About Language Project


Would you like to learn more about the members of the Language Team?

The information contained in this section attempts to communicate the importance of language and to highlight critical points in our journey towards the reclamation of our language and Nishnaabe being.


Firstly, our Chief and Council share with you our vision, our hopes, our dreams, and our strategies that represent the collective direction obtained from our elders and community. Secondly, we are pleased also to provide you with the perspectives of two individuals who have made significant contributions to the revitalization of our Nishnaabe culture.


Biigtigong Nishnaabeg Chief and Council:

Revitalizing Biigtigong Nishnaabemwin

We recognize the efforts of our previous leaders and support the continuation of the vision set by them. Miigwech Chief Roy, Chief Dan, and Chief Art. Our elected leaders for the 2013 – 2015 term have continued with this vision. Special thanks to Chief Duncan and Council members Doris, Simone, Bonnie, Sean, Daniel, Arnold, Art, Herb, and Dave, for allowing themselves to be recorded sharing our story. We also want to thank Jason Burton for putting this video together. And, to Dave and Elmer: Miigwech for your guidance in our journey.



Our Spiritual Guidance



Dave Courchene II (Elder)

Dave Courchene II



Phone interview (Aug. 14, 2015) – 44 min. 53 sec.
You can download the high-quality version (41.7 MB)


Dave expresses the paramount importance of language to our identity as a unique people. As a Nation, Dave believes we must ensure that our language remains alive so that it and we may continue to express our distinct way of life. Our language connects us to spirit, and he reminds us that spirit comes through the heart. Dave shares that language is important because it connects us to our land; language comes from our relationship with our land… [Read more]


Elmer Courchene (Elder)

Elmer Courchene



Interview (Aug. 26, 2015) – 8 min. 13 sec.
You can download the high-quality version (11.8 MB)


Elmer’s first language is Nishnaabemwin; despite efforts to remove his language while in residential school, Elmer continues to view the world through the lens of Nishnaabemwin. He advocates for language, citing it as the foundation of our Nishnaabe being. Elmer encourages our people to become speakers and understanders of our language. He sees this as one of the most powerful acts against the historical and current attacks on our existence… [Read more]