About John Paul Montano

John Paul Montano photo

John Paul Montano

John Paul Montano has spent most of the last twelve years acquiring our Nishnaabe language from his mentor, Barbara Nolan. Together, they have successfully transferred the language forward, across one generation – from Barbara to John Paul. He is profoundly grateful to be a speaker of Nishnaabemwin.

His efforts today consist mostly of helping to pass our Nishnaabe language on to the next generations of our people:

    • Community-based language revitalization – John Paul is an immersion instructor and 3D animator with the language revitalization project of the Biigtigong Nishnaabeg. In consultation with a committee of Biigtigong Nishnaabeg Elders, he is responsible for the accurate reconstruction of Biigtigong’s dialect of Nishnaabemwin. John Paul has been commissioned by the community to compile a comprehensive dictionary of the their dialect of Nishnaabemwin, complete with audio recordings of each of the Nishnaabe-language dictionary entries. On September 16, 2015, a first version of this dictionary has been released on the Band’s language project website: biigtigong.com.


    • Creating Nishnaabe-language animations with NishAnimate – He’s a founding member of an experimental open source project called NishAnimate, which is attempting to develop a software application that will be able to convert audio-accompanied Nishnaabe-language text into animated Nishnaabe-language immersion video. NishAnimate will be free to use and is planned to be available for other indigenous languages.


    • Tweeting in Nishnaabemwin with Tweet2Learn – Additionally, John Paul is a Nishnaabe-language contributor to an Indigenous Tweets project called Tweet2Learn, which is a website/mobile app that makes it easier for people to use their native language on Twitter. If you’d like to contribute to Tweet2Learn, Kevin Scannell would be quite happy to hear from you! :)


John Paul is a very happy Nishnaabe from the Pokégnek Bodéwadmik, and currently lives in Baawitigong (Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan). He loves to laugh.

He blogs in Nishnaabemwin at jpmontano.com, and tweets in Nishnaabemwin at @wndotam.

You can also reach John Paul on GitHub, and at jp@johnpaulmontano.com

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