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Arts & Culture

Ojibwe Poet Shows the Importance of Heritage in Language

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WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY PRESS
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Milwaukee. Kenosha. Wauwatosa. We are surrounded by city names that owe a lot to native languages.

Interest in those languages has increased in the past decade, both from heritage speakers and others. UW-Milwaukee has an American Indian Studies program in the College of Letters and Science. Margaret Noodin is a professor in the English department, and also teaches Ojibwe.

Noodin is also a published poet in both Ojibwe and English. Her new poetry collection is called Weweni.

Michael Zimmerman, tribal liaison officer for the university and Ojibwe language instructor, and Noodin stopped by Lake Effect to read Ojibwe and English poetry, and explain the meanings behind the words: