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Learning Through Language

What I have learned in the past week is that there is more to an Intro than just Name,Clan,and Place. My name is my connection to the Manidoog. When I use my name,it lets the Manidoog know to pay attention to what I'm saying or doing at that moment. So the more you use your name,the more the Manidoog will know you and be in your life. I've been taught to use my name as often as possible and to also call others by their name. In that teaching the Manidoog will see that us Anishinaabeg are still here and using the gifts we were given. Our Clan lets people know our strengths and our roles in our communities. It's also our responsibility to learn as much as we can about our Doodem (Clan) to bring out the best in ourselves. For example; Bear Clan Anishinaabeg were and are known as healers and protectors. Our place that we come from lets others know where we learned our teachings. I'm from Mille Lacs so I'm going to have teachings that differ from someone from Red Lake or Fond Du Lac.

Something I would like to learn this week are some short and simple phrases for offering Asemaa. Ex; offering Asemaa when harvesting medicine or if I come upon a Eagle Feather,or if there is a bad storm coming.

I encourage others like myself (beginners) to practice their vowels throughout the day. Sa Saa Se Si Sii So Soo, Ma Maa Me Mi Mii Mo Moo(LOL), Ga Gaa Ge Gi Gii Go Goo, Da Daa De Di Dii Do Doo. By doing this your mouth and tongue muscles will get used to pronouncing what seem like difficult Ojibwe words.

Why I am learning and what the language means to me are one and the same. For me, learning and understanding our language is one more step to fulfilling my duty as a Anishinaabe in these modern times when white society says our indigenous languages are dying out. Learning and Understanding also helps keep our ceremonies alive. We will always need Speakers that can give the talks for funerals,our people need those guiding words to help them get to that place where all our relatives go. We also need our language for our other ceremonies. If we can't fluently speak at a ceremony,how are the Manidoog supposed to know what we are asking for. Our intent and actions can be read by the Manidoog but when a ceremony calls for a specific request how will the Manidoog know what to do. If you are going thru all the normal steps for a ceremony,offer tobacco,fill the pipe,have a dish offering out,and you want help for a sick relative,BUT you don't fully know the language and the Manidoog send your food to your relatives in the spirit world and don't give your sick relative all the help they can offer. These are my own thoughts on why the language is important. I could be wrong about the ceremonies,but personally, I won't take chances about something as important as that. Miigwech Bizindiweyag

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