Shapes / Izhinaagoziwinan
Learning to speak and read any language is an important part of a person’s identity. To help Anishinaabe children and their parents become familiar with the sounds and concepts of Anishinaabemowin, several non-profit organizations have come together and created three board books in two languages. Izhinaagoziwinan / Shapes, Asigibii’iganan / Numbers and Inaandeg / Colors have been specially designed to reflect the dialect and spelling conventions of the Ojibwe nations of Minnesota, but they have been discussed with elders in other areas and have the potential to be used and appreciated by families in any of the over 200 Anishinaabe communities in the United States and Canada for whom most of these words are exactly the same and all of these words are understood. Decisions made throughout the text have been focused on teaching beginners how some of the words connect, repeat and are used for more than one English concept. Colors and shapes are typically used as verbs or adjective prefixes by fluent speakers. Separating these achieves something different. The colors book teaches the morpheme for the color and the noun associated with the color. The shapes book teaches the morpheme for the shape and a noun that represents the shape.
Listen to the audio read by Margaret Noodin:
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