Jim Northrup's son recalls his father's gifts of language
Jim Northrup, an Ojibwe writer, poet, and performer will be laid to rest in a traditional Anishinaabe ceremony Friday morning in his hometown of Sawyer, Minn. Northrup died of cancer on Monday at age 73.
Son Matthew Northrup said a major part of his father's legacy is his lifelong effort to preserve the Ojibwe language. When his father was a child, teachers at an infamous Indian boarding school forced him to forget the indigenous tongue.
"They beat the language out of him," Northrup said in an interview with Tom Crann, host of All Things Considered. "He spoke it when he went there, and they removed it from him and sent him back to the reservation with English only. So it was a lifetime experience for him to re-learn the language and be able to pass that on to other generations."