In 2019 as part of a social media campaign to celebrate linguistic diversity online, Native American and First Nations language activists and advocates will be taking turns managing the @NativeLangsTech Twitter account to share their experiences with the revitalization and promotion of Native American and First Nations languages. This profile post is about Margaret Noodin (@OjibweNet) and what she plans to discuss during her week as host.
Rising Voices: Please tell us about yourself.
I am a speaker and teacher of Anishinaabemowin originally from Minnesota and teaching now in Wisconsin. I am the mother of two brilliant daughters who often text me in Anishinaabemowin. I am also a Professor of English and American Indian Studies and the Director of the Electa Quinney Institute for American Indian Education. My book Bawaajimo: A Dialect of Dreams in Anishinaabe Language and Literature focuses on fiction by Anishinaabe authors and Weweni is a collection of bilingual poems in Ojibwe and English. In Milwaukee I work with Indian Community School, the Urban Ecology Center and the Milwaukee Water Commons to support indigenous ideas and ways of life in our city. I sing with Miskwaasining Nagamojig (the Swamp Singers) a women’s hand drum group and Minowakiing Chibizhiwag (the Milwaukee Panthers) whose lyrics are all in Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe).
RV: What is the current status of your language on the internet and offline?
Anishinaabemowin is a term used to connect Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi languages. Ojibwe and Odawa have several thousand speakers and online dictionaries. Potawatomi is the most endangered language in this group. It is frightening to consider the large percent of speakers over 70, but it is inspiring to see the many paths to learning used by youth today which include traditional songs and ceremony as well as sites in the social media landscape.
RV: On what topics do you plan to focus during the week that you’ll manage the @NativeLangsTech Twitter account?
I plan to share the ways Anishinaabemowin is part of everyday life during the week I manage the account.
RV: What are the main motivations for your digital activism for your language? What are your hopes and dreams for your language?
My motivation is to be part of the language chain being created by the account this year and my hope is that the language will reach a wider audience giving visibility to the diversity of language on earth.