The Ojibwe Language Project
Harmony Co-op expanded our Ojibwe Language Project in November 2018 as a way to reaffirm Bemidji as part of the traditional homelands of the Ojibwe Nation and recognize the Ojibwe people as an important part of the Bemidji community and an important part of Harmony Co-op. This is being done by bringing Ojibwe language into the store to assist and promote efforts of language revitalization in Bemidji.
As a locally owned cooperative we celebrate the history of the diverse cultures around us that have shaped who we are as a community, particularly the local food system, ways of sustainable living, and respect for the land. Harmony would like to thank former staff member Naagaanwewidang for his efforts in starting and contributing to the Ojibwe Language Project, as well as Simone Senogles for donating her artwork for display.
In honor of Native American Heritage Month, we began providing Ojibwe language signage across the store labeling indigenous foods. These indigenous foods have historically been important staples of indigenous nations and continue to be important staples of not only native communities, but settler communities as well. In particular, these foods are foods that are most popular this time of year as families come together to celebrate the holidays.
In addition to the labeling of native foods, plans are under way to include Ojibwe language in other aspects of the workings of Harmony Co-op including store signage, community and staff education, and possible future activities this project may bring on. Be on the look for Ojibwe language around the store and let us know what you think. Miigwech agindaasoyeg. Thanks for reading.
The Ojibwe Language Project was recently featured on the National Cooperative Grocers’ website as an example of community-building and cultural integration! Check it out here: https://www.strongertogether.coop/article/sign-community-building-co-op-features-ojibwe-language