About John Paul Montano

John Paul Montano photo

John Paul Montano

John Paul Montano has spent most of the last sixteen 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 for the last six years consist mostly of helping to pass our Nishnaabe language on to the next generations of our people:

  • John Paul is an immersion instructor, a trainer of immersion instructors, a dictionary-maker, a verb chart-maker, a noun chart-maker, a Nishnaabe-language voice actor, a 2D animator, and a documenter and reconstructor of our aadsookaanan (~ “sacred stories”) with the language revitalization project of the Biigtigong Nishnaabeg;
  • For the last five-and-a-half years, in consultation with a committee of Biigtigong Nishnaabeg Elders, he has been responsible for the accurate reconstruction of Biigtigong’s dialect of Nishnaabemwin;
  • In the Summer of 2013, John Paul was commissioned by the Biigtigong Nishnaabeg to compile a comprehensive dictionary of their dialect of Nishnaabemwin. On September 16, 2015, a first version of this dictionary was released on the Band’s language project website: biigtigong.com. At some point in the near future, a second more user-friendly version of the dictionary is planned to be released.
  • In May 2017, as a direct result of the contributions of the 19 Biigtigong Elders, and of the many years of profoundly appreciated contributions and encouragement from Barbara Nolan, John Paul published comprehensive verb charts for two languages: Biigtigong Wjibwe and South Bay Wdaawaa.

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

He hopes to, very soon, start recording stories again in our language on his website at jpmontano.com.

If you’re interested, you can reach John Paul at jp@johnpaulmontano.com

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