Language

Anishinaabemowin (Anishinaabe Language)

Anishinaabemowin, the Anishinaabe language, is our original sound we were given. It is our original way of speaking, our original way of processing and expressing thought, communicating with Creation, with Spirit, and with one another. Anishinaabemowin is an extremely descriptive language which perpetuates life and honours the world around us. Many of our elders often refer to Anishinaabemowin as a language of spirit.

The Anishinaabeg have been told in ceremony that Aginjibagwesi (also known as the American Goldfinch in English) is the Spirit Keeper of the Anishinaabeg language. Working with Gimishoomisinaan (Our Grandfather Sun), Aginjibagwesi helps keep the language alive and helps to support Anishinaabemowin learners.

There is a great amount of beauty in our language and it describes the relationship one has to life. For instance, one of our common terms for an elder means “great being.” Our word for the northern lights describes an oscillating glow that comes from within light. Akiwenzi, our term for an old man, literally means one who came from the Earth to care for it today. Embedded within our language are our traditional values, ethics, spirituality and teachings. It reflects our unique way of seeing the world.

Efforts to revitalize our original sound are very important. Everything from the understanding of our songs, our ceremonies, our values, our roles and responsibilities, and our understanding of original agreements and Treaty are very dependent on our language.

Seven Generations Education Institute is committed to revitalizing and regenerating Anishinaabemowin as a living language.