General > Frauds

Margaret Noodin, Professor

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Margaret Noodin read a children's book written by her daughters at the Petoskey Library in Michigan. In addition to reading the quoted text below, I recommend watching the YouTube video at 1:37 to actually hear how it is said.

Margaret Noodin reads Dakonaninjingwaan (To Fall Asleep Holding Hands)
Event: May 3, 2022
Video Uploaded: June 10, 2022
Description: Petoskey District Library welcomed Margaret Noodin on May 3, 2022 for a storytime reading of Dakonaninjingwaan by Shannon and Fionna Noori; translated by Margaret Noodin; illustrated by Dolly Peltier.

Transcription begins at 1:37.

--- Quote ---“I grew up in Minnesota. I got into studying and teaching Ojibwe - I mean when I grew up, we used the term - um - I actually had a great grandmother who said she was Indian, and we used the term Chippewa while I was growing up. It’s a measure of how old I am. And now we use Anishinaabe, but we understand that to mean the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomie people.”
--- End quote ---


“One of the aims is to have more Indigenous people engaged at all levels of education,” says Margaret Noodin, the institute’s director, who studies and teaches lost languages, including the Anishinaabemowin her ancestors spoke. “But the other goal is to educate others … to help people understand [Native] history and cultural issues.”[/size][/size][/size][/b]

In the wake of the Bourassa scandal at USask, a report was commissioned to address the flaws with self-identification, just released in October. It also is an amazing treatise on Pretendians in academia. I have attached the report in this post.

Palmater calls it “ethnicity shopping,” and notes that:

--- Quote ---it’s the height of white superiority to think that you have the ability to shop from other peoples’
ethnicity and take what you want, and get the opportunities from it, and deny them the
opportunities from their own ethnicity…It’s exploitative, opportunistic, manipulative, and
extractive. It’s dispossession and appropriation founded in the racism and entitlement that goes
with white supremacy. It’s another wave of colonization…We took everything else so we’re going
to ensure we get the rest by saying we’re you. (Palmater, 2021)
--- End quote ---

Teillet noted that across Canada, universities have focused on creating positions set aside for Indigenous people. She said the intention was good, but they naively relied on self-identification, which is essentially just an applicant ticking a box.

"The academy seriously underestimated the fact that so many individuals would seek to exploit that ignorance for their personal gain," wrote Teillet in her 84-page report. "As a consequence there were few checks and balances to detect or deter Indigenous identity fraud."

Boozhoo. As an individual who has had professional interactions with Margaret over the years, what is the “right” way to go in dealing with the lies she has told and those who continue to protect her and downplay the deceit because she is a fluent speaker and “owns” the site?  Although she is no longer the EQI director, she is still actively involved and the findings of this website regarding her true heritage are disregarded as creepy, the definition of historical trauma, and/or a “crabs in the bucket” situation. (Basically implying that all documents such as census records that were used to expose her are tools of colonialism and not to be trusted.). I felt a huge amount of betrayal but when the elders who she has worked with say it’s all ok and people are not taking a stand with her because of her fluency, what is to be done? She continues to promote the children’s language book that her daughter wrote and a Native artist illustrated. While she was quiet for a bit earlier this year, she seems to be regaining her confidence that she is entitled to be anishinabekwe.

I don't believe this source had been shared in the original Margaret Noodin thread. I've included quotes that, in my opinion, relate to Margaret Noodin's claims.

YouTube: Meg Noodin Reading at Red Dragon Reading Series on 3/13/2014
Event Date: March 13, 2014    Video Uploaded: March 14, 2014

--- Quote ---Transcription begins at 0:25.

Margaret Noodin: “The other thing that we would also traditionally do is acknowledge where we are. Which for me is particularly fun because – um - where I am now is where the Anishinabek migrated to. So, our people were once farther east. So maybe we were here a long, long, long time ago. I would introduce myself saying <speaks Anishinaabemowin> which she alluded to a little bit. So, my Anishinabek name I’ve always had in communities when I’m working and teaching, I get called <speaks Anishinaabemowin> which is north wind. So really, I don't mind the weather at all. So <speaks Anishinaabemowin> the clan that I associate with is the Marten clan and you'll have to look up what a little pine marten is. They are typically thought of as really, really busy and warrior type people and so I think it's probably no surprise that I have teachers for parents and went into language activism and teaching myself.”
--- End quote ---

--- Quote ---Transcription begins at 6:22.

Margaret Noodin: “So, I grew up in Minnesota where we have multiple Ojibwe reservations. In the U.S. we have reservations. In Canada there are First Nations. And we learn to say well there's the Chippewa, The Lake Superior Band Chippewa versus maybe the Fond du Lac Chippewa. Or we would say all these separate. And honestly, I kid you not it's – like - probably a measure of how old I am, we learned to call the Chippewa - the Chippewa, the Ottawa -the Ottawa, the Potawatomi. It wasn't until the late 70s that we remembered the term Anishinaabe. And now in class when I teach about Indian history - I teach in the American Indian Studies program - and we found a number of documents where the people back then are using the term Anishinaabe. There was a lot of forgetting that took place and now what we're trying to do is remember - and remember those connections.”
--- End quote ---

--- Quote ---Transcription begins at 8:26.

Margaret Noodin: “There's only five people that I know that also teach this language anywhere. And luckily, we all got our PhDs and we're doing our best to set a good example but only three of us taught our kids the language. Just through circumstance and the ability to have time to do that.”
--- End quote ---

--- Quote ---Transcription begins at 20:13.

Margaret Noodin: “I did not begin trying to learn the language till my late, late teens. And then took many, many classes where people talked at me, and I didn't really learn and could not speak. I got to actually be a very good listener and could understand and read a fair amount, but I couldn't produce my own sentences.”
--- End quote ---

--- Quote ---Transcription begins at 43:09.

Margaret Noodin: “Once you get to about fifth/sixth grade, there's a lot of work that some very fluent people would need to do to catch us up. Another really good example is I was teaching a class near Detroit where a lot of the students were mixed -um- African American and Native American, or they were just African American or Caucasian, in the class. And the word for African American - I will just say it and hope I’m not offending anyone is not particularly nice. It's very - very blunt and color-based and the kids in the class wouldn't say it. They're like “That's kind of mean. We don't want to say that.” Even our word for Americans is ‘long knives’ and my daughter won't say that to her friends. She’s like “I don’t want to call my friends long knives. They're not coming at me with knives.” So, we have things in terms of even political correctness that people in the early 1800s were just describing things in ways that now we would do differently. In the end we worked with the students in the class. We figured the students who had as their identity African American and Native American should be the ones who kind of shaped what we used, and they decided they wanted to say <speaks Anishinaabemowin> ‘the ones that live in a black way’ because a lot of them said “Well we're not - we don't have to actually come from Africa. Don't use Africa in our name. Just say we live in a black way.” That was what was empowering to them. So - so, we use that now in Michigan and the Detroit area, but you know it changes.”
--- End quote ---

--- Quote ---Transcription begins at 47:01.

Margaret Noodin: “You can do the in the classroom things that get assigned to you, but then you're sitting around the fire and an old lady tells a dirty joke and you think “I don't get it.” You know? That was my goal for a while. I was like make sure that no jokes would be told around me that I did not understand. And then when I did defend my PhD thesis Jim Northrup showed up - this is a funny story. This is why you should all go to grad school. Because it's far easier than you think and, in the end, after you write about the thing you love you don't have to take yourself so seriously anymore. I had all these serious committee members, and they were going to say whether I was done, and if I should pass or not. And Jim Northrup who is a well-known Anishinaabe writer just said he wanted to show up. He wanted to be there because I was writing about him, so he wanted to be there. And I think they didn't know what to do - this old Indian guy wanted to show up. They're like “Okay. Let him sit there.” So, he says “Wait. I need you all to say something before we begin. And they're all like “Oh. Okay. It must be something really sacred or like a prayer or something.” So, he says “<speaks Anishinaabemowin>. Can you all say that?” And they all say it back. They say “<speaks Anishinaabemowin>.” And for the rest of the whole thing, they're asking me questions but I’m laughing in my head because they all just one-by-one said “I just farted. I just farted.” So, even if only for that reason, you know, your language gives you places to be that you sometimes need. So, for us, we have that sharing that language was a way that he could say “Look. Even if they all know a lot more than you know right now you know a few things they don't know.” You know? So, it was a way to kind of laugh.

Audience Member: “Did they ask what that meant?”

Margaret Noodin: “You know what? Only one of them asked. Now isn't that interesting, too? But the rest of them - it was so serious, and they felt they had done a good <unintelligible> they never even asked. Only one. She asked me “What did I say?” afterwards. And I told her. I said you said, “She's so smart.” <laughs> No - I told her the truth. That would be very bad karma to lie about what words mean - somebody will catch it.”
--- End quote ---

--- Quote ---Transcription begins at 52:38.

Audience Member: "As a child, what was the influence of the language in your home?"

Margaret Noodin: “Nothing. Nothing at all. I remember going when I first started wanting to learn the language there would often be things that were - like - frighteningly disturbing. Like there were a lot of really amazing Native American leaders who were obviously - like - changing things and making people really wake up and recognize American Indian issues, American Indian rights. And, I mean, I was in Minneapolis where a lot of that was going on and I can remember going to a dinner - it was a big feast - and this elder that we all really respected was asked to say the prayer. And he got up to say the prayer and he said <speaks Anishinaabemowin>. Oh, okay. And all he did was count. And because I had a little bit, I realized that what’s happening, was happening. So, it was profoundly sad that boarding school had totally stolen the language to the point where he didn't know how to pray. He just counted and that no one else knew. I mean stuff like that you're like “Oh.” It's just mind numbing that I think things like that were what made those of us who teach the language now say “That can't happen. We can't collapse.” I mean when you guys think of - I don't know what - you all must have something you say before you take the final, right? Some little prayer to some God somewhere. You know? That - some set of words that empowers you to do well in life and to live well. And just think if someone took that from you. You know? Like just - you can't remember it. You know? So, I think for a whole generation really, most people under-50 didn't grow up hearing any of it, didn't hear complete sentences. I mean at funerals you would sometimes hear things. Or at maybe weddings, traditional ones, you'd hear things, but otherwise you didn't - we - didn't hear much.”
--- End quote ---


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