The Ojibwe People’s Dictionary was established by faculty and students in the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota. For many years, Professor John Nichols digitally recorded Ojibwe elders as part of a research grant for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Endangered Languages Program. His goal was to expand A Concise Dictionary of Minnesota Ojibwe, which he co-authored with Professor Earl Nyholm (Nichols, Nyholm, 1995). … In time, Nichols anticipated the need for a talking dictionary where digital audio would be embedded within the dictionary entry. Nichols and his departmental colleague, historian Brenda Child, along with curator Marcia Anderson from the Minnesota History Society, began to envision a new dictionary with a broader Ojibwe cultural context. This dictionary would draw on the superb collections of the Minnesota Historical Society to create a virtual museum. As a result, instead of the simple line drawings typical of a print dictionary, the Ojibwe People’s Dictionary features beautiful illustrations of Ojibwe material culture and activities, to narrate the rich cultural heritage and present-day lives of Ojibwe people from the Great Lakes.
Recent technology made it possible to design this innovative, illustrated, talking dictionary, with photographs both old and new, and allowing insight into an Ojibwe way of life that is difficult to comprehend without a visual aid. … Best of all, it allows users to search using the Ojibwe language.
It’s really splendidly done, and listening to the audio clips (not just word forms, but sample sentences) makes me want to learn the language. Thanks for the link, Mik!