Wginiin Nkweshkwaan Mahiingan
“Mahiingan Meets Wginii”
32 min.

Miigwech to Margaret Hele, Barbara Burns and Roseanna McCoy for their camerawork and kind assistance in helping us to record this video.

The shy 18-year-old Mahiingan begins his first year of university making a new friend: fellow student Wginii. 85-years-young and full of life, Wginii spends her four years at university inspiring Mahiingan and everyone else she meets to ask themselves whether we stop playing because we grow old or whether we grow old because we stop playing. Do we stop enjoying our life because we stop attempting to achieve our dreams?

Are the fellow students of Wginii willing to trust in their Elder’s insights and life experiences? Are they each willing to view their own life as a wondrous journey? Are her young friends open to understanding the importance of her message? In “Wginiin Nkweshkwaan Mahiingan,” Barbara Nolan encourages us to remind ourselves of what the elder Wginii reminded her fellow students: Despite the challenges we encounter, the gift of life is, indeed, a gift. It is meant to be celebrated and enjoyed to the fullest extent possible.

By Barbara Nolan

Barbara Nolan is a first-speaker of Nishnaabemwin who has spent several decades working with a variety of organizations to revitalize the Nishnaabe language. Most recently, her dream of passing her language on has come true: Barbara has successfully passed her language on to John Paul Montano. This website,, is one part of their continuing efforts to help other Nishnaabe people acquire the language.