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Anishinaabe Quiz Bowl showcases students, pitches higher ed

BEMIDJI—About two dozen middle and high school students tested their Indigenous knowledge and language skills Saturday at the American Indian Resource Center's inaugural Anishinaabe Quiz Bowl.

Teams from Onamia Public Schools, White Earth Nation's Circle of Life Academy and Northland Community Schools fielded questions about Ojibwe culture, history, and traditions, and translated phrases from English to Ojibwemowin or vice versa: "The cow is eating grass" to "Bizhiki mashkosiw orniijin," for instance, or "Gwee-gee-ging" to "Canada."

The quiz bowl was a chance for students to demonstrate their talents and knowledge, and it gave staff at Bemidji State University—which hopes to become a destination school for American Indians—a chance to talk to them about higher education, Bill Blackwell, Jr., the resource center's executive director, said.

"Higher education is for all of them," Blackwell said.

Joe Bowen

Joe Bowen covers education (mostly K-12) and American Indian affairs for the Bemidji Pioneer.

He's from Minneapolis, earned a degree from the College of St. Benedict - St. John's University in 2009, and worked at the Perham Focus near Detroit Lakes and Sun Newspapers in suburban Minneapolis before heading to the Pioneer.

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