...the first language speakers are the ones that are elderly and they're passing on to the next world, so it's a scary time for a lot of a lot of tribal nations to try to scramble to figure out what to do. So there's a lot of amazing work going on right now in language revitalization. You'll see it more and more in schools. - Erika Bailey-Johnson
Erika Bailey-Johnson is committed to sustainability, honoring Mother Earth, and exposing children to Ojibwe language. A newly enrolled member of the Red Lake Nation, she's also the Sustainability Director at Bemidji State University. Rolling her passion together with her heritage, she's developed a children's book series encouraging kids to connect with nature while learning Ojibwe language.
Collaborating with Ojibwe language speakers from Red Lake, Leech Lake and White Earth, her five book series Ninisidawenimaag: I Sense Them consists of one book for each of the five senses. All artwork in the series was created by area kids. The first book I See Many Things was recently released and thanks to a collaboration with First National Bank of Bemidji, it's found its way into the hands of all kindergarteners in Bemidji.
I like to call it a community book because there's so many different people that have helped along the way. And that's the part that I think is really unique about this. - Erika Bailey-Johnson
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