On December 8, 2021, Nii Gaani Aki Inini, Nitamabit, Dr. David Courchene Jr., one of the greatest advocates and warriors for Nishnaabemwin, began his journey to the spirit world.

It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the loss of this great man, who has made profound impacts on the world.

Biigtigong Nishnaabeg are especially grateful for the encouragement and assistance that Nii Gaani Aki Inini continually provided in our community efforts to reconstruct and revitalize our Biigtigong dialect of Nishnaabemwin, the Biigtigong Nishnaabe language. Countless hours were spent with our team, providing teachings on the importance of language to the identity and wellness of our people. His love of Nishnaabemwin and of our culture provided motivation and inspiration and will continue to be a guiding light as we move forward.

We will honour Nii Gaani Aki Inini, and all of our language keepers, by ensuring that we continue to work on revitalizing our dialect of the Nishnaabe language and by continuing to provide opportunities for our people to once again experience life through the lens of Biigtigong Nishnaabemwin.

To the family and friends of Nii Gaani Aki Inini, we send our deepest condolences and our commitment to continue the work of bringing our Biigtigong dialect of Nishnaabemwin back full force in our lives.

With much love and respect,

Biigtigong Language Team

( Photo via https://www.turtlelodge.org/staff-view/dave-courchene-jr/ )