Vision member Michael Meuers is "absolutely psyched" about
what was unveiled Monday.
translations for nearly 100 English phrases common to Northern Minnesota
are now available online and on campus at Bemidji State University
and Northwest Technical College.
multimedia materials, which include paper form and audio clips,
are part of a collaborative effort between Shared Vision and BSU.
Shared Vision is an organization dedicated to improving relations
between American Indians and non-Indians in the community.
poster designed by BSU's Office of Communications and Marketing
provides a list of English words and their Ojibwe equivalents in
nine categories such as "Expressions," "Trees"
and "North Country."
scholar Anton Treuer, BSU professor of languages and ethnic studies,
created audio clips that correctly pronounce the words and phrases,
first in Ojibwe and then in English. He also offers his views on
the importance of the Ojibwe language and on the Shared Vision initiative.
audio resources and poster can be viewed online at the BSU's
American Indian Resource Center's website, www.bemidjistate.edu/airc/shared_vision/.
has also compiled a list of "everyday words" in English,
translated to Ojibwe, with the help of Treuer. Words and phrases
such as "Sure! You bet!" "wood tick," "mosquitoes
(there are many)" and "Let's go!" are included
on the list.
list can be viewed and downloaded free at sharedvisionbemidji.com.
July 2008, Shared Vision contracted with the Wilder Research Foundation
to assess Bemidji area residents' perceptions of community
race relations, racial discrimination and personal and community
life. The survey reached out to Red Lake, Leech Lake and White Earth
reservations, as well as to the native and non-native residents
in the Bemidji area, with the intent to learn more about race relations
and racism in the Bemidji area.
Vision's first initiative was started last year and headed
by Meuers and Rachelle Houle. They encouraged local businesses and
organizations to install bilingual signage in their buildings to
expand awareness of the Ojibwe language in the community. Meuers
said he was shocked at the response he received.
original goal was 20 businesses," Meuers said. "We now
have 112 sites participating."
has participated in the Shared Vision initiative for more than one
year, with bi-lingual signs installed in a variety of locations
across campus. Meuers said he hopes to see at least 200 businesses
participate in 2011.
of the concerns that Meuers said he has heard from businesses and
organizations, however, is some people not being able to pronounce
the Ojibwe words.
we have Tony (Anton Treuer) demonstrating to people exactly how
to pronounce these words," Meuers said.
also said the poster and list of words will also help to keep the
spelling of Ojibwe words consistent.
been a problem with consistently spelling words in the past,"
he said. "This is a big deal as far as saving the language
and allowing fluent speakers to be able to read it."
said the added audio clips will help people say the word they are
purpose of any writing system is not necessarily for people who
already know the language, but it's for people trying to learn
it," Treuer said. "Having those recorded materials will
aid those making a fledgling effort to learn the language."
said the public can expect to see more initiatives from Shared Vision
in the future, specifically focusing on employment and education.
all, he said, "this is Indian country before we came here."
said some people have forgotten that Ojibwe is the indigenous language
of Minnesota. He said he has been asked why more emphasis has not
been placed on Norwegian and German languages.
is the indigenous language of northern Minnesota," he said.
"Norwegian and German are imported languages. I want to help
preserve the language. When you lose a language, you lose culture.
When you lose culture, who knows what you lose."
said he is supportive of Shared Vision's latest initiative.
broadening the base of people who care or are interested in interacting
with another language and culture and helps make all of Bemidji,
not just BSU, a better place to live," Treuer said.
just psyched because this is a major step in making the Ojibwe language
a part of the Bemidji community," Meuers added.
TO SHARED VISION!
Shared Vision is a community effort to address the issue of racial
diversity and racial disparity. While the Bemidji community has
much to be proud of, there is also recognition among community members
that the community must do a much better job of addressing the issues
of racial disparity and racial bias. If we are going to be the community
we want to be, then we have to create expanding opportunity for