Bmi1 is a polycomb group (Pc-G) protein involved in heritable gene repression, maintenance of cell identity, and proliferation. During the development of the central nervous system, Bmi1 is crucial for self-renewal of neural stem cells and for proliferation of neuronal (granule cell) progenitors of the cerebellum. Here, we use loss of function mouse models and in vitro assays--granule cell cultures and glial-neuronal co-cultures--to show that Bmi1 plays a crucial role in specification of glial progenitors during postnatal cerebellar development. Moreover, we demonstrate in in vitro assays that Bmi1 exerts this novel function through repression of BMP pathway and that this is independent of its known role in mediating the cellular response to Shh signaling. Thus modulation of Bmi1 expression in glial progenitors may represent a key event in determining the differentiation potential of these cells.