Anishinabek Nation welcomes new Language Commissioner

ANISHINABEK NATION HEAD OFFICE (December 7, 2020) –  On behalf of the Anishinabek Nation, Grand Council Chief Glen Hare welcomes the new Anishinabek Nation Language Commissioner Barbara Nolan.

“Mino Giizhigaad! I am pleased to announce Barbara Nolan has accepted the appointment as the Anishinabek Nation Language Commissioner! With the extraordinary times of COVID-19 impacting our First Nations, we are pleased to share such exciting news that she has decided to join the Anishinabek Nation,” expresses Grand Council Chief Glen Hare. “As one of our key areas in Anishinaabe Governance is language and culture, we are greatly looking forward to working with the Language Commissioner in the coming years and implement strategies going forward.”

Barbara Nolan, a member of Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory now residing in Garden River First Nation, has spent several decades working with a variety of organizations to revitalize Anishinaabemowin. She enjoys consulting with First Nations and Indigenous communities on effective development of language nests and immersion programs, as well as training Anishinaabemowin speakers in successful methods of immersion instruction.

“We are currently in the midst of an inspiring period of healing and nation-building. Through language, we can connect with the rest of our culture. It is a way of having our identity whole again,” says Anishinabek Nation Language Commissioner Barbara Nolan. “I hope to contribute in a positive way to these efforts to reclaim our voice, our identity. Together, we can reclaim our language.”

Her commitment and dedication to preserving and transferring Anishinaabemowin extend to the binoojii at the Garden River Child Care Centre where she offers part-time Anishinaabemowin immersion. Additionally, she carefully designed and produced the Nishnaabemdaa app, an Anishinaabemowin language app available for iOS and Android devices.

“Her role at the Anishinabek Nation, much like the language carriers in our communities, is critical and integral to language preservation as our language has been endangered since colonization,” adds Grand Council Chief Hare. “She carries with her accumulated knowledge and wisdom of many generations before us and will deeply enrich our knowledge and appreciation for our beautiful language.”

The Anishinabek Nation is a political advocate for 39 member First Nations across Ontario, representing approximately 65,000 citizens.  The Anishinabek Nation is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.