The Thunder Bay Public Library (TBPL) is hosting its first Indigenous languages gathering to celebrate the United Nation’s 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages. The Maawandoo’itiwin* ᒫᐗᓐᑑ”ᐃᑎᐎᓐ Language Gathering will take place on Saturday, September 21, 2019 at Waverley Park in Thunder Bay.
Our vision for Maawandoo’itiwin is to create a safe and respectful environment for Indigenous children, youth and families to learn, laugh and heal together through Ojibwe, Ojicree and Cree stories, songs, games, activities and more. Therefore, we have planned a full day of games and activities that will incorporate Ojibwe, Ojicree (and hopefully Cree) languages into them making language learning fun and interactive for learners of all ages. A few activities you will find at the Maawandoo’itiwin Language Gathering include puppet shows, reading circles and bingo! Attendees will learn various words and phrases throughout the day which we hope will inspire enthusiasm within themselves to learn their languages.
The overall intent of the Maawandoo’itiwin Language Gathering is to raise awareness about language revitalization projects happening in and around the city of Thunder Bay. We have extended invitations to numerous organizations to set up information booths to promote their Indigenous languages resources. We hope that this language gathering will inspire community partners to get creative and come up with a game or activity to support Indigenous children, youth and families in their learning.
The Thunder Bay Public Library booth will showcase numerous Indigenous language learning materials including new EZ Read books, dictionaries, CDs and more. Here is a list of my personal favourite Ojibwe language learning resources available for borrowing:
We hope to continue to host more Indigenous languages events and gatherings in the community – perhaps Maawandoo’itiwin can become an annual celebration. If not, it is our hope to partner with Indigenous groups and organizations working towards language revitalization initiatives to develop and implement Indigenous languages programming at the Thunder Bay Public Library. We encourage others to get involved in language revitalization efforts happening in your community. We invite you to the celebration of 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages at TBPL. For more information, contact Indigenous Liaison Robyn Medicine at firstname.lastname@example.org
Robyn Medicine — www.tbpl.ca. If you have a comment about today’s column, we would love to hear from you. Please comment below!
Note: “Maawandoo’itiwin” is an Ojibwe word for gathering but when the word is broken down it has a deeper meaning which is “to bring together but with the intent to come out with something” – to inspire enthusiasm to learn your language.