The streaming service
was launched this month by a Winnipeg-based company.
the Lower Sioux Indian Community, teacher Ryan Dixon used
an online game to teach students the Dakota language earlier
this year. (photo by Kelly Smith Star Tribune)
A new TV streaming app dubbed "the Ojibway Netflix" was launched
this month by a Winnipeg-based company that says the app is the
first Ojibwe-language streaming service.
It's the latest effort in a growing movement across Minnesota
and the region to tap new technology to revive American Indian languages.
"It's going to revitalize the language," said Darrick Baxter,
founder and CEO of Ogoki Learning Inc., which launched Ojibway TV.
"There are tribes that see this as absolutely groundbreaking."
Ojibway TV, which is available on Apple TV and Android TV free
of charge, features cartoon episodes and mostly curated content
from YouTube, such as language lessons.
Baxter, a self-taught programmer who created a language app
a few years ago, also helped the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa in
Minnesota create a language app this year that's specific to the
For years, generations of Indians across the country were discouraged
from speaking their native dialect. Now, those languages are making
a comeback thanks in part to new interest by younger generations
and new methods of teaching, such as a Lakota language dictionary
The Bois Forte Band of Chippewa in northern Minnesota created
a new language app specific to the community's dialect earlier this
The Bois Forte Band of Chippewa in northern Minnesota created a
new language app specific to the community's dialect earlier this
At Minnesota's seven Anishinaabe or Ojibwe reservations and four
Dakota or Sioux communities, new language classes have started and
Dakota or Ojibwe street signs have been added next to English ones.
At the Lower Sioux Indian Community in Morton, Minn., teachers
Ryan Dixon and Vanessa Goodthunder helped develop a Dakota language
app with a grant from the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council. New
language classes are using the app, which teaches language through
games. The app is expected to be released to the public next year.
"The only thing that's going to save the language is speaking
it," Dixon said. "But all these apps and technology are helpful
In Duluth, the Children's Museum also launched a free phone
app called Mikan, with a game that teaches Ojibwe terms used in
the harvesting of wild rice as part of a new wild rice exhibit.
The museum is also adding signs with Ojibwe words next to English
words to teach key phrases.
"We're honoring a lot of history about Duluth
Ojibwe connection is just a major part," said Cameron Bloom Kruger,
museum president. "Ojibwe is a dying language. We want people, especially
Duluthians, to learn a piece of the language."