In the presentation, Monica Macaulay, Brian McInnes, and Omar Poler gave a brief overview of the Indigenous languages of Wisconsin in both historical and current context, focusing on their reclamation and revitalization by the Native Nations of the state, and illustrated with examples of community based language revitalization strategies. Presenters also discussed their work as part of Enwejig, a campus group advocating for awareness of the importance of Indigenous languages among the UW-Madison community and beyond.
This presentation was sponsored by the UW-Madison Language Institute with UW-Madison’s Languages Initiative, the Enwejig Indigenous Language Advocates, American Indian Studies, Language Sciences, the School of Human Ecology, and the SoHE Indigenous EcoWell initiative.
Monica Macaulay is a Professor of Language Sciences at UW-Madison. She has worked with a variety of Indigenous languages over the course of her career, but now spends most of her time working with the Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin on language reclamation projects. She is also past President of the Endangered Language Fund, now a board member.
Brian McInnes is an enrolled member of the Ojibwe nation, and a direct descendant of the Wisconsin Potawatomi. He is a Professor of Civil Society and Community Studies, and teaches Ojibwe through the American Indian Studies program. Brian has devoted his efforts to revitalizing Ojibwe language through ceremony, school based-based programs (including language immersion programs), and teacher training initiatives.
Omar Poler (Sokaogon Ojibwe) serves as Indigenous Education Coordinator in the Office of the Provost and the School of Education. He supports the integration of American Indian topics in education and provides place-based teaching and learning opportunities through the UW–Madison First Nations Cultural Landscape Tours.