When the National Mall in Washington D.C. presents it's ''Best Reads for 2011'' with entries from all 50 states people will hear something that may surprise them, the Ojibwe language.
A childrens book by Anton Treuer, professor of Ojibwe at Bemidiji State University and Louise Erdrich will be the choice of the state of Minnesota. It is the first time that a book not in English has been chosen.
Bemidiji Minnesota, the home of Professor Treuer is the only city in the United States that has signs posted in both English and a Native American language. (Ojibwe) 120 business, schools, hospitals have signs posted in the Ojibwe language.
This re-birth of our language for the young people is a milestone in our history. the Ojibwe Nation is the third largest tribe in the United States, only the Navajo and Cherokee are larger. It is also the third largest in Canada. The Ojibwe have the second largest group of native speakers of any tribe, and with the introduction of our language to the young and the immersion schools our language is gaining native speakers. Language is the center for our culture and reignites the culture and customs as well.