NPR Story on the Treuer Brothers

From NPR:

Fresh Air from WHYY, April 23, 2008 · Brothers David and Anton Treuer are members of the Ojibwe nation from the Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota. They are working to preserve the Ojibwe language, one of the few Native American languages in use.

Anton Treuer is a professor of Ojibwe language and oral tradition at Bemidji State University. He is editor of the Oshkaabewis Native Journal and Omaa Akiing, a collection of Ojibwe tales by Leech Lake elders. Anton is also the author of Living Our Language: Ojibwe Tales and Oral Histories.

David Treuer is a professor of literature and creative writing at the University of Minnesota. He is author of a number of books, including the novel The Translation of Dr Apelles: A Love Story.

Makwa, a Song About a Bear

Kenny Pheasant’s got a lovely singing voice.

How the song came to be…

One morning when I went to teach at a local school , the first chorus of a song came to me that I had heard about a year ago. So, as I was driving, I began to sing it. This inspired me to write some additional verses that came to me very naturally. When I got to school that day, I taught it to the children and they loved it. We sang it every day for about two weeks. One day when I was leaving the school, the bus drivers met me at the door and said, “Mr. Pheasant, could you please teach the children another song, because we want to hear a different one now”. I guess what the children were doing was singing this song on the bus on the way to school and on the way back, every single day.

[from Kenny’s Anishinaabemdaa website, sponsored by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians]