1.  Ngom wdopi wémtegozhi yewak naganit

Up to today, the French are the leaders somewhere

  •  Iw je ngom wdopi nnodamen weye éwépodek biwabek wizhgya énayek wi zhé ibe Kansas mémek.

Nowadays we hear someone blacksmithing, especially there in KS, they say.

  •  O je yé o gchemnedo eng(e)t wémtegozhi

That’s the great spirit of the French

  •  O yé o gangezot wémtegozhi ékdonegek

That’s the lost French, so they say.

  •  I je ngom bme yewak zhena nekmek

Now he is moving around in different places.

  •  Jo win gdemagzesi ginan wi éneshnabéwigo gdekdomen

He is not poor; we who are Indians say that.

  •  Wémtegozhi manéton wzawzhonya mine mkedébiwabek

The French have lots of gold and black iron

  • Mine ngom égkendemgo bgoch négdoshayek mine seksik jak shena éyemgek

And today we know wild horses and deer and so forth are there

  • Ode je nene win wdebénman

This man owns them

  1. Ode je wémtegozhi gzhénmnedon wgi nizhokmagon éwi mishgweset ode je anet gikansenan Spanish énayek ode wdekwénzhgewan

Now God helped the French to be powerful, but our brother the Spanish was victorious

  1. I je ngom wdopi ode wémtegozhi nwéch zheninweze zhode kik

Up to today, the French are very weak in the world

  1. Ngodek je ode wémtegozhi wgi nizhokmowen neshnabén

At one time the French helped out the Indians.

  1. I ji i pi ode wémtegozhi wgi minan ngemwen i je yé i ngom gode neshnabék éyewat I je ode ngom nim’ediwen gode neshnabék égcheyowat

At that time the French gave him a song, and that’s the one these Indians here use in their dancing to this day.

  1. I je o wémtegozhi éginat niw gigabéyen.  Nasena zhechgén ézhwidmonan.

The French told one boy, “Be careful to do things the way I tell you.”

  1. I je o wémtegozhi éwishteyaywat égkeno’mewat ni gigabéyen

So that French (Spirit) was teaching the boy how to blacksmith

  1. I je o gigabé wi kapi égi ne wishteyaywat égi gkenomowat niw wmeshomsen

Finally the boy started to blacksmith, and he taught his grandfather.

  1. Wi kapi égi négdoshayensawat mine zhena gégo

Finally they had a pony and so forth.

  1. O negdoshas wgi nizhokmagwan

The pony helped them

  1. Ébwamshe je yewawat négdoshayen wgi wbesh egwan seksiyen wgetganéswa

Before they had the pony, the deer were ruining their gardens.

  • Gigabé éggenonat ni négdoshayen ni je wa zhechgéyan?

The boy asked the pony, “What should I do?”

  • I je o négdosh énat, Wigbish mtegok wdenen ge dkobdon nkwégnak gekwedso égme keshyép ge giwta omgon iw ggetganwa.

And the pony said, “Get some bark from the basswood tree, tie it around my neck, jump on, and ride me around your garden every morning.”

  • I je gi seksik éwi zégsewat.

The deer will be scared

  • Nesh je gégo zhe gwi zhe ngok.

Of course, they will say something to you.

  • O seksi ékedot Wégni je o wakayabdé byé zizdeyatek?

The deer said, “What does that round tooth have sticking out between his legs?”

  • Égme kezhyép zhena o je wémtegozhi nizhokmowen I je mine wa mijwat wiyas o gi wje wdetnanawa.

Every morning the French Spirit helped them, and that’s how they obtained their meat to eat.

  • Ga gish jagnénat wdenwémagnen wmeshomsen ga gish mbonet égi majit

After his relations and grandfather died, he left.

  • I je géyabé wémtegozhi nizhokmowan géyabé je ngom gnizhokmagnan.

Still the French helped him, and is helping us to this day.

  • I je ngom pi neshnabé wémtegozhi mskwé wéj gwgezhek o wémtegozhi égi zhwénmat.

Up to today Indians have French blood inside them, because the French (Spirit) blessed them.

  • Ode gigabé égi majit égi byat odanek neshnabén éyenet

This boy left and came to where there was an Indian village.

Ga gkéndek je ni wémtegozhiyen wgi gkenomowan neshnabén w zhi enet

What he learned from the French he taught the people who were there.

  • Ga gish gkenomowat wiznabén wa zhetonet, gégo wgi nan gégo nsedi kegon wgi nan

After he taught his fellow people what to do, he told them something, “Don’t kill one another,” he said.

  • I je o wémtegozhi égi nat niw gigabéyen ga widmowak éwi bwa mje dodadwat

And the French told the boy what to tell them, that they should not abuse each other

Mine i je ngom wdopi neshnabék énwék dbénwék.

And so up to this day, the Indians are surely civilized.

  • I je ngom wdopi déwégen nim’ediwen débwétanawa neshnabék i yé i ga gowat ni wémtegozhiyen

Up to this day the Indians believe in the drum dance; that’s the one the French told him about.

  • Iw je ngom wdopi jak neshnabék wdébwétanawa ode madmowen iw je wéj mno
  • widokwdatwat.

And up to today, all the Indians believe this way and that’s why they are good friends.

  • Nchiwénmok éwabdawat ngom wdopi

They are happy to see each other up to today.

  • Iw je ékwak ode wémtegozhi yajmowen

So that’s how long this French story is.

Author: neaseno

I was born on Powers Bluff in Wood County, Wisconsin, into a traditional community of Neshnabek. I was raised speaking only native languages, and learned to speak English upon entering school at the age of 6. As of this writing, I am one of 5 remaining Heritage Fluent Speakers of Potawatomi.

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