Ojibwe Translations for Phrases Common to Northern Minnesota Now Online
My Shared Vision partner Rachelle Houle and I have been working as volunteers to place Ojibwe/English (bilingual) signage at worksites in and around Bemidji. Our sales pitch is that it may make Indian people feel more welcome and respected in the community, it might teach non-Indians a bit about the culture that was here long before non-Indians arrived in the late 1800's, and tourists will eat it up.
The idea stemmed from remembering the school tragedy at Red Lake. That day, I was visiting then city manager David Minke in his office and noticed a Red Lake flag on his shelf. I suggested he fly the flag at half mast outside on the city's flag pole. He flew it for a week, and I never heard such positive comments from Red Lake members as they came to realize that Bemidji was crying with them over their babies. With that came the the realization that symbolism is profound in it's simplicity.