe language and within the values and traditional practices of the Ojibwe culture. Unique to the schools is the collaboration between fluent speaking elders and the teachers who have learned Ojibwe as their second language.

First Speakers: Restoring the Ojibwe Language provides a window into their innovative and intergenerational learning experience and the language they are determined to save.

Faces of America

Birchbark Books - Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Louise will soon be featured as one of the "12 renowned Americans" profiled in the upcoming PBS series Faces of America. Here are some video selections of Louise speaking with series host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Where are they? Birchbark Books! More video can be found on the Faces of America website.

Louise Erdrich - Faces of America, Part 1

Louise Erdrich - Faces of America, Part 2

What made America? What makes us? These two questions are at the heart of the new PBS series Faces of America with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Building on the success of his series African American Lives (called by the New York Times "the most exciting and stirring documentary on any subject to appear on television in a long time,") and African American Lives 2, Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. again turns to the latest tools of genealogy and genetics to explore the family histories of 12 renowned Americans.

The series premieres nationally Wednesdays, February 10 - March 3, 2010 from 8-9 p.m. ET on PBS.

The Funk of 40,000 Years

Birchbark Books - Monday, October 26, 2009
Birchbark Staff and neighborhood zombies rise from the grave to Thrill Kenwood. Part of the global Thrill The World tribute to Michael Jackson -- setting a world record for the largest simultaneous dance.  Can you spot the noted author and owner of Birchbark Books?  (hint: look in the back)  Perhaps one or two other zombified Erdrichs? Thrilling!

Canoe Family

Recent PostsRSS


Rare Books World on the Edge 2666 Native Arts Keepers of the Trees spring British Navy solstice, Thomas King plants post holiday Ha Jin Wolf Hall Remarkable Trees Hilary Mantel Keystone XL Czech Writer Dogs Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive Fireworks School Gardens Dartmouth boarding school Collective Denial Bohumil Hrabal incarnation Peak Oil Birchbark Books Chitra Divakaruni ireland The Birchbark House Alan Weisman Too Loud A Solitude Peak Water Wastepaper More Remarkable Trees anniversary H2Oil Ojibwemowin monkey in a dryer Pembina Hillary Clinton Education Book Review Gary Clement tree books graphix The Blue Sky Ojibwe National Book Award Nero Women and Trees coyote Makoons aquifer Love favorite tree Tree Houses Aubrey/Maturin Wendy Makoons Geniusz Zombies Kabul Emily Johnson Interview Beth Dooley State Troopers Greenland favorite dog friends ptsd japan china language revitalization Gail Caldwell The Ojibwe The Transition Handbook Green Team Population mississippi Aza Philip Roth knowledge The Farmer's Daughter Mohamed's Ghosts post holiday reads ependent Brown Dog The Game of Silence joy Milkweed Press Vic Glover Canada gardens health care reform Video Native People adventure Unnatural Disasters Up Late Again trees support Empire of the Summer Moon local economy Kate DiCamillo thank you friends The Porcupine Year William Trevor Bleak House Islam how good looking you are cafe customers Tar Sands Louise devoted customers leaves and snow The Resilient Gardener Minnesota Crushing Books Magers and Quinn book and dinner club twins Nemesis Easter Island cafe closing Minneapolis Patrick O'Brian germany S.C. Gwynne france peculiar touches of green and gold buffalo Too Much Happiness the most romantic city in the world Kenwood Gardens President Obama neighborhood NACDI:All My Relations Anishinabe Catalyst The Wealth of Nature Afghanistan Chickadee thanks birchbark house series Gryphon Press bill mckibben Bill Moyers Journal Mankato Powwow Poetry Anishinabemowin Victory Gardens Ice pilgrims favorite book Jim Harrison fresh water city of books Botany italy euphoria Anton Treuer sweden Small Bookstores as Commons Roberto Bolano Michael Jackson Light in August Stephen Salisbury This Green World photography E.L. Doctorow gratitude north dakota Alice Munro show your love The Royal Prussian Library Keeping Heart on Pine Ridge green Let's Take the Long Way Home Climate Change