Northern Michigan‘s antiwar movement started with a bang over a year ago, with hundreds of people waving signs protesting the invasion of Iraq along major highways in Petoskey and Traverse City. But the marches gradually dwindled in size and volume after the U.S./British blitzkrieg swept through Iraq in a matter of days. By mid-year, protests attracted only a handful of marchers in the region.
On the March 20 anniversary of the invasion, however, the Traverse Area Peace and Justice Community organization hopes to rouse area citizens to vent against the war in concert with protests being held around the world, including marches in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Lansing and many other cities.
“Wage Peace, Not War“ is the theme of the event, with a demonstration to be held Saturday, March 20 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., beginning at the Grand Traverse County Government Center at 400 Boardman in Traverse City.
Organizers Marian Kromkowski and Louie Blouin say the event will be a “reality tour,“ with marchers circulating to five downtown locations where spokespersons will provide short presentations on the following issues:
-- Protect our Civil Liberties/Repeal the Patriot Act (Government Center);
-- The Domestic Costs of War (outside Rep. Dave Camps office);
-- End the Occupations of Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan (outside Sen. Carl Levins office);
-- Support the Troops/Bring the Troops Home (American Legion Park on Cass & Washington);
-- Water is Life/Celebration (Open Space).
While there are no plans for a similar demonstration in Petoskey, peaceniks from Emmet County and Charlevoix are planning to attend the TC event, with a ride pool leaving from the Petoskey Marina parking lot at 8:45 a.m. and stopping at Oleson‘s grocery parking lot in Charlevoix. See traversepeacealerts.org for details.
Learn the Anishinaabemowin language with new CD-ROM
Native American language expert and teacher Kenny Neganigwane Pheasant has released an interactive CD-ROM aimed at preserving and sharing the language of the Anishinaabe nation, Anishinaabemowin.
A resident of Traverse City, Kenny‘s user-friendly program offers beginning through advanced and conversational levels of instruction for all age levels.
Anishinaabemowin is one of the oldest and most historically important Native American languages in North America, but is in danger of becoming extinct if it is not taught to a new generation, he says.
“In earlier times, the language was passed on orally from a tribes elders to its younger members, but in more recent times, this practice has fallen victim to outside influences.“
The CD is part of a region-wide effort to keep Odawa and Ojibway dialects alive among Native Americans.
“At my sons Head Start class, they do Odawa and Ojibway language four days a week for about 45 minutes each day. I was at a loss that he was not taking an interest in learning his native language,“ says Robert Memberto of the Little River Band. He notes that after purchasing the CD, his son‘s interest in the language took off. “In less than a week, his teachers contacted me from Head Start and talked about how excited Ryan was about the daily Odawa/Ojibway class. He was taking an active interest in the class and I was thrilled.“
The CD is also of interest to non-native speakers.
“This interactive program was a wonderful resource to accompany our third grade study of local Native American history,“ said Kim Ranger, a teacher at Mill Creek Elementary in Williamsburg. “The program gave us some history and background of the Anishinaabe culture and brought up some good dialog about the importance of the native language. Immediately the students were drawn to the program through the native music, the colorful graphics, and the friendly guide, Little Fox.“
Kenny Neganigwane Pheasant grew up on the Wikwemikong Reservation in South Bay, Ontario, Canada, speaking Anishinaabemowin. As an adult, his love of his native language intensified, and he has devoted his life to teaching it to others from the elementary to the college level.
A few years ago, he received a grant from the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) to fund equipment and programs that would allow him to share his expertise with a greater number of people. Among other things, the grant made it possible for him to produce this new, interactive Anishinaabe language CD-ROM.
Other people involved in the project included Native American flutist and composer Charlie Wayne Watson, whose music underscores the visual elements of the CD-ROM; artist Zoey Wood-Salomon, whose traditional woodland style painting graces the CD-ROM cover and elements of the program; Robert Hughes, an animator with credits that include work with Nickelodeon and Fox TV; and Jim Sundberg of the multimedia firm JS Interactive, who was in charge of design, programming and photography.
Titled simply Anishinaabemowin, the CD-ROM is priced at $39 US / $50 CAN. For more information or to order copies of the Anishinaabemowin, call (231) 933 - 4406 or (231) 398-9378, or e-mail Pheasant9@aol.com .