Culture And Language By Leanne Simpson

1342 Words 5 Pages
Language is defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as a “system of words or signs that people use to express thoughts and feelings to each other” (Merriam-Webster). But language is more than that, language is a vessel that carries culture, spirituality, knowledge and wisdom, it connects humanity to the past therefore bringing an overall community essence to all those who speak it. As a result of this deep connection to language that humanity shares, when language is taken through assimilation it leaves a hole in a community. Indeed it leaves a hole in our collective knowledge and wisdom when the nuanced collective learning of an entire community is lost. The connection between culture and language is inseparable, a strong tie between the two, …show more content…
Storytelling is fundamental within many indigenous cultures, as it holds many teachings and and assists in carrying on tradition and culture. One of the most famous author’s implementing this into her work is Leanne Simpson. By employing various decolonizing methods of writing, Simpson skillfully creates al resurgence of the language in a meaningful way. Leanne decolonizes her writing in various ways. First and foremost, the implementation of Anishinaabeg words into an English poem not only forces the reader to wonder what the words mean, but it also changes the privilege so that Anishinaabe speakers are privileged while reading the poetry. Whereas, the average settler English speaker is not privileged in this sense as they do not understand the language. This is fundamental as it equalizes the privilege between non-Anishinaabe and Anishinaabe people. Furthermore, in the poem How to Steal a Canoe, Simpson does not use grammar or capitalize her words as a further statement of decolonization (Simpson). As well, in this poem Simpson uses words such as “kwe”, “akiwenzie”, and “zhaganash” (Simpson). Not only does this subtlety reclaim Anishinaabe language, but the avoidance of grammar also works to decolonize her poetry and stories by rejecting Western rules of writing, providing freedom and innovation to her work. Simpson is one of the storyteller’s skillfully reclaiming and revitalizing Anishinaabe culture through the use of language. Ultimately, decolonizing and reclaiming language in whatever way an author can is yet another effective way in which one can strengthen the resurgence of not only indigenous language, but indigenous

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