Bindigeig is a poem from the book Bawaajimo by Margaret Noodin

Bawaajimo is a book about the way Anishinaabe authors bring the language and its patterns into their writing. In their work action is always central and possibilities are infinite. Anishinaabemowin is a language of options so diverse and extreme that the act of seeking a center becomes the focus. In a world of snowflakes, agates, and leaves, patterns of time and identity are premised on individuality within a context of unity. These are some of the truths of a world where there are words for dreaming (bwaajige) and words for storytelling (dibaajimo) and nothing to prevent the creation of a new word that implies they might sometimes happen at the very same time . . . bawaajimo . . . for a very long time . . . babawaajimoyaanh.

(Note: Two lines of translation are included, the literal and poetic version of English.)


Bindigeig / All of you, enter / Come in

All of you, enter
Come in

A place of Anishinaabe languge
Where Anishinaabemowin is spoken

Where we remember
Where there is remembering

Where we know/read/count
A place of knowing

Where there is love
A place of love

Listen all of you

enendamowinan zhaabwidoonan odeong
ideas saved in the heart
to what we know by heart

bawaajigeying waasa kina nikeyaa
we dream far in all directions
as we dream in all directions

aadisokeying, nagamoying, nimiiying ezhi-Anishinaabebimaadiziying
we tell teaching stories, we sing, we dance in the traditional way
with traditions of stories, song and dance

kina bimaadizijig miinwa wesii’ig owaabandaanaawaa bidaasigemigog
all the people and animals see it, the light coming
and we recognize the lighting of a new fire


Nisawayi’iing misko-biidaabang idash ni misko-pangishimag
Between the red dawn and the red place where it falls
Between the red dawn and the red sunset

Nisawayi’iing giizis idash ni dibiki’giizis
Between the sun (or the month) and the night sun
Between sun and the moon

Nisawayi’iing manidoog idash wiindigoog
Between the small spirits and the cannibals
Between the spirits we love and the ones who devour

Nisawayi’iing awang idash ankwadong mii ji-mikaman gdo’ojichaakam
Between the fog and the clouds you can find your soul
Between the fog and the clouds you can find your soul

Bindigeig, wewenii bizindamig, minobimaadizig
Come in, carefully listen, live well
Come in, carefully listen, live well

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