Note: This page contains outdated content and may not appear correctly.
Please Click Here to find recent news, events and information from CUPE Ontario.

Aanii! Aanishnaa?

Hi! How’s it going?

That was your first lesson. You can now greet someone in Anishnaabemowin (Ojibway), the language spoken by many First Peoples in Ontario.

Unlike many of the sixty Aboriginal languages spoken across Canada, Anishnaabemowin is considered to be “safe” from “extinction”, along with Cree and Inuktitut.

The burning concern for many Aboriginal communities is how to keep their language alive. This is why March 31 has been declared “National Aboriginal Languages Day”.  

There is hope. New generations of Aboriginal youth and leaders are working hard to protect their languages from going under.

CUPE Ontario’s Aboriginal Council is one of those groups working to promote Aboriginal languages and cultural traditions.  

Angela Connors is the Council’s chairperson.  She is proud of the union’s work to help preserve Aboriginal languages. 

“Many Anishnaabe from my generation are struggling to take back a language that was their birthright,” says Angela. “Today, people are learning, preserving and teaching Aboriginal languages in many creative ways. The CUPE Ontario Aboriginal Council is committed to supporting these initiatives.”

Never underestimate the power of solidarity, she adds.

“Solidarity in our efforts to revitalize Aboriginal languages is the key to the survival of a distinct and thriving culture and world view. More than that, it is a powerful statement of respect.” 

CUPE Ontario is pleased to join Angela and the Aboriginal Council to mark March 31 as National Aboriginal Languages Day. 

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) established the day in 1989 in the hopes of increasing awareness across Canada of the languages of the First Peoples, and to build support for their preservation.

Today, there are many efforts to preserve aboriginal languages.

Interested CUPE members can find out more:

Anishinaabek Mushkegowuk Onkwehonwe (AMO) Language Commission

An organization dedicated to revitalizing, maintaining and protecting the Anishinaabemowin, Omushkegomowin and Onkwehonweneha languages as living languages and as an ordinary means of communication.

Ciimaan (chee-maun)

The Anishinaabemowin learning community in Toronto.

First Nations Confederacy of Cultural Education Centres (FNCCEC)

A non-profit organization that leads in the preservation and maintenance of First Nations languages, cultures and traditions.

Learn Anishinaabemowin

Anishinaabemowin language learning resources, including common phrases with audio clips.

Learning Inuktitut

Inuktitut language learning resources, including basic phrases with audio clips.

Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas

Lists of books, audio cassettes and other resources for learning North American Aboriginal languages.

Speak Cree

Online Cree language lessons and other resources, including lists of books and schools.

Ojibway and Cree Cultural Centre

A non-profit organization that supports and maintains the use of the Aboriginal languages of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation.

Woodland Cultural Centre

An educational and cultural centre that protects, promotes, interprets, and presents the history, language, intellect and cultural heritage of the Anishinaabe and Onkwehon:we.

Word Game

Play a fun game to find out what the Ojibway and Cree words are for all the different parts of your face.