How the Ojibwe language survived the pandemic

How do you keep your language alive while also protecting the health of elders? That’s been the quandary facing Ojibwe educators during the pandemic. As native speakers, Ojibwe elders were the primary teachers of the language, but they were also the most vulnerable to COVID. Leah Lemm of Minnesota’s Mille Lacs Ojibwe band tells us how she and others figured out how to continue learning while also ensuring the wellbeing of teaching elders like her own father.

Music in this episode by Airae, Gridded, Megan Woffard, Headlund, Joseph Beg, Jules Gaia, Rymdklang Soundtracks, Molecular Machine. Read a transcript of the episode here.

Some Ojibwe language resources recommended by Leah: James Vukelich’s Ojibwe Word of the Day; the University of Minnesota’s online Ojibwe dictionary; the  Ojibwe Rosetta Stone project; and the Mille Lacs band of Ojibwe and the Minnesota Historical Society’s Aanjibimaadizing book project.

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Episode 48