NNALSA Moot Court Finals (Finally)

To wrap this week’s victory tour: you asked and we answered! We are beyond thrilled to announce that for the first time in MSU’s history, the MSU chapter of the Native American Law Student Association (NALSA) advanced to the final round in the National NALSA Moot Court Competition. The ILPC, alumni, and friends of the Center are so proud to celebrate this outstanding accomplishment.

Returning to campus with two awards, 3L Kaitlin Gant (Oneida Nation of the Thames) and 2L Kacey Chopito (Pueblo of Zuni) took second place in the oral arguments. They also won the award for Second Place Best Overall Advocates. Notably, Ms. Gant was the only female competitor in the final round.

They came second behind none other than Columbia Law and competed against 65 teams including those from Arizona State University, University of New Mexico, University of Chicago, University of Kansas, and University of California Los Angeles.

3L Austin Moore (Samish Indian Nation) and 3L Kathryn Peterson (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians) also participated in the competition hosted last week at UC Berkeley Law.


The competitive success of MSU NALSA helped the MSU College of Law rise from fourth to second place in National Moot Court rankings.

Please join us in congratulating these students on their achievements!

Helen Roy in Anishinaabemowin

From the Lansing State Journal:

Helen Roy MP3

MSU professor Helen Roy speaks in Ojibwe. Below is an Ojibwe/English translation:

Maanda zhigiizhiwewin nga-ke-dibaadadaan
(I’ll talk about the language for a bit)

E-bi-kwa-temigag gwa maanda aki, anishnaabeg gii-bi-anishnaabemowag.
(Ever since the world has been here, Indians spoke their language.)

Kina gwa kidowinan nango e-noondaagaadegin pane gii-bi-nakaazam.
(All the words you hear today were spoken.)

Aanind kidowag zhaazhi niibna kii-bi-maajii-anaajitoonaa maanda e-zhigiizhiweying.
(Some say that a lot of words have already been lost in the way that we speak.)

Aanind gwa eta maanda ndaa-debwetaan.
(I believe only a part of this.)

Enh, aanind gaawiin geyaabi gda-nakaazasiinaanin kidowinan zaam gaawiin geyaabi naasaab izhi-anankiisiim gaa-zhi-zhichigeng kwa gegoo kchi-mewizha.
(Yes, some words we don’t use anymore because we don’t do things like they used to be done long time ago.)

Gaawiin geyaabi gwaya memkaach naadisiin nibiish ndawabaaning – mii gwa eta biimibijiged biindig miidash nibiish bi-zaagijiwang.
(We don’t have to get water from a well anymore, all people have to do is do
a little turn inside the house and water comes pouring out [faucet, in other

Gaawiin geyaabi gwaya ‘giziibiigsaganan’ da-nakaazasiinan zaam kina
gwaya e-waasimowinikaadeg teni endaad wii-giziibiiganiged.
(No one uses the wash board anymore because everyone has the electrical [washing machine] in their homes for washing clothes.)

Miidash nindan kidowinan e-dibaadadamaanh gaawiin geyaabi e-kidosing, miidash nindan kidowinan gaawiin ge-ni-aanken’nigaadesinogin.
(So these are the words I speak about that are not spoken anymore and these are the words that won’t be passed on.)

Giishpin dash shki’ntam-zhigiizhiwewin e-ayaanzig kinoomaaged, gaawiin maaba e-kinoomaagaazod da-kikendasiinan kina kidowinan anishnaabeg gaa-bi-zhi-nakaazawaad kwa.
(If a person that doesn’t have the first language, teaches, the student won’t learn all the words that were spoken.)

Miinwaa aabdeg nindan dnawan kidowinan daa-kinoomaagem mooshkin maaba e-kinoomaagaazod wii-kikendang maanda zhigiizhiwewin.
(All these types of words should be taught in full so the one being taught will know the language [in full])

Maanda dash nango gda-zhi-ginoonin, kiin e-kinoomaazoyin, pane wii-aabadendaman weweni wii-nsostaman maanda anishnaabemowin miinwaa pane ji-g’gwejimad e-anishnaabemod wii-kinoo’amaag.
(So I say this to you, the learner, to always be determined to always try to understand the language and to always ask the speaker to teach you.)

Gaawiin ka-giisaadendasii ngoding shkweyaang naabiyin waabamadwaa g’niijaansag anishnaabemowaad miinwaa niigaan wiinwaa naabiwaad
wii-gwekwendaagwag anishnaabemowin ji-ni-aanken’nigaadeg, ni-kinoomawaawaad niijaansiwaan gewiinwaa.
(You won’t regret it when one day you’ll look back to see your children
speaking the language as they look ahead to assure that the language is passed on, as they teach their own children.)

Esanaa da-nishin pii zhiwebag wi.
(That will be so great when that happens.)

Pii kina anishnaabeg anishnaabemowaad.
(When all the Indians speak the language.)

Pii dibi’iidig gwa e-izhaang, da-noondaagaade anishnaabemowin miinwaa da-zhiwebad g’gitiziinaanig gaa-zhi-ndawendamawaad.
(When everywhere you go, the Indian language will be heard and what our
elders wanted will have been executed.)

Lansing State Journal on Anishinaabemowin Classes

From the Lansing State Journal:

Native tongue: MSU classes help Ojibwe language survive

Matthew Miller
Lansing State Journal

The Ojibwe word that Autumn Mitchell likes best is “pkwezhigaans.”

Literally, it means “little bread.” Practically, it can mean cookies, crackers or muffins. It’s the same word for all three.

It’s not a word she’s known for very long, but she sees it as a part of her history all the same or, perhaps better, a part of her heritage.