The following was written by Brooke Simon and translated by Howard Kimewon to honor Irving “Hap” McCue-ba who passed away on March 3, 2008 after teaching Ojibwe for 33 years at the University of Michigan.
Read surviving text by Hap
Niibina Hap bimaadizininjin gii tkweshkwaan.
There were lots of people that Hap met.
Getin gii nokiitaan Anishinaabemowin wii zhaabwitood.
Really hard he worked at Anishinaabemowin to save it.
Giishpin maaba gaawiin gaa nsostamawsiiag gaawiin maampii gii ayaasiiyaanh noongwa dash Anishinaabemowin nokiitaanyaan ji-kendamaan.
If I hadn’t known him, I wouldn’t be here today working to know the language.
Maaba gii onaadamoowaan ekinomaagaazijig wii nsostamowaad maanda bimaadziwin.
He helped students to understand life.
Pane gwa maaba gii aayaad miinwa ekinomaagaazijig gii bizindawad miinwaa minoganawaamdaanad megwa aayaanad.
He was always around and listened to them and saw them all as good.
Baangii igo gii zhoobiingwene miidash kidod “aanii niij.”
He would always smile a bit and then say “Aanii niij” which means “Hello Friend.”
Maanda dash gii ni naagadooying nsostamwinan miinwaa aadizookewinan miinwaa dibaajimowinan waa ezhi ankenmaage’in maanda Anishinaabemowin.
We followed his way of understanding and the stories and talks he shared in Anishinaabemowin.
Aapchigwa nd’gichinendaam maaba Hap ge wiin zhinoomowinang giinwi waa ezhi bimaadiziying.
Very much I am happy Hap showed us how to live life.
Pane igo kaa pakwenmigo maampii kchi kinomagegamigong.
We will always remember you at the University of Michigan.