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The Language Warrior's Manifesto

The Language Warrior's Manifesto

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How to Keep Our Languages Alive No Matter the Odds

Author Anton Treuer

Minnesota Historical Society Press (February 1, 2020)

A clarion call to action, incorporating powerful stories of failure and success, that points the way for all who seek to preserve indigenous languages.


Across North America, dedicated language warriors are powering an upswell, a resurgence, a revitalization of indigenous languages and cultures. Through deliberate suppression and cultural destruction, the five hundred languages spoken on the continent before contact have dwindled to about 150. Their ongoing survival depends on immediate, energetic interventions.

Anton Treuer has been at the forefront of the battle to revitalize Ojibwe for many years. In this impassioned argument, he discusses the interrelationship between language and culture, the problems of language loss, strategies and tactics for resisting, and the inspiring stories of successful language warriors. He recounts his own sometimes hilarious struggle to learn Ojibwe as an adult, and he depicts the astonishing success of the program at Lac Courte Oreilles, where a hundred children now speak Ojibwe as their first language.

This is a manifesto, a rumination, and a rallying cry for the preservation of priceless languages and cultures.

Author information

Anton Treuer, professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University, is the author of Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask and thirteen other books on Indigenous history and language. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

MNHS Press books by Anton Treuer

Advance Praise:

“Treuer’s arguments are passionate and motivating, especially for language warriors engaged in the everyday struggles of language and culture revitalization. His personal quest in learning Ojibwe as a second language is inspiring, and he suggests solutions to the many obstacles and problems language warriors continue to face. This manifesto relates well to the language revitalization situation in Hawaiʻi, as well as those of other native peoples I have met and learned from.”
Jason Iota Cabral, Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani (College of Hawaiian Language), Ke Kulanui o Hawaiʻi ma Hilo (University of Hawaiʻi–Hilo)

“With candor and humor, The Language Warrior’s Manifesto shares excellent tips for language reclamation work—and the deeply personal story of Anton Treuer’s journey in quest of the most precious goal of language. The message is straightforward: the quest requires diligence, commitment, and perseverance. This book will help many who are on the Language Journey.”
Inée Slaughter, Executive Director, Indigenous Language Institute, Santa Fe, New Mexico

The Language Warrior’s Manifesto is a love story to indigenous language activism. In the days of much-needed indigenous language revitalization, this is a great read for inspiring, learning, and activating oneself.”
Joseph Erb (Cherokee), Digital Storytelling Program, University of Missouri


Reviews and News

'Decolonise and re-indigenise': The Ojibwe language warrior
Al Jazeera

MplsStPaul Magazine

Wisconsin Public Radio

The Circle

Star Tribune

Prairie Public Radio

City Pages

Native America Calling's Book of the Month

Pioneer Press

Santa Fe New Mexican

Princeton Alumni Weekly

Twin Cities Public Television Originals


Santa Fe Reporter

  • This title is also available at your favorite e-book vendor.
  • 208 pages
  • 6 x 9 inches
  • ISBN: 9781681341545

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