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  • Writer's pictureHarmony Coop

Ojibwe Language Project

You may have noticed some new signage around our store lately, starting in November as a part of Native American Heritage Month. Harmony Co-op is pleased to announce our expansion of the Ojibwe Language Project, starting by labeling indigenous foods with their Ojibwe names and continuing further throughout the year. 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 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. Naagaanwewidang provided an article for our staff newsletter this past month regarding the Ojibwe Language Project, which he has agreed to share here on the website with everyone:

Boozhoo, Naagaanwewidang indizhinikaaz. Mikinaak indoodem. Minwakiing indoonjibaa. Hi, I am Naagaanwewidang. Turtle is my clan and I am from Milwaukee. I have been at Harmony since June in produce, perishables, and grocery departments. More recently I have been involved in kickstarting the Ojibwe Language Project at Harmony.

The Ojibwe Language Project aims 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.

In honour of Native American Heritage Month, we have begun 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.


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