My Spirit/Anishinaabe names are Niigaaniibines, Giiwegiizhig, Aasamaanakwad, Mayagi’aanakwad. My Clan is Lynx. My namesakes are the Eagle and the Bluejay. I am also a Ceremonial Helper and am part of the Midewin Lodge.
I was offered Tobacco to come and talk about how I was taught our Language; the Anishinaabe calls it, ‘the way we sound’. I will speak to what I was taught for a little while.
Not too long ago we went to a Jiisikaan Ceremony. I went with my fellow Anishinaabeg from Nigigoonsiminikaaning where I am from. We asked at the Ceremony what we should be doing to work on the Language so that we can keep speaking and teaching about it.
I will talk a little about what I was taught. I am very grateful and feel honored in regards to what I was taught when the Turtle spoke from within the Jiisikaan. I remember only a little bit, not everything about what I was told. Some of my fellow Anishinaabeg, that I went to the Ceremony with were also listening, they too have some and keep some of what they heard there.
This is some of what I remember; the Spirits, the Turtle saw that the white man was coming and they would be bringing bad things with them. I was told that we were put to sleep for a while to protect us from what the white man was bringing over such as the white man’s water (refers to alcohol – beer, wine & whiskey) and the schools where they sent us. They brought over the laws which originated from across the ocean. The Spirits and the Turtle saw this coming a long time ago.
We as Anishinaabe people had everything. We used everything from our Mother Earth. We had the way we sound, our Language, as gifted to us by our loving Creator. I have made reference to the ones who have tried to own everything on this land.
The way I understand when the Turtle spoke is that the Spirits kept us sleeping a long time ago so that we could be safe. Now the Spirits are making changes, we are being given a tap on the head to wake us up. We still have our Language, we were only kept sleeping for a little while.
We need to reclaim all our gifts that we were given; our Language being one, healing ourselves and healing others, fasting, our dance, and the medicinal knowledge also.
This includes the Feather, one of which I am holding, our Pipes, our Drums, our Eagle Staffs, everything that was gifted to us so that we can continue to live here on Mother Earth. These are what the Creator has instructed for us to reclaim.
The women I am sitting with today are working on the Language. I’m here to help by sharing what little I know and what I can remember about what I was told.
I sat down with my mother, Ogimaawigwanebiik whose Clan is the Muskrat because she has been approached also to share what she knows and keeps about the Language, she can share her story too. So, today, I share also. I am happy that this is what is being worked on now.
I do a lot of travelling here on our land and I meet a lot of other Anishinaabe people. I’ve met our people from the United States and have heard about some of the ways they are working on and teaching our Language so that our young people can learn and understand. This is something that means a lot!
Think about your Spirit/Anishinaabe name, your Clan, think about your Namesake and your Colors. There is much meaning and importance when these are used and Feasted. This is how we were taught. We spoke to each other in the Language. It is very important to teach this way because it means so much. I don’t remember seeing a lot of the Language being written though.
I leave a little bit of what I know, it’s an honor to receive Tobacco and also when Anishinaabe uses their Colors. I acknowledge the ones who are teaching in a caring way; the ones who are working on this.
This will be it, this is the little bit that I will leave here.
Awe asemaa ningii-zhooshkonamaago omaa owe ji-dazhindamaan aaniin i-nake’ii gaa-pi-gikinoo’amaagooyang o’owe gidinwewininaan gii-ikidod a’aw Anishinaabe owe Anishinaabemowin. Mii dash iwe nindazhindaan omaa ajina o-nake’ii gaa-pi-gikinoo’amaagooyang.
Noomaye go, omaa odenang, ningii-izhaamin iwidi jiisakaaning, ningii-wiijiiwag sa go niiji-anishinaabeg iwidi gaa-onjii’aan Nigigoonsiminikaaning. Mii dash iwidi jiisakaaning, ningii-gagwedemin aaniin i-nake’ii ge-izhichigeyaang ji-anokiidaamang isa owe ji-dazhindamaang sa go owe gidinwewininaan noongom owe Anishinaabemowin.
Mii dash iwe bangii imaa ninga-dazhindaan owe gaa-gikinoo’amaagooyang, gaawiin dash ningichi’inendaan owe nake’ii gaa-pi-wiindamagooyaang owe noongom owe gii-gagiikidod a’awe Mikinaak imaa binji-jiisakaaning. Mii dash owe ningii-wiindamaagoomin, bangii eta go imaa niminjimendaan, gaawiin wiin igo gakina; aanind igiwe gaa-wiijii’agwaa niijanishinaabeg gaye wiinawaa gii-bizindamoog, gaye wiinawaa oganawendaanaawaa bangii gaa-igooyaang.
O’owe dash nake’ii niminjimendaan owe, awe noongom aadizookaanag, a’awe Mikinaak ogii-waabandanaawaa iinzan wii-pi-dagoshinowaad igiwe waabishkiiwid, owiipiidoonaawaa owe gaa-maanaatang gegoo, mii dash iwe, mii iwe gaa-pi-wiindamaagooyaang gii-ikido awe – ingii-nibe’igoomin iinzan ji-ganawenimigooyang owe gaa-waabishkiiwid wiipiidood, mii iniwe gaa-waabishkiiwid-onibiim, isa go gaye gikinoo’amaadiwin gii-izhinizha’igooyeng.
Mii dash gaye iwe bakaan inakonigewin ogii-piitoonaawaa, gaawiin dash agaamakiing ogii-ondinaanaawaa. Mewinzha iwe gii-pi-naagwad, mii iwe noongom, gaawiin dash ina giinawind owe gii-anishinaabe’iyeng gakina gegoo ingii-ayaamin, gakina gegoo ingii-aabajitoomin imaa gidakiiminaan.
Mii sa go iwe gidinwewininaan, iwe Anishinaabemowin mii iwe, owe, ingii-ayaamin, ingii-miinigomin owe, ingii-zhawenimigonaan awe Manidoo.
Mii dash awe wemijigozhi noongom gaa-dazhimag, gaa-wii-gagwe dibendang gakina gegoo imaa gidakiiminaan – mii dash iwe nake’ii ningii-nisidotaan gii-gaagiigidod a’awe Mikinaak, mii dash iwe noongom, ingii-nibe’igoomin dash iwe, mewinzha gii-pi-izhichigewag, mii dash iwe noongom ezhichigewaad ogowe aadizookaanag owe, gidaanjisitamaagoomin dash noongom, gidooko’ogoomin imaa gishtigwaaninaan ji-goshkoziyang iidog.
Mii iwe, geyaabi sa go imaa gii-ayaamagad owe gidinwewininaan owe Anishinaabemowin. Giinawind idash imaa, ingii-nibe’igoomin ajina ji-ganawenimigoyang. Mii dash ezhichiged noongom awe aadizookaan, jini-azhe odaapinamang sa go owe gaa-miinigoowizid a’aw Anishinaabe. Gakina gegoo gaa-miinigoowizid, gidinwewininaan bezhig, owe dash gaye gii-nanaandawe’idizod, gii-nanaandawe’iwed isa go, mii go gaye iniwe gii-igoshimod Anishinaabe, owe sa go gaye gii-niimi’iding, isa go gii-nanaandawe’igeng sa.
Mii sa go miigwanag, awe bezhig gaa-dakonag, opwaaganag, dewe’iganag, binesiiwaatigoon. Gakina gegoo sa go gaa-pi-miinigoyang omaa ji-dinaadiziyeng imaa gidakiiminaan. Mii iwe gaa-pi-ikidod a’aw Manidoo ji-bimi-azhe-odaapinamang owe.
Mii dash ogowe noongom gaa-wiidabamagwaa igiwe ikwewag, mii iwe nake’ii dezhiikamowad owe gidinwewininaan owe Anishinaabemowin. Mii dash iwe wii-wiiji’iweyaan ajina gaye niin omaa onake’ii minik gaye niin bangii gaa-gakendamaan minik gaa-pi-minjimendamaan owe gaa-pi-wiindamaagoyan.
Mii dash iwe noongom imaa bangii owe gaye niin bagidinamaan. Niminwendaan idash owe noongom gii-dazhiikamowaad owe, apane go gaye niin babaa’ayaa imaa gidakiiminaan. Niwaabamaag sa go Anishinaabeg, niwaabamaag gaye iwidi Gichi-Mokomaanikeng gaa-ayaawaad, owe nake’ii gagwe-dazhiikamowaad owe gidinwewininaan owe nake wii-gikinoo’amaagewaad isa, owe oshki-ayaa’ansag gaye wiinawaa ji-nisidotamowaad, gichi-inendaagodoon apichi geget.
Nashke owe giwiinzowin, nashke awe gidoodem, owe gaye gidapinikaazowin, gidizhi’on. Mii owe nake’ii gichi-inendaagod apichi iwe Anishinaabe gii-abajidood, gii-wiikongedood sa go, o’owe sa go noongom, mii iwe i-nake’ii iwe gaa-pi-gikino’amaagoyang, ningii-gaagiigidomin, mii iwe nake’ii ji-gikinoo’amaading owe gechi-inendagok, gaawiin wiin igo apichi ningii-waabandaziin ji-ozhibii’igewaad owe gidinwewininaan.
Mii dash iwe bangii gaye niin bimi-bagidinamaan owe, gichi-inendaagod apichi owe asemaa gii-zhooshkonomaading owe sa go gaye odizhi’on gii-abajidood a’aw Anishinaabe, mii dash iwe sa go gaye, awe, awiiya ji-gikinoo’amaagewaad weweni owe noongom gaa-dazhiikamowaad. Mii dash iwe, mii iwe minik gaye niin bangii waa-bagidinamaan, mii sa go minik iwe.
Rainy River District
522 Second Street East,
Fort Frances, ON P9A 1N4
1452 Idylwild Drive, Box 297,
Fort Frances, ON P9A 3M6