Boozhoo niijinkwenyaag!



Sorry I have been gone so long…. there has been a move… work … car accident… physical therapy and more work and family things…

So it is finally Minokami here in Michigan and a weird one at that… early hot temperatures had the plants and trees blooming early and then a freeze and snow killed some of the plants… the weather has been all over the place.

Before I begin posting oshki ikidowinan, I would like to hear from you all on what words and phrases you would like to learn about…

Leave me lists in the comments and I will check back to see what you all come up with!

Bama pii gi waabamin!


Aanii Niijinkwenyaag!

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So, I was cleaning (dusting) before I left for the pow wow and a brass bookend fell off the shelf and on my foot! So I silently screamed… but I went to the pow wow anyways.

I headed off to the Pow Wow grounds, I got there and people were leaving, it had been sprinkling all morning. They moved the pow wow to the casino. So I followed everyone else and headed over to the casino event center. It was really packed tight, hardly room to move through the crowd. If you could squish your way down to the area set up as the arena you might be able to see the dancing. If you were back farther you could see the dancer’s heads and that is about it. It looked like not all of the vendors made it over to the casino, there were a few, alot of traders with beadwork, sage and sweetgrass, silverwork and Native Threads apparel. I got to visit with my friend Cid Bearheart, that was kewl! My other friends I couldn’t get an eyeball on, but it was pretty crowded in there. So that was a bummer. After walking around for a bit, my  foot started to really hurt and swell, so I went ahead and left early. Hopefully Peshawbestown doesn’t get rained out… because that is the next pow wow on my pow wow trail this summer.

Bama pii!


Giwii ezhaa Saginaw Chippewa nimi’ding!

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Aanii niijinkwenyaag!

I am off to the pow wow today, hopefully it doesn’t rain 😀

Time to see friends and family, trade and dance dance dance!

I will bring you all some stories when I get back!

Bama api

Aaniin miinawa

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Aaniin Niijiinkwenyag!

Ahau, I have finally completed catching up on all of the previous posts’ videos. Whew! Barring interruptions this week, I’m planning on upcoming posts about locatives, some updates on time, Shopping and Money. If you all want to learn anything particular, send me a message, and I will do my best at covering topics you are most interested in.




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Boozhoo Anishinabedog miinawa Zhaagnaashidog!

Long time no blog eh? Well this summer so far has turned out to be super busy, but here I am trying to catch up on my blog. Nongwa (Today) we will talk about Dibaganik – Time.

Dibagiiswan – Clock

Dibaginik – Time / Hour

Dibaganens – Minutes

Aaniish endaso dibagiiswan? – What does the clock read?

(Local: Mt. Pleasant) Aaniish e’ piichek? What hour is it?

1 o’clock – Bezhig dibaganik. – 1 hour

1:16 – Midaaswi shi ngodwaaswi dibaginens ishkwa beshig dibaganik. – 16 after 1 hour.

2:30 – Abta ishkwaa niizh dibaganik. – Half after 2 hour.

Jibwaa / Jibowaa – Before

Ishkwaa – After

Abta – Half

Besho – Close

Aanish e’ piichek?

Besho niizh dibaganik. Close to 2 hour.

For more number words, you can refer back to our number list in the “Birthday Party” post.

Today / Now – Nongwa/ Nongo

Yesterday – Bijinaago

Tomorrow – Waabang

Now for some Anishinabemowin sentence-ology:

To talk about past and future tense in a sentence you must use a prefix marker.

First off if you are talking about yourself you would use the (Ni / Nin) marker.  If you are talking about someone in the 2nd person (You) you would use the(  Gi / Giin) marker. Attached to these would be the tense marker – Wii – Future tense, Gii Past tense. There are lots more of these markers, but I am trying to keep this simple for beginners, as you continue your studies, you will find that there are many morphemes and many markers in Anishinabemowin. Please note, I am not a linguist so I am probably not using the correct linguistic terms here to explain this… check with a linguist for the correct labels. Now for a sentence to show you how you affix these markers.

Nigii ezhaa zhooniyaawigamig bijinaago. – I went to the bank yesterday.

Ni – I gii (past tense marker) ezhaa – to go  zhooniyaawigamig (money dwelling) bijinaago – yesterday.

Niwii ezhaa zhooniyaawigamig nongwa. – I am going to the bank today.

Niwii ezhaa zhooniyaawigamig waabang. – I am going to the bank tomorrow.

In this case, when talking about today and tomorrow, you are talking about something that has not happened yet, therefore you use the marker “Ni wii”.

If you have any comments or questions about “time” or how these sentences work, feel free to leave a message! 😀

Mi sa iw.

Wesiinhik / Ookaanag – Wild Animals / Farm Animals

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Wesiinhik / Ookaanag

Makwa – bear

nika- Canadian Goose

Amik – Beaver

Omakakii – Frog

Aamoo – Bee

Waagosh – Fox

Memengwaa – Butterfly

Ojiig – Fisher

Mashkodebizhiki- Buffalo

Bizhiki – Cow

Giniw – Golden Eagle

Aandeg – Crow

Zhiishiib – Duck

Adik – Caribou

Animosh – Dog

Baaka’aakwe- Chicken

Waawaashkeshi – Deer

Agongosens – Chipmunk

Mashtadim – Workhorse

Zhaangweshi – Mink

Maang – Loon

Waabizheshi – Marten

Bizhiw – Lynx


Kchi Waawaabiginoojii – Rat

Akakojiishi – Woodchuck

Mizisenh – Turkey

Wiinaange – Turkey Vulture

mai’iingan – Wolf

Asiginaak – Black Bird

Zhingos – Weasel

Washashk – Muskrat

Miskwaadesi – Mud Turtle

Gookooko’oo / gokoko – Owl

Mikinaak – Snapping Turtle

Gookoosh – Pig

Okaan – Farm Animal

Ajidamoo – Squirell

Gaag – Porcupine

Zhiigaag – Skunk

Bine’ – Partridge

Esibaan – Raccoon

Waabooz/ Waaboose – Rabbit

Baapaase – Downy Woodpecker

Nenookaasi – Hummingbird

Binesi – Thunderbird

Opichi – Robin

Gwiingweshi – Canadian Jay

Meme- Pileated Woodpecker

Diindiisi – Blue Jay

Gijigaaneshii – Chickadee

mayagi bine – Pheasant

Ginoozhe- N. Pike.

Gigooh – Fish

Diindiisi – Blue Jay

Mang /Mong – Loon

Agongosens – Chipmunk

Nenookaasi – Hummingbird

gijigaaneshii – Chickadee

Asiginaak – Black Bird

Zhingos – Weasel

Ojiig – Otter / fisher

Giniw – Golden Eagle

Migizi – Bald Eagle

Zhaangweshii – Mink

Kchi kaadi ginebic – alligator (big legged snake)

Study Tips


Aanii Niijiikwenyaag!

I am home from work, and thought I would make a quick post about studying the language. You should try and listen to the language as much as possible of course, and practice saying the words with someone. Finding an Elder to speak with is the best idea, but if you are an Urban Native or live away from your people, sometimes you can find language tables at Universities like the University of Michigan and the University of Minnesota. You could look up language videos on Youtube, or practice with some of the sites and videos I have listed in the Blog roll.

For learning and memorization, each of my teachers and Elders had different recommendations for this. Some said that we should not focus on writing the language, only listening to it to learn the words and phrases. Which is good advice. Other teachers had their students write each new word / sentence 10 times to help them remember it, and use index cards as language flashcards for themselves, and label things in your house with the word only in Anishinabemowin on the item being labeled. Others had you string the words together in a song to help with remembering the words, or playing games in the language.

I personally have used all these methods. But I will tell you because I was learning to read and write the language in the beginning without having many opportunities to hear it spoken in person, I became somewhat dependent on the written word. However, today I have built up hundreds of hours of listening to fluent speakers and I can understand much of what they say. YAY!

My advice is to learn the words however works best for you, as you will know how you learn. Also, when beginning with the language, do not fear making mistakes in pronunciation, if you make a mistake you are more likely to remember the correct way to say it once you have been corrected.

I will tell you the most embarrassing mistake I ever made…

I was at a pow wow, helping my relatives with their booth, and we were talking about anishinabemowin words, and what I was learning. Long story short, I was standing there with my Auntie  and Uncle and they said what is the word for pipe? I said pojagawin? My Auntie burst out laughing and I turned 10 shades of red and I said “what did I say?”  She said “Ask your Uncle, he has one.” I instantly figured out what I said. I was sooooo embarrassed. So I then asked how to say it properly and learned the word for pipe and penis, and never made that mistake again. Just so you do not make that mistake,  the word for pipe is (opwaagan) and the word for penis is pojagawin

Keep learning!!

Please feel free to leave me comments or questions!!

Bama api gi waabamin

Ni Naajimiijime.

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Aanii (informal greeting akin to “Hi” used with friends and family).  Niijiikwenyaag (My Friends).

Ni naajimiijime nongom. – I am going after groceries now/today.

Naajimiijime Wiigamig – Grocery Store

What shall we put in our cart?  Miijim!! – Food!!

Oshki ikkidiwenan – Miijim – New words – Food

Nabop – Soup

Mandaminabop – Corn Soup

Pinaabo – Potato Soup

Baakaa’kwehnabop – Chicken Soup

Manoominabop – Wild Rice Soup

Miskwaadiisiminabop – Bean Soup

Doshkwaanes – Macaroni

Pakwezhigan – Bread

Pakwezhigansan – Cookies

Naapane / or Bassisid pakwejigan – Flour

Zibwagani Ziizibakwat – Brown Sugar

Ziizibakwat – Sugar

Amo Ziizibakwat – Honey (Bee Sugar)

Ozawa bimide – Butter

Bimide – Lard

Ziwitaagan / Ziitaagan – Salt

Gawiissagang / Wiisaagadt – Pepper

Wawon / Wawnon – Egg / Eggs

Bizhiki – Dodoshaaboo/ Doodoshaaboo – Cow Milk

Makademashkiikiiwaaboo – Black Medicine Liquid (Coffee)

Niibiishaaboo – Tea

Gitigaaning – In the garden

Mandamin – Corn

Jiisehns – Carrots

Miskodiisimin – Beans

Kosimaan – Squash

Opin / pineek – Potato / Potatoes

Ogin – Tomatoes

Zhiigaagamanj – Onions

Kchi anibiish – Cabbage

Anijiimin – Peas

Eshkandamig – Cucumber

Meat – Wiiyaas

Baakaa’kwehn – Chicken

Gokosh wiiyaas – Pork

Giigohn – Fish

Nagish – Bologna (aka Indian Steak he he)

Bizhiki wiiyaas – Beef

Waawaashkeshii wiiyaas – Venison

Mizise wiiyaas – Turkey

To Gather

Manoomin – Wild Rice

Miinan – Blueberries

Ode’minan – Strawberries

Niinaatigo Ziizibaakwat – Maple Sugar

Mishiiminag – Apples

Maanwang – Fruit

Gi bakade na? – Are you hungry?

Enh, aapijge nimbakade. – Yes, I am very hungry.

Ka, kawiin nimbakadesii. – No, I’m not hungry.

Giwii naajimiijime? – Did you go after groceries?

Enh, niwii naajimiijime noongwa.. – Yes, I went after groceries today.

Alright, I think that is where I will stop for today. There are many words and sentences that go along with learning the food words. I will try to get those up for you next weekend.

Bama api gi waabamin! – See you later!

Birthday Party


We went to my husband’s Uncle’s birthday party this evening, and I thought I would make a quick post on how to say Happy Birthday and how old you are in Anishinabemowin. Please note we counted by the winter count instead of years. So your age is however many winters you have lived.

Happy Birthday – Mino Dibishkaan

How many winters old are you? – Aaniin endaso biboonigiziyaan?

I am 34 winters old – nisimidana shi niiwin biiboonagiziiyaan.

Gindaaswinag – Numbers

1 – Bezhig

2 Niizh

3- Nswi

4 – Niiwin

5 – Naanan

6 – Ngodwaaswi

7 – Niizhwaaswi

8-  Nshwaaswi

9 – Zhangaaswi

10 – Midaaswi

To add/ or say and  – shi / ashi

Therefore if you were fifteen winters old you would say Midaaswi shi naanan  (10 and 5) biiboonagiziiyaan

20 – Niizhtana

30 – Nisimidana

40 – Niimdana

50- Naanmidna

60- Ngodwasmidna

70 – Niizhwaasmidna

80 – Nshwaasmidna

90 – Zhaangsmidna

Mi iw

Shakaakimikwe Giizhigad


Because it is Shkaakimikwe Giizhigad – Earth Day I thought we should learn some nature words.

Shkaakimikwe – Mother Earth

Giisis – Sun

Dibik Giisis – Moon

Noodin – Wind

Ankwaad – Cloud

Anang – Star

Nigwaagan – Rainbow

Asin – Stone

Zibi – River

Nibi – Water

Gamig – Lake

Mitig – Tree

Mitigoog – Forest

Wiigwaasaatig – Birch Tree

Giizhikaatig – Cedar Tree

Mishkode Miizhmiizhaatig – Red Oak Tree

Zhingobiinsaatig – Red Pine Tree

Niinaatig – Sugar Maple Tree

Wiisgaatig – Black Ash Tree

Miishkoonhs – Grass

Pakweyashk – Cat tails

Wiingushk – Sweetgrass

Mushkodewashk – Sage

Asema – Tobacco

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