Conference will explore the importance of language

file0001989893807An annual conference of indigenous tribes from across the the Great Lakes region announced this year’s theme: Language for the youth.

The theme highlights the importance of keeping language fluency strong across tribes and communities.

Across the Great Lakes region three languages are spoken: Odawa, Potawatomi, and Ojibwe, all of which fall under the umbrella of Anishinaabemowin.

Isadore Toulouse is a coordinator for the conference. He said the event will explore best practices for ensuring the languages survive.

“We wanted to show our delegates how and ways and means of bringing our language back to the forefront and how our current learners came to where they are today. Because a lot of the things we teach in the classroom kids aren’t able to use at home because the parents don’t understand, the parents don’t speak the language.”

Toulouse said the conference will have speakers and attendees from Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Canada.

This is the 23rd annual conference for the non profit Anishinaabemowin Teg. It’s scheduled for March 30 in Sault Sainte Marie.