Rainy River District School Board

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Ojibwe Language Curriculum Development

Development of Ojibwe writing was only started in the 1970s as a means to record teachings from Elders for preservation of culture. The Ojibwe language is woven together with the culture. You can not have one without the other. Words are based culturally significant teachings. Read more about understanding Ojibwe sentences.

Because Ojibwe language is 80% verbs, it's difficult to translate to other languages because they're more noun based.

Inininaatig is the word for maple tree, but the word parts are: inini- man. aatig- wood like/tree. Why is the word for maple tree, man tree? The reason, is because there was a spirit that took pity on Native People because Canadian winters were so harsh, that survival hard, and maintaining survival was difficult. People were malnourished and weak. So the Spirit turned himself into a tree, so that he could be harvested for energy. That is where Maple Sugar came from, and it can be harvested toward the end of Winter, when Ojibwe people were physically at their weakest.

For more information watch this video - First Speakers: Restoring the Ojibwe Language

 

Resources

Ojibwe People's Dictionary

The sound chart is a resource to help with the pronunciation of Ojibwe language by syllable.

Staff and Students can access Ask an Elder and Word of the Day video series from our Video Server on Learn360.