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Fond du Lac Follies...Apology a good place to start

The following Ojibwemowin is the speech I read when I was in Washington D.C. It was done at the Reflecting Pool near the Capital Building on Dec. 19, 2012. I thought it was so important I am sharing it now.

"Use it or lose it" I have heard about our language, so I am including my Ojibwemowin reaction to the apology made by the U.S. Government to Indians.

It is too bad the apology was buried in a defense appropriations bill. Dr. Rick Gresczyk gave me the Ojibwemowin words to say. I introduced myself in our language and translated what I said into English. I did not translate the reaction I had to the apology.

I have decided to include the English translation of the speech I made. Any mistakes made in Ojibwe or English are mine alone. I would like to thank Dr. Gresczyk for his able assistance. I couldn't have done this without him.

Nishwaasimidanaak ingodwaak midaaswi ashi niswi

1. Ingiw bekaanizijig, ingiw meyagizijig,

Those who are different, those who are strange

2. Ingiw gichi-mookomaanag

Those long knives

3. Ingiw enaakonigejig omaa Washtanong

Those who are law makers here in Washington

4. Ingiw gaa-piindigegozijig

Those who have moved into

5. omaa Anishinaabewakiing

Here in Indian Country

6. Owii-kaagiizo mawaan gakina

They intend to apologize to all

7. Anishinaaben miziwe

Indians everywhere

8. Omaa minising endaanijin

Who dwell on this island

9. Gaa-pi-izhiwebizinid

What has happened to them

10 Gaa-kiiwa nimawaad

Who have been lied to

11. Gaa-nisaawaad

Who have been killed

12. Gaa-maji-doodawaad

Who have been treated badly

13. Gaa-iniga'aawaad

Who have been injured

14. Miiinawaa owii-miigwechiwenimaawaan

And they want to thank them

15. Miinawaa odapiitenimaawaan anishiaaben

And respect them the Indian people

16. Ogikendaanaawaan ono

They know these things

17. Miinawaa ikidowag ono

And say these things

18. Anishinaabeg gichi-mewinzha go

The Indians who, a very long time

19. Gaa-asinjig omaa o'o minising

Ago were put here, on this island

20 ogii-tibendaanaawaa o'o aki

They owned this land

21. Ogii-manaajitoonaawaa o'o aki

They respected this land

22. Weweni ogii-kanawendaanaawaa o'o aki

They took care of this land carefully

23. Miinawaa ogii-kizhaadaanaawaa

And they defended this land

24. Apegish Gichi-ogimaa, Obama, makade giiniw,

I hope the President, Obama, Black Eagle,

25. dazhindang o'o

Talks about this:

26. O'o gaa-izhi-maji-doodawinjig

How mistreated

27. Anishinaabeg ji-ni-noojimomagak

The Indians were, in order

28. O'o Anishinaabewaki

That this Indian country heals

29. Onizhishin o'o maajitaang

It's good that there's a start

30. Ji-wiidanokiimandiyang

That we can work together

31. Miinawaa ji-wiidookodaadiyang

And help each other

32. Ji-onishishi tooyang

To make good

33. Gibimaadiziwinaanin

Our lives

34 miinawaa gidakiiminaan

And our lands

35. Anishaa sa go ganabaj

Maybe this is all in vain

36. Mii zhigwa ishkwaa-mawadishiweng

Now visiting is over

37. Azhe-giiweg, giinawaa

Go back home, you all

Mii iw.

The views expressed in this column belong to the writer alone. They are not meant to represent this newspaper, the Reservation, Fonjalackers or Caroline Laurent. Comments and bingo packs can be sent to FDL Follies, PO Box 16, Sawyer, MN 55780-0016,; Facebook but not Twitter.