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Program Aims to Preserve Ojibwe Language (Zhaabwiitoonaa Anishinaabemowin)

Nwiikajitonaa maampii Kchikinomaagegamigong Michigan wii ankenmaageyaang maanda Anishinaabemowin.
We are trying here at the University of Michigan to transfer this Anishinaabe language.

E-shkimaadzijig nda'kinoomawaananig.
The young people are being taught by us.

Niizhwak-shi-nisimdana Anishinaabe-newewin maampii Kchimookiman-kiing.
Two hundred and thirty Indigenous languages are spoken here in America.

Gondag ge-shkiitoojig geyabi wii giigidoowaad epiichi jaaganewag igo giinwa.
Those who are able still to speak now are dying off.

Midaaswi boonigak swi goweta geyabi daa tenon Anishinaabe-newewaad.
In ten years three only still will be Indigenous languages will be spoken.

"Bebikaan gondag daa zhagaabwiiwag wii zhaabwiitowaad maanda Anishinaabemowin"
Each of them differently they are standing decision to save this Anishinaabemowin

gii kidowag Margaret Noori miinwaa Howard Kimewon ekinomaagejig
they said Margaret Noori and Howard Kimewon teachers

maanda Anishinaabemowin miinwaa enewewin naakinigewin.
this Anishinaabemowin and voices way of life (literature program).

Maaba bezhig zhooshkwaadeniniis Michigan enaadamaged Travis Turnbull
This one hockey player Michigan he's on the team Travis Turnbull

gii'enh gwa gokomisan gii gwaan kwa "gegwa" boontan.
really his grandmother he did hear "don't do that."

Miinwaa Margaret Noori kido Christy Bieber mii maampii noongwa niizho boon
And Margaret Noori says Christy Bieber so here today two years

bi skooniwed wii mshkiikiininikwed nii-ing maaba gii binji kooganaa Maryland ezhinkaadeg.
here to go to school medicine to study there she was raised Maryland it is called.

Michigan dash gii nendam wii binji skoniwe miinwaa wii gikendaan waa ezhi Anishinaabemod.
Michigan then she thought I will come and I will learn to speak Anishinaabe.

Baawating gashwan gii bi onjibaad (Chippewa).
Sault Ste. Marie her mother is originally from.

Maanda Anishinaabemowin Naakinigewin Michigan gii maajtamigad
This Anishinaabemowin Program at Michigan it started

midaaswi shi zhaangaaswi shi niizhwaasmidana ensa boonigag.
in the 1930s.

Mii igo maanda mii enji mshkoogaabwemigag maampii Kchimookaman-kiing.
This really is one of the strongest here in America.

Megwagwa niizhwak shi naanimdana aayaawag maanda eskonwedamjig maanda Anishinaabemowin.
Meanwhile two hundred and fifty are here as students of this Anishinaabe language.

Aaniind gondag daapnaawaa maanda Anishinaabemwoin zaam doogishkaanaawaa Nishnaabewin.
Some of these take this Anishinaabe language because they are some part Anishinaabe.

Aaniind ge gondag daapnaanaawaa Anishnaabemowin wii gikendamowaad maampii Michigan gaa bi ezhiwebag.
Some of these take this Anishinaabe language to learn here in Michigan what happened.

Miinwaa aaniind daapnaanaawaa wii gizhaapshkamwaad maanda ezhi-kinomwindawaa.
And some of them take it to finish out their requirements.

Maanda kchigaaming enigog kaamigising geyabi ge gonemaa midaaching daaswak daa iyaawag
Here in the great lakes there still are maybe ten thousand of

gondag Anishinaabemjig.
these Anishinaabe speakers.

Ezhibiigejig gondag endaghkendamajig.
This is what is reporters currently estimate.

Preserving the language is personal for many students, say Margaret Noori and Howard Kimewon, instructors for the Ojibwe language and literature program. Senior Travis Turnbull, a U-M hockey player, remembers his grandmother using "gegwa," the Ojibwe word for "don't do that." And Noori says that Christy Bieber, a sophomore studying pre-med who grew up in Maryland, chose U-M in part so she could learn the language of her mother, a descendent of the Sault Ste. Marie tribe.

The Ojibwe program was started at U-M in the early 1970s and is one of the strongest in the country. Of the approximately 250 students enrolled in classes, about a third take it because of their personal heritage. Another third take it to learn more about the history of their home state of Michigan and the rest take it to meet their language requirement.

According to an Associated Press story on the program last spring, there are about 10,000 Ojibwe speakers in the Great Lakes region today.

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Giishpin gwa pane anishinaabemoying...Ingoding gwa giishigag kina kaa Anishinaabemowin. If we all speak Anishinaabemowin...one day everyone will speak Anishinaabemowin
2014 Noongwa e-Anishinaabemjig