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Weweni wii Naakanigewag (They Will Make Careful Decisions)

This page represents the involvement of the University of Michigan's Ojibwe Language Program's involvement with the repatriation of native american remains.

On the Eve of Repatriation (April 2010)

The following statement was prepared and read by Howard Kimewon and Margaret Noori at the some meeting to do something.

Naanan, Iskigamizige-giizis, 2010
Kchikinomaagegamigong Michigan, Ann Arbor

Naganagabowid da Kenjigeying Stephen Forrest miinwaa Naakaniigejig
Vice President of Research Stephen Forrest and the Advisory Committee on Culturally Unidentifiable Human Remains

G'miigwetchwigoom noongwa maampi ge giinwi maamwi-tkweshkodaadying.
We thank all of you for meeting together today.

Pane gwa maampi Anishinaabeg bi aayaawag. Manji iidg minik ensa boon.
There have always been Anishinaabeg people here. We don't how many thousands of year.

Pane igo miinwaa Anishinaabeg maampii da ni aayaawag.
There will always be Anishinaabeg here.

Gaye maamda ji-bgidnaayingba geyeg Anishinaabeg maampii mazinaigani-makakong enji ganawenjigaazwaad.
We cannot allow these Anishinaabeg here to be imprisoned in cardboard boxes.

Noongwa dash g'gaa naadamawananing wi dagoshinowaad ode ezhaa'aagabane Anishinaabebanig.
Today we will help them reach the destination where they belong, the Anishinaabe who were here.

G'gaa miigwetchwianaa maaba Gimaa-kwe Mary Sue Coleman, Phil Deloria miinwaa dash g'ga dagwabjig.
We thank President Mary Sue Coleman, Phil Deloria and the entire community.

Noongwa maanda gii ezhiwebad wii pskaabiinigaazowaad Anishinaabebanig wii gizhitoowaad ezhaa'aagabane.
Now is the time to allow these Anishinaabeg to return to the journey they were on.

Maamwi n'gii Anishinaabebiiaanaa maanda,
Together this was written by us,

Howard Kimewon and Margaret Noori

Formation of Special Advisory Committee (October 2009)

On October 15, 2009, the University of Michigan Vice President for Research Stephen Forrest announced formation of a new advisory committee on culturally unidentifiable human remains. The group, which includes both native and nonnative scholars, will "bring their broad experience and scholarly perspectives to this sensitive and complex issue" Forrest said. The group is called the Advisory Committee on Culturally Unidentifiable Human Remains under NAGPRA, the federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, and will provide a process for returning culturally affiliated human remains and associated funerary objects to individuals and groups that have standing under the law and have requested such return.

Maampii chikinomaagegamigong weweni wii naakanigewag
Here at the University they will decide carefully
maanda Anishinaabe-kanan chipskaabwidoaba gaa denmowaad.
about the issue of Anishinaabe bones being returned.

Kchikinomaagegamig Michigan Ogimaaens Enendamobiigewin Stephen Forrest,
University of Michigan Vice President of Research Stephen Forrest
gii kigo "n'ga bagosendami weweni chiezhichigeaba gondag."
said, "we hope to carefully do the right thing for them."

Binaakwe-giizis Midaaswi-shi-naanan maanda gii nakinegewin waa mebidigtoojig
On October 15th, it was decided to form a committee to think together
ji-maamwi'enendamowaad pii goya gwejid.
to jointly consider future requests.

Gaye gowetigo maanda bezhig da mebidootosii ezhiwebag
Nothing will be decided by any one person
miinwaa kina NAGPRA nakinigewinan geyabi tenon noongwa
and all of the NAGPRA regulations remain in place.

Noongwa maamwinokiiwag kinomaagazojig, kinomaagejig,
They will work together now the students, the faculty,
kinomaagegamignokijig miinwaa Anishinaabeg
the administrators and the Anishinaabe people
miinwaa gaye wii kaa gaa nenmaasiinanig gaa bi iayaajig.
and they will not forget the ones who were here before us.

Gaawiin G'gaa Nenmaasiinanig (We Will Not Forget), March 2008

Curriculum in Ojibwe language classes includes a memorial for ancestors who are awaiting reburial along with a statement about the new committee.

The following text was written and translated by Howard Kimewon and Margaret Noori and read by students and community members in protest of university holdings of the remains of 405 native individuals on March 20, 2008.

Mii noongwa maajtamigak minookamig.
This is the start of spring.

Mii maanda gabe boon gaa baabiitoowying.
This is what we have waited for all winter.

Gaye niin daa bishigendaasiin maampii bi ayaanh ishkwaa nbooyaanh mazinaigan makakonsing.
I would not like to be put here in a cardboard box after I walk on.

Gaye minonendsiiwag gondag kaa maajaajig mindomwan.
These ones who have walked on their spirits are not feeling well.

Gaye mashi bigidnigaasiiwag wii ni dagooshinawaad waa izhaawaad.
They will not let them finish their journey.

Gaye wii kaa g'gaa nenmaasiinanig gaa bi iayaajig.
We will not forget the ones who were here before us.

N'gaa bagosendaami chibignigooyeg wii ni obizikaayeg waa izhaayeg.
We all hope you will be released, you have to complete your journey.

Gaye wiika n'gii nendsiimi maampii maanda kiing gaa miinigooig wii mjiganaamiig n'wiioominanan wii n'da kendamiig gaa bi ezhi bimaadiziyang.
We had good thoughts when this land was given - you should not hold these bodies to understand how life was for them, to study them.

Ingoding miidaaswak-shi-niiwak-shi-niizhtana-shi-shwaaswi mii geyabi wi minik ebwaad kaa nboopinig.
1,428 is the number of people who have passesd on but are still here.

Niiwak-shi-naanan kenjigaazwag debendaaziwaad.
They know where 405 of them belong.

Wenesh Ezhiwebag? (News)
Native Mothers

Resources

Download We Will Not Forget MP3

Read a Repatriation article from the Michigan Daily (PDF format)

University of Michigan's Grave Injustice (Native Caucus's blog on repatriation)

Repatriation Policy Article from Turtle Talk Press

University of Michigan News Service Article on Repatriation

Giishpin gwa pane anishinaabemoying...Ingoding gwa giishigag kina kaa Anishinaabemowin. If we all speak Anishinaabemowin...one day everyone will speak Anishinaabemowin
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