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Build 2000

Learning the Ojibway Language

To learn the language as it relates to the land, Prof. Shirley Williams, of Trent University's Native Studies department, will take her students to Petroglyphs Provincial Park, where they'll take in vocabulary, as well as culture.

These students, many of them from First Nations, are taking part in a unique field course scheduled to take place over three weekends in May. The course 'Intro to Nishnaabe-naadiziwin Kidwenan - Words that Reflect the Aboriginal Life or World View,' is an intensive course in oral and written Ojibway language for beginners.

"It is geared toward those who wish to experience language learning though a culturally relevant Nishnaabe worldview," says Prof. Williams.

This is the first time this intensive course option has been offered and Prof. Williams is delighted by the incredible amount of interest the course has received. Many of the students scheduled to take the course know the language, but don't necessarily know to read or write it, she says.

"I want the students to experience more than the classroom," says Prof. Williams, adding some of the classes will take place in the Native Studies tipi.

She recently launched her latest book Eshkintam Nishinaabemang Mzinagan Introduction to Nishnaabewin - a text that will be used as part of Trent's Introduction to Ojibway course and at other universities. Prof. Williams has taught the course for the last 18 years.

Posted April 27, 2004

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