Festival tells tale of thriving Ojibwe language, culture
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
Nearly 300 people turned out for last Saturday’s Dibaajimowini maawanji’idiwin, an annual Ojibwe storytelling festival held in Sawyer this year.
There was traditional Ojibwe storytelling done in a play format that was performed by fluent speakers David “Niib” Aubid, his brother Mushkooub, and other family members. Rick Gresczyk, fluent speaker and co-implementer of the Sawyer Ojibwe language immersion camp, also told creation stories. Featured musicians were national award winning musician Keith Secola and Frank Montano, among others. Several young open mic performers sang songs in Ojibwemowin to contemporary covers like Grammy winner Adele’s “Someone Like You.”
“It was a beautiful event that cemented the fact that the Ojibwe culture and language is thriving and is intertwined throughout our families,” said Ivy Vainio, whose 13-year-old son, Jacob, performed during the event. “It was refreshing to see these traditions carried out and performed by the young and the old at this cultural event.”
Money raised from the event will be used for the upcoming language immersion camp in Sawyer in late June.