Speaking a culture: How efforts to revitalize a language can have a ripple effect


Carla Osawamick stands in front of a class of students with a wide range of life experiences, from one still in high school to a great-grandmother.

The students all have one thing in common: they are dedicated to learning and speaking Anishinaabemowin, the language spoken by many Native Americans in the Great Lakes region, including the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians.

Osawamick is teaching an intermediate language class at North Central Michigan College in Petoskey, where two sections of beginning and two sections of intermediate courses in the language are offered.

Resource Type

Coe, Aebra. "Speaking a culture: How efforts to revitalize a language can have a ripple effect." Petoskey News. June 12, 2013. Article. (https://www.petoskeynews.com/speaking-a-culture-how-efforts-to-revitalize-a-language, accessed November 30, 2023)

Related Resources

Harbor Springs restaurant becomes first to embrace Odawa tribal language

Aanii Biindigen. Miigwech baamaapii. Hello, come in. Thank you, until later. Those traditional greetings in Anishinaabemowin, the language of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, were lettered on the front door Tuesday at Out to Lunch, a breakfast and lunch restaurant on State Street in…

Survival of the Chickasaw Language

Chickasaw is an endangered language, but its chances of survival are much better thanks to the life's work of fluent speaker Catherine Willmond and linguist Pamela Munro. From beginners to conversational speakers, their books have become staples to students of the Chickasaw language everywhere.

The Ways: Living Language: Menominee Language Revitalization

Before European contact, the Menominee Indian Tribe had a land base of over 10 million acres (in what is now known as Wisconsin and parts of Michigan) and over 2,000 people spoke their language. Today, their land has been reduced to 235,000 acres, due to a series of treaties that eroded the tribe’s…