Lambert Nabigon

Lambert Nabigon (Present-day Speaker of Biigtigong Nishnaabemwin)

Lambert loved our children, and he loved his community with a passion. As an integral part of the community, he always showed concern for the well-being of Biigtigong. One of his biggest passions in life was for our Nishnaabe language. As a strong advocate for language, Lambert spent much of his life trying to instill in others a sense of pride for our language and traditional culture.

One of Lambert’s fears was our children being raised without their language and culture. He believed language and cultural revitalization would allow individuals, families and communities to strengthen their identity and relationships. Healing historical traumas and restoring pride in our culture and language was viewed as important by Lambert.

Lambert spent many years in the elementary school teaching the language. During his last years in the school, Lambert embraced immersion-based education. Successfully completing an immersion instructor training program, Lambert worked hard at implementing this new method. Filling his language instruction time with immersion-based activities, Lambert understood the importance of creating speakers. Additionally, Lambert advocated the need to expand the language initiative beyond the education settings. He understood that successful language revitalization is impossible without the support from the home and community.

Lambert ensured that the language was heard in all social settings and used every opportunity to speak our language in public. He was a very giving and loving man, who constantly gave of himself never asking anything in return. Countless hours were given to the community simply because he cared profoundly for our Nishnaabe ways.

As a family man, Lambert was devoted to his love, Thelma, and their children and grandchildren. Having a very special relationship with his grandchildren, Lambert ensured time was spent together while creatung opportunities to guide and teach them. His fun-filled spirit and love for life will always be remembered and honoured.

Lambert was a strong believer in the bigger goal of self-determination and understood the historical and on-going challenges facing Nishnaabe people. He was an astute believer in the need to re-build the Nishnaabe Nation and re-affirm our identity as a people. To Lambert, everything was a Nation-building experience. He understood that our language is critical to everything that gives us the right to claim to be Nishnaabeg.