CHIPPEWAR’s home community of the Anishinaabeg of Deshkan Ziibiing, Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, has seven fluent language speakers left in a community of 2600.
Language is necessary for cultural preservation, and directly linked to ‘how to live a good life’ on this land. Mino bimaadiziwin is a common phrase in Anishinaabemowin, that describes the feeling of ‘living the good life’.
Canada has been working on the erasure of Indigenous peoples since European boats arrived on these shores, and it has continued to find ways to sever people from their language and culture. The two official colonial languages within so-called Canada are English and French, but there are hundreds of unrecognized, distinct Indigenous languages and dialects that originated from the land on which we stand, work and live.
The United Nations defines this as GENOCIDE.