"Tourists visiting Bemidji this summer may pick up a few words of a “foreign” language.
That’s because the first city on the Mississippi River way north in Minnesota may be the only town off a reservation trying to incorporate the area’s indigenous Ojibwe language into daily life.
All over town Ojibwe language signs are posted right alongside English language labels, and for a just cause. The signage is part of a broader effort to preserve the language spoken by an estimated 60,000 persons across areas of the northern United States and into Canada as well as to bridge cultural divides between whites and American Indians.
Words such as “boozhoo,’’ an Ojibwe word for “welcome” and many other Native American terms crop up around town, in an appliance store, the local hospital, the convention center, a local coffee shop, and this spring in the public schools."
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Bemidji incorporates Ojibwe into city’s signs and daily life
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