BSU Professor & Language Warrior Anton Treuer Works to Preserve the Ojibwe Language & Educate Youth

Anton Treuer, a professor of Ojibwe in BSU’s Department of Languages and Indigenous Studies

Dr. Anton Treuer. professor of Ojibwe in BSU’s Department of Languages and Indigenous Studies

Earlier this month, Bemidji State University’s Dr. Anton Treuer, professor of languages and Indigenous studies, published a young reader’s edition of his 2012 book, “Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask.”

The republished work includes a number of new questions answered and new topics including a social activism section that explores the Dakota Access pipeline, racism, identity and politics. More than 50 additional photos were added and the text was adapted for broad appeal.

“Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask” provides readers an insight into important questions that are frequently asked in regard to Indigenous culture.

Treuer is also working in collaboration with the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe on the development of a language program using Rosetta Stone, a popular language-learning software. This program will include artificial intelligence to help with pronunciation and provide different assessments that will aid in learning the Ojibwe language.


An internationally renowned expert on cultural and language preservation, Treuer has authored 19 books and is a professor in the Department of Languages and Indigenous Studies at Bemidji State University. His book, “Ojibwe in Minnesota,” was named Minnesota’s Best Read by the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress in 2010. He edited “Awesiinyensag: Dibaajimowinan Ji-gikinoo’amaageng,” an Ojibwe-language children’s book that was named Minnesota’s Best Read for 2011. And In 2012, he won the Award of Merit from the American Association of State and Local History for his book, “The Assassination of Hole in the Day.”

At BSU, Treuer teaches courses on Ojibwe language, culture, history and literature. Before joining the BSU faculty, Treuer spent four years as an assistant professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Treuer is a member of the Minnesota State Arts Board and has served on the boards for the White Earth Land Recovery Project and the Sanford/MeritCare health system. He has received dozens of awards and fellowships from organizations including the American Philosophical Society, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Bush Foundation and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.