Mille Lacs Band launches Ojibwe-language books

Mille Lacs Band adds to its language revitalization efforts with 5 new books


October 18, 2021

John Reinan, Star Tribune

Joe Nayquonabe, 77, is one of fewer than 25 living "first speakers" of the Mille Lacs Band's Ojibwe language dialect. He contributed to a series of books published in Ojibwe under the leadership of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.

MILLE LACS RESERVATION – Near the end of her life, Lucy Clark felt a sense of melancholy.

"She was sad," said her grandson, Steve Premo, "because she couldn't hear the song of the language."

Native Indian languages were suppressed for generations in Minnesota and elsewhere, to the point that fewer than 25 "first speakers" - those who speak a language from birth - remain in the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.


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