Bridget George wrote and illustrated her first book, It’s a Mitig published in 2020. It’s a Mitig is available now in stores and online to purchase. George created It’s a Mitig for her son to help connect him to his culture and language and by writing this book it allowed many other readers, young and old a chance to also connect or reconnect with their culture and language. It was important to George for her son to be able to see and have representation in books as she did not have that kind of representation when she was younger. By writing It’s a Mitig, George added her own story to the growing Indigenous literature category and is helping many readers learn or relearn Ojibwe words.
It’s a Mitig catches the eyes of many readers young and old. George’s illustrations are vibrant and large and often take up a majority of one page to help readers figure out what the Ojibwe words mean. George uses Ojibwe words inspired by nature to describe various animals, the sun and moon, and plants as nature is a vital part of every day life and Indigenous culture. It’s a Mitig takes readers on a journey from the start of a new day when Giizis (sun) rises, then through the forest with various animals, then to the various animals in and around the ziibi (river) until Dibiki-giizis (moon) is high in the sky to wrap up a day using Ojibwe words describing the surroundings in nature. But what is a mitig? A mitig is a tree, and is one of thirteen Ojibwe words taught throughout the book.
George uses rhyming with the Ojibwe words with the English meaning so it has a rhythm and is easy to follow and understand. In an interview with CBC, George said, “I wrote it so the English words would rhyme with the Ojibwe words so that people like myself and my family who aren’t familiar with the language or who are reclaiming and relearning their language are going to be able to pronounce the words without being intimidated by it…”
At the end of It’s a Mitig, George provides a pronunciation guide to help learners understand how the Ojibwe words are pronounced and how they look when written by relating them back to the words throughout It’s a Mitig. George also included an illustrated glossary of the Ojibwe words used throughout It’s a Mitig for further clarity of the Ojibwe words.
It’s a Mitig can be a resource for all ages, whether it is a parent like George who are wanting their children to grow up with books in Ojibwe to learn words from their language or to be more connected to their culture, or whether it is adults who are looking to learn or relearn Ojibwe, It’s a Mitig is a fun and beautifully illustrated resource for all ages. Children’s books can be for anyone, especially when learning new things such as languages. It’s a Mitig is a fantastic book for anyone looking to start learning or relearning Ojibwe, George has created a wonderful resource for all readers with the use of nature and animals that we often see in every day life.
George, B. (2020). It’s a Mitig! Madeira Park, British Columbia: Douglas & McIntyre.
Johnson, R. (2020, September 23). New children’s Book rhymes English and Anishinaabemowin words to help language learners | CBC News. Retrieved February 05, 2021 from cbc.ca/news/indigenous/ItsAMitig