I am from Wikwemikong Unceded Reserve on Manitoulin Island, Canada.
I have been teaching now for over 39 years.
I currently reside in Michigan and I recently retired from teaching Ojibwe language
at Michigan State University.
Growing up on Manitoulin, my family and I always spoke only in our language.
With our native languages slowly being lost over the years,
I was one of the few fortunate ones to have been able to maintain and speak
my language, Anishinaabemowin.
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“Each and every sound spoken is like a brush stroke which together with all of the other sounds spoken paints a picture in the mind of the listener.” C. Helen Roy Fuhst
This story can be used to explain the following sounds/concepts: "waa" speaks about the nature of the body. "boo" speaks about the process of small bits of action in place. (The quietly heard in this word) "wa" speaks about what is verifiable as a body in the action. "zoo" speaks about the small bits of action of the process of the inner state. "nh" is the entity, the being, who performs the listed actions. "waaboowazoonh" is the entity whose inner state process is determined to be tied to the process in place in the physical world. He shows this on his fur. The word is a complete description, not just a synonym for "rabbit". It might also be spelled "waaboowoozoonh"! Take the training and you will find out why!
Send us a message to request the English "translation". Remember, any translation is only approximate...TLC
Language students need to hear Anishinaabemowin spoken in everyday situations without any English translations. In this video and others which will soon be posted here, Helen and Francis (Q) Fox, retired autoworker, are conversing naturally, unrehearsed. These are two first language Anishinaabemowin speakers, who are first cousins. Their families have always been very close. After Helen's mom died, they lived with Francis' mom. There were 17 children in that house! Here they are reminiscing about childhood times as they look at old photographs. Helen says "Listen to this over and over until you understand everything and don't ask anyone to tell you what it is in English..because it AIN'T the same!"
Helen's first online video has been viewed thousands of times, but it is in English. Let's make this one even more popular. Share it with everyone who is interested in the language. Parts one and two were necessary because David could not bring himself to cutting any of Helen's ad-libs.
Here's a good project for students: follow the recipe, write down everything Helen says and send us the transcription. You get good practice in listening closely, writing down what you hear, and you get tasty frybread to eat!
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Let us perform at your group's next conference, seminar or community celebration!
We can provide a full evening of entertainment. Our songlist is extensive.
Look at the songs on our CD's on the Products Page!
We also have a multi-media show.
The lyrics to many of the songs are projected on a screen.
The audience can follow along, even though all the songs are sung in Anishinaabemowin!
Before You Go is from Finally Some Cash and a Couple of Buck's
Blue Ridge Mountain Blues
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Waaboozoonh is his name.
Translated by C. Helen Roy Fuhst, Story by David Luray Fuhst copyright 2012
An old lady was doing chores around the house one afternoon. She heard a knock, someone was at her door. She walked to the door and opened it. She saw her grandson standing there. He had his school book bag. He stopped here, on his way home from school almost every day. His name is Isaac. “Hello nookoomis!” he said. She looked and acted pleasantly surprised. “Oh, come in Isaac,” his grandmother said. “What do you have for me today?” Isaac is a smart boy. He is also very curious and wants to know about everything. “I heard a new name for Waaboozoonh today! The teacher gave us these two pictures. She said it is a snowshoe hare.” “Oh, I have heard him called that too.” said his grandmother. “I never saw one wearing snowshoes, though.” They both chuckled a bit. “Why do you call him waaboozoonh, nookoomis?” She sat down on her big soft chair. She motioned for him to sit on her lap. This was the way they had sat together since he was a baby. “Oh, you ask such good questions.” she replied and then she continued. “Anishinaabeg name the animals because of what they do.” Isaac laughed, “You always say that!” he told her. She smiled as she continued explaining, “I can see that one of these pictures you have shows it is wintertime. The waaboozoonh is the same color as the snow on the ground. Look at the other picture. It is summertime in this picture. His body shows a different color. His body color changes with what is happening outside all year.” “Why does he do that?” Isaac asked. “Your grandfather says that waaboozoonh hides all day. Waaboozoonh doesn’t want to be caught and be eaten. The color of his body matches the color of the trees and ground in the summer. The color on his body helps him hide in the snow in winter.” “I wish I could be like a waaboozoonh,” said Isaac. “You can change your clothes” said the old lady. “You should continue on your way home now, Isaac. Your mother will be wondering where you are.” “Okay, nookoomis, you call her and tell her. I will leave now.” He let himself out the door. “These are the days I love”, she thought.