Intersection - Native Languages and Identity as MU Marks Native American Heritage Month

Nov 15, 2017

Dr. Anton Treuer
Credit Courtesy Anton Treuer and Bemidji State University

November is Native American Heritage Month. This week author and professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University Anton Treuer talks with host Sara Shahriari. MU professor of digital storytelling and citizen of Cherokee Nation Joseph Erb joins in the wide-ranging conversation on language's role in maintaining a culture, Truer's book Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask, and the damage done by some mascots that mimic Native Americans. 


  • "For me the Ojibwe language is a vital piece of identity. I think all languages embody a unique worldview and way of looking at things," Treuer says.
  • Of the tribal languages that are still spoken in the United States and Canada, only a small percentage are often used by children. "Of the 183 or so tribal languages still spoken in the U.S. and Canada about 20 of those are spoken by children, where the language is used on a regular basis," Treuer says.
  • A list of events at Mizzou for Native American Heritage Month.

Assistant Producers for this show are Drew Mathieu and Beatriz Costa-Lima