Preservation of Ojibwe language at heart of USudbury introductory course

January 9, 2019

The University of Sudbury has introduced a course in Nishnaabemowin, the Ojibwe language spoken by Indigenous people around Lake Huron and Eastern Ontario, CBC reports. Mary Ann Corbiere, an Indigenous languages instructor from Wikiwemikong First Nation who is teaching the course, told CBC that she began preserving Nishnaabemowin in 1989. Corbiere noted that some students want to learn the language because they were not exposed to it when they were younger, while otehrs wnat to be able to communication with relatives. USudbury instructor Jessica Shonias added that the language is in danger of going extinct, as the last generation of native speakers is aging. “A generous estimate is we have like 20 years for Nishnaabemowin,” said Shonias. “To me [UN's 2019 year of Indigenous Languages] is shedding a light on the urgency of Indigenous languages across Canada.” CBC (ON)