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Anishinaabemowin language and culture classes are back in a big way for 2014

Anishinaabemowin language and culture classes are back in a big way for 2014
Photo by Tom Tracey, Boardman River Plaque

Anishinaabemowin classes are back in a big way for 2014 in northern Michigan. Updates include a new language instructor as well as a new virtual (online) class option.

Thanks to the ongoing Language and Culture initiative by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians (GTBOCI) tribal government--as well as the online presence of Anishinaabe Teg --interested students can learn beginning Anishinaabemowin free of charge at three locations: Peshawbestown, Traverse City or online from home.
Last year, instructor Isadore Bebamikawe-Toulouse (Ojibwe) taught for the Suttons Bay, MI school district, as well as GTBOCI. This year, Toulouse adds instruction from a virtual classroom.

Online Anishinaabemowin classes begin Wednesday, January 8 at this website:

Toulouse has been featured on Canadian television and written a book with an accompanying CD titled Kidwenan An Ojibwe Language Book. He attended Trent University’s Native Studies Program and Lakehead University’s Native Language Instructors Program.

For those seeking a traditional classroom experience, a number of options are available. Language Staff members Carrie Leaureaux (GTBOCI Program Director and Language Instructor-Peshawbestown) and Sammie MClellan-Dyal (Language Instructor-Traverse City) continue to teach elders, students, staff and tribal members at their community buildings, school and place of employment.

Those outside of the community or unavailable for classes during the day can still learn Anishinaabemowin by attending evening classes. These classes are open to all at no-cost and are offered at two locations:

1. Mondays from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Heritage Library in Peshawbestown, MI (behind the Leelanau Sands Casino off Makwa Way, adjacent to the powwow grounds). 231.534.7462

2. Tuesdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the 3-Mile Office in Traverse City, MI (at the NE corner of 3-Mile Rd and Business Park Dr). 231.534.7758

The evening classes will be taught by Rhonda Hopkins (Odawa-Ojibwe), an Anishinaabemowin Fluent Language Instructor from Wikwemikong. Hopkins makes her teaching debut with GTBOCI this year. She spoke the language at home and has since spent 35 years honoring Anishinaabemowin reacquisition. Hopkins was among one of the first groups to become certified in immersion techniques at Lakehead University’s Native Language Instructors Program.

For more information on Anishinaabemowin (Language and Culture) classes, click here for the January GTB Newsletter , which lists a full schedule on pages 6-7.

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