Good morning jayek ginwa:

The two pictures I have posted today are of my mother and dad, whom I am remembering with much fondness and gratitude today. Memories are like golden strands of forever life as they come flooding in reminding me of the past days of my youth. They were good times, happy times with much laughter and joy. I grew up in a strictly traditional community made up of Bodewadmik, Ojibwek, Menomenik, Winbyegok, and assorted other tribal folks that occasioned to visit our community, now and again. I grew up hearing those languages spoken by my parents and other elders that inhabited our little community. We were all Native People figuring we had escaped the United States Government and its Removal Policy of those days.

We didn’t of course, as the long arm of said government reached out and found us, but we were protected by many of the whites surrounding us on all sides, often encamping on various properties belonging to them. These several white families, some of whom who had influence with various government officials, sought release from Removal for us, and we were allowed to purchase lands with our annuities paid to our people. Most of our tribes had already been removed to Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and other States during those times, but some of our old Leaders chose to take some of our people and flee to the North intending to hide among other tribes, but ending up with white farmers protecting us instead.

My mother and father always spoke our native language in the home amongst themselves and to us children. There were two of us, my brother Edward and I that were raised by my grandparents though, thereby giving my mom and dad the ability to both work in the towns near us, while we were much younger. My grandparents and the elders among us spoke only the native languages already cited and this is why my brother and I were the only two children who grew up speaking our various tongues. Unfortunately, my kid brother was killed in a tragic hunting accident when he was only 17.

I owe much to my parents and the elders that raised my brother and I, for without them I wouldn’t be able to speak this language today. I participated as a helper for many years in the various ceremonies of our people as well, which is why I still know them today along with the songs that were sung during those times. There is not a person among us natives that can say they would amount to anything in this Native World, without our elders. We all are, we have our movement and our being, as Neshnabek, because of them and the price they paid to keep these wonderful languages and culture alive. I honor my parents and all of my elders for who I am today, as a Neshnabe; gete Neshnabe eyawyan!

Iw enajmoyan

Nin se Neaseno.

Ekendemyek bgeji ode seshmowen

Sneget wa je kendemyek ode seshmowen nangodgen…..

Learning this language can become a hard thing for one sometimes, for one reaches a specific plateau of learning, then seems to slide right into being unable to remember or even be able to pronounce some of the more difficult words. Linguists tell us we actually can fossilize during the learning of any language. It takes time to learn all the various parts of speech of any language and to learn to pronounce words and phrases correctly as heritage fluent speakers would. Most folks concentrate on sight learning; learning to recognize by sight the various words and repeating according to the specified vowel pronunciation chart given, but that is not learning to speak it as a fluent speaker would. The longer one engages in educating or training the eye to read correctly what they think they see, the longer it takes to learn to pronounce the words and phrases correctly.

I encourage folks to listen to what I am saying, rather than reading what someone else has written. The trick to learning a difficult language is not in reading it, but in repeating what a fluent speaker tells you, and repeating what they have said, as closely as possible. It has taken my wife 18 years to learn to pronounce words and phrases correctly, and even now she still makes mistakes. These folks that study with this one and that one, and then go off somewhere trying to pass themselves off as fluent speakers don’t fully realize the harm they are doing to others trying to learn this language. They set everybody back and set the language back years.

I learned to speak this language as I was growing up, not writing it. I didn’t learn to write until I was in the 2nd or 3rd grade of an English only school, but none of my elders taught me anything about writing this language. I learned to write this language many years later, possibly when I was around 17-18.

Iw enajmoyan

Nin se Neaseno

On Neshnabe Names

On Jewish/Hebrew names

Posted byneasenoPosted inUncategorized

Traditional Explanation

The man said to Jacob: “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with beings divine and human, and have prevailed” (Gen. 32:28). Therefore, it is widely believed that the name “Israel” comes from the Hebrew word sharit (שרית), which in biblical Hebrew means “to struggle”, “to exercise influence”, “to prevail”. There is another way to interpret this name, one which helps us comprehend the depth of the transformation at Penuel.

What happened to Jacob?

The name Israel can be read as Yashar- El (ישר-אל). The Hebrew word Yashar (יָשָׁר) means straight, honest, honorable, law-abiding; in biblical usage, it also means “righteous, God-fearing person”. The root akov (עָקֹב֙), on the other hand, (the root of the name Yakov) might mean also “crooked”, as in this verse: the crooked (הֶֽעָקֹב֙) shall be made straight (Is 40:4). Then we understand the meaning of this change: Israel is the one whom God makes straight as opposed to “being crooked and uneven”. 

Discover the secrets of the Scripture

Names in the ancient Jewish world carried a very important weight. A name spoke of a person’s character, his deeds and his identity. For a person to be given a new name, meant a change in their identity. Reading the Bible in translation we miss the meaning of the names; undoubtedly, this is one of biggest losses we experience because of translation.

My notes:

Native American names are very similar in nature and translation as Hebrew names are. They mean something fairly specific and some names must be feasted at different times of the year, as a means of honoring them. For example, I have several names which mean something specific as to me nature as a Neshnabe man.

Neaseno: describes a warm wind from the South, implying that the Owner of said name should seek to warm or thaw things among the people, as to thaw a personality, thaw a given situation, warm up cold dead hearts to the situations facing us in this day and age, especially as it relates to recapturing our language and cultural knowledge. In other words, live up to the name; do what a warm southerly wind would do, thaw things out.

Biwagdebe: describes an iron head, having the dispostion of being thoroughly committed to the cultural ways and language of your people as to be unchangeable, unable to be persuaded otherwise, steadfast, solidly entrenched in one’s own ways.

I have four names but the description I just gave of two of them should get my idea across that names in Neshnabe culture mean something specific.

Iw enamoyan

Neaseno ndesh ne kas

Emnokmek Madmowen

The Old Bodwewadmik prayed at each of the Seasons, and often they would pray at the Beginning of the year, which was considered Emnokmek, which was viewed as when the Earth warmed herself getting ready to take the seeds of renewal. This was also considered by the Old Ones a time of Great Renewal, what some might call Resurrection, for the trees would bud and all the plants would come to life, after sleeping all Winter.

This prayer reflects much of that as the People requested good crops, good rains, good winds and other things essential to a good life. Listen carefully to the spoken words.

Nin se Neaseno