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Ojibwe declared official language of White Earth Nation

WHITE EARTH -- At a special meeting of the White Earth Tribal Council held Monday, Aug. 9, the council voted unanimously to declare Ojibwe as the official language of the White Earth Band of Chippewa Indians.

"To ensure our language will live and thrive in perpetuity, the tribal council has declared Ojibwe as the official language of the White Earth Nation," said Chairwoman Erma J. Vizenor. "It means our Ojibwe language has priority over any other language within the tribe. The Ojibwe language is the foundation to our culture, traditions, history, and spirituality. It is who we are."

The resolution states many indigenous languages have vanished or are in danger of disappearing if they are not preserved or promoted, and the White Earth Reservation Tribal Council strongly supports the preservation of the Ojibwe language for the benefit of future generations. Currently, White Earth Reservation has fewer than 10 first generation speakers of the Ojibwe language.