Black Lives Matter Translation Prompts Calls for Changes to Ojibway Language - Ordentop

Black Lives Matter Translation Prompts Calls for Changes to Ojibway Language

The phrase Black Lives Matter has been translated into many Indigenous languages to show support for the movement over the last week, but the Ojibway language’s term for black people is spurring calls for change.

“The people’s attitudes in trying to translate ‘Black Lives Matter’ is what set me off,” said Felisha Simone.

Earlier this week, Simone said she was watching people in an Ojibway language Facebook group attempt to translate ‘Black Lives Matter.’

She said the online discussions kept bringing up the term makade-wiiyaz, which translates closely to “black meat.”

It is a term that she disagreed with other language speakers over.

“I feel like there is a lot of resistance to changing the way that language is used,” said Simone.

Simone said the language matters not only for herself, but for Afro-Indigenous children across the country.