The Anishinaabemowin
Speaking challenge is now open

Carefully read all contest rules and take a note of important dates

"The Only way to start learning the language is to start speaking the language"

Enji Maajtaawaad - Where they start

Open to all Chippewas of the Thames registered members

Registration Deadline October 31, 2021; 11:59pm

Registration is now closed

Click the button to go to our registration form. There is no in-person registration at this time.

On October 1, 2020 all registered participants will have access to the 1st of 8 language sets. Each language set includes 25 conversational phrases they will need practice in order to master each set.

This website will act as the online support for communicating all aspects of the Anishnaabemowin Speaking Challenge, from how to register to language learning tools and resources.

What is very unique about the Anishinaabemowin Speaking Challenge is that there is no age limit and the only requirement is that you are a registered band member. We want this to be as inclusive as possible and are encouraging off-reserve members, administration, and leadership to compete as well!

Rebuilding our language

Have questions about our language programs?

Try our October 2020 word set below- press "start game"

"Choose a study mode" in the bottom right corner of the video

Play as often as you want!

Press the Wordlists button below to find the other monthly wordlists

A new wordlist will be made available on the first of every month!


To produce a community of second language learners in Deshkan Ziibiing. Ultimately increasing the use of conversational Anishnaabemowin in the community and into the homes of our families.


Aabjitoon maage naajtoon! – Use it or lose it!


The Anishinaabemowin Speaking Challenge was created in response to a need within Deshkan Ziibiing to reclaim the use of our original language. This challenge of language learning will be supported through various methods, tools, and resources that will be freely given and open to those interested.

Competition Details & Other things

Competition Dates

There will be a competition held on February 12, 2022 for a chance to win $5000. It will consist of the first 100 conversational phrases learned from October 2020 – January 2021. The final competition will be held on June 11, 2022. The successful participant will fluently speak the 200 phrases and have the chance to win $10,000 . 

Become a Sponsor

You are invited to support the Anishinaabemowin Speakers Challenge that will enrich the lives and language reclamation work happening within Deshkan Ziibiing. Every donation helps. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you need further information or discussion regarding sponsorship opportunities.


  • Must be a Chippewas of the Thames First Nation band member
  • Completed registration form required to participate
  • No age limit and all COTTFN members qualify
  • Chief, Council, administration and all public workers and volunteers encouraged to participate


Most frequent questions and answers

Due to Covid-19 closures and protocols, we are only accepting online registrations at this time. Fill out the form on this page and you’re in.

Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 closures and protocols, we are not accepting in person registrations at this time. 

Complete the registration form and submit by October 1, 2020. Log onto the webpage for up to date information, monthly language sets, activities, and events all happening to support the challenge!

We will post videos and other tools to help you along the way!

This is our Anishinaabe Sound Chart.

Say them or sing them to the tune of the ABC song!



  1. An official from the language working group will read rules 1 to 12 aloud before the beginning of each contest and when the number of competitors has been reduced to two. 
  2. The judges will consist of at least three proficient language speakers who will be in complete charge of the contest. Any questions or protests about the pronunciation of a word(s) or the running of the contests must be referred to the officials immediately. 
  3. No protest will be entertained after the contest has ended. 
  4. For each contest there will be an arbiter whose duty is to hear any protests as they arise and decide on them before the contest continues. The arbiter’s decision shall be final.  If possible, each contest should be videotaped or recorded by officials so that any point of contention may be reviewed. 
  5. This competition is open to all band members, non-band members who work for the band or who reside in the First Nation that have registered before October 31, 2021. A “competitor” may consist of a team of 1-3 people. 
  6. In competition, all phrases will be randomly selected from the official monthly language sets compiled by Deshkan Ziibiing. The official list is the final authority for the competition meaning we acknowledge different ways and dialects of saying things in the language however for competitive reasons responses must stay true to the official 8 language sets provided throughout the Anishaabemowin Speaking Challenge. 
  7. The competition will be oral; contestants must be willing to stand up in front of a crowd and answer the questions given to them. 
  8. Contestants will listen to a judge read out in English one of the official monthly phrases. The contestant will then have 20 seconds to respond with translating that phrase into Anishnaabemowin. If more than one person is competing in a group only one of them may respond.  
  9. The Time-Keeper must set the 20 second alarm following the English phrase read aloud. 
  10. Once a contestant has begun to say the phrase, he or she may not ask for the phrase to be repeated by the judge. Each correctly answered phrase is counted as 1 point from the total number of phrases. The competitor with the highest number of successfully answered phrases wins. Each incorrectly answered phrase is counted as 1 point deducted from the total number of phrases. Each contestant will continue translating until the last phrase has been read by the judge. The team with the highest number of correctly answered phrases wins. 
  11. Officials may disqualify any contestant whose speaking of a phrase is not audible to the judges and therefore deemed incorrect. 
  12. When a contestant fails to translate a phrase correctly, the next contestant in the same round will be given the same phrase to say. 

* “Contestant” includes to 1-3 people on each team. 


  1. The elimination procedure changes when the number of contestants is reduced to two. At this point, when one contestant fails to translate the phrase correctly, the other contestant will be given the opportunity to translate the same phrase. 
  2. If the second contestant says the phrase correctly, plus the next phrase given by the judges, he or she will be declared the champion. If the contestant also translates it incorrectly, both contestants continue on with the contest until one is eliminated. 
  3. If this process continues past 15 minutes the two remaining contestants will be asked a phrase in Anishnaabemowin from a judge and will have 10 seconds to respond in Anishinaabemowin. This will continue until there is only one winner. 



Involve your entire family, friends, and community by practicing and using the language as much as possible throughout the day.

Host language nights for family and friends to practice, play games, and challenge each other.

Spread the word!  Use FB as a tool to practice Anishinaabemowin.  Create short videos or write posts using our language sets.  The more people seeing and hearing the language, the more familiar it becomes and the easier it will be for us all to replace English with Anishinaabemowin.

Spend at least 15 minutes a day listening or practicing the language sets.  Visit or Quizlet to test and track individual progress.

Live Zoom classes will be held every Thursday at 12pm. Sessions will be recorded and uploaded to the Anishinaabemowin Speaking Challenge Facebook Group. If you are not member of the FB group please join as soon as you can.

Deshkan Ziibiing

our teachings are Embedded in anishinaabemowin