Red Odjibwe Grammar Book


Location: “Red Odjibwe Grammar Book,” Michael Blanar Collection, SJ McKee Archives, 2002

The Red Odjibwe Grammar book came from St. Peter Claver’s Industrial School, a Jesuit-run residential school located in Spanish, Ontario, close to Manitoulin Island. In 1930, an Ojibwe Academy member compiled it from the works of Bishop Fredric Baraga, Chrysostomos Verwyst, and Father Theotime Couture.

Baraga wrote the first theoretical grammar on Ojibway in 1850. Verwyst wrote the first practical grammar in 1901. Couture was the principal of the Wikwemikong boy’s school on Manitoulin Island, which eventually became St. Peter Claver’s Industrial School in 1913.

The grammar speaks to a history of simultaneously preserving and suppressing Ojibway cultural traditions.

Research and Description by Robert H.