Some further uses of language

NI JE NA                               HOW ARE YOU?

Iw zhe anwe                                        just fine.

Nmeno bmades                                   I’m well.

Nmeno bmadzemen                            we are well.

Ngezhades                                          I’m happy.

Ngezhadzemen                                   we are happy.  (excl.)

Ggezhadzemen                                   we are happy.  (incl.)

Ngezhades ne                                      are you happy?

Ndeyékwes                                         I’m tired.

Ndakwnoga                                        I’m sick.

Cho she meno yé si                                         I’m not feeling well.

Getmages ma zhna anwe nde bmades            Doing poorly, but still alive.

NESHNABÉK                                  The People

Nene                                                    man

Kwé                                                    woman

Kewézi                                                old man

Mdemozé                                            old woman

Gigyago                                              girl

Gigabé                                                 boy

Penojé                                                 baby

Wshke penojé                                      new baby

Wéni je ode                                         who is this?

Gigyago ode                                       this is a girl.

Gigyago yawe                                     she is a girl.

Gigyago ode yawe                              this one here is a girl.

Ni je ézhchegét o                                what is she doing?

Jibtebe o gigyago                                that girl is sitting.

Gigyagosdek!                                      Girls!

Gigabésdek!                                        Boys!

Gigyagosdek mine gigabésdek!          Boys and Girls!

Nenwek                                               men

Kwék/kwéwek                                                women

Kewéziyek                                          old men

Mdemozéyek                                      old women

Gigyagoyek                                         girls

Gigabéyek                                           boys

Penojéyek                                            babies

Wshke penojéyek                                new babies

Wéni je gode                                       who are these?

Gigyagoyek gode                                these are girls.

Gigyagoyek yawik                              they are girls.

Gigyagoyek gode yawik                     these ones here are girls.

Wéni je gode                                       who are these?

Gigabéyek gode                                  these are boys.

Gigabéyek yawik                                they are boys.

Gigabéyek gode yawik                       these ones here are boys.

Ni je ézhchegét o                                what is he/she doing?

Ni je ézhchegéwat gi                           what are they doing?

Trees, flowers, and such.


Mtek                                                    tree

Mtegok                                                trees

Mtegwake                                           forest

Mtegwakik                                          in the forest

Datbek                                                leaf

Datbegwén                                          leaves

Waskonédo                                         flower

Waskonédoyen                                   flowers.

Séma                                                   tobacco

Nenséma                                             Indian tobacco

Mskwabmesh                                      red willow/kinickkinick

Mkojibek                                             bear root/osha root

Wiké                                                    calamus root/bitter root

Gishki                                                  flat cedar

Ni je énadék ode datbek                     what color is this leaf?

Skebgya                                              it is green.

Mskwamget                                        it is red.

Wézawamget                                      it is yellow/brown.

Jak zhe na nadé                                   it is all different colors.

Ni je énadék ode wasgonédo              what color is this flower?

Wabshkya                                           it is white.

Mskwamget                                        it is red.

Wézawamget                                      it is yellow/brown.

Wejepkwa                                           it is blue.

Jak zhe na nadé                                   it is all different colors.

Note: these are only for inanimate things, words for animate things are different.

A terrific “what if” story….

A “What If” story…..

This was posted in the “forum” of our Ning Room for all natives to enjoy reading…
When it comes to fiction, besides the many treaties signed by the USA and its’ many governmental agents, I like stories like this one….
Enjoy…..Nin se Neaseno….

This story imagines a parallel universe in which Native Americans
have conquered and settled Europe. Part of the point is that Native
Americans would not have done to Europeans what Europeans actually
did to Native Americans. The main point is (as Sherman Alexie says)
to “turn it around,” in order to expose cultural double standards.
Versions of this piece were published in 1992 in Akwesasne Notes,
News From Indian Country, Report on the Americas, and other period-
icals.”Wanblee Johnson” is a fictitious character thought up by Zol-
tán Grossman.

A Letter to the Public from European Rights Activist Wanblee Johnson

It was 500 years ago that Callicoatl sailed across the ocean with three Aztec boats, and found a new continent, a new Eastern Hemisphere. The commemoration of this event is being marked with great fanfare and celebration. Every child has been taught the story: how Callicoatl convinced Montezuma II to support his journey, how the Aztec sailors nearly despaired on the journey, and how they “discovered” a strange white-skinned race in the “New World.”
But that is only part of the story. It is important that in this, the 500th anniversary of Callicoat’s voyage, the record be set straight.
For Callicoatl did not “discover” this continent, he invaded it. It was already inhabited by many nations of people, living our own cultures, and practicing our own religions, on our own land. Over the past five centuries, we, the Native peoples of Europe, have seen our natural resources and our spirituality stolen, and our relatives enslaved. That is hardly a history worth celebrating.
In the Pre-Callicoatlian era, great empires were ruled by the Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians, the Moors, and many other indigenous peoples of the Eastern Hemisphere. They contributed much to the world, as attested to by the great temples and pyramids they left behind. They had detailed knowledge of astronomy, law, agriculture, and religion. True, there were wars among these peoples, and persecution of those who did not follow the state religion. But they were no more oppressive than the empires of Montezuma II or the Inca Tupac Yupanki in the “Old World” 500 years ago. And, like in the Western Hemisphere, there were many peoples still living in harmony with the land, here in our hemisphere.
There were many other explorers who sailed to these shores, and even some who claimed to have arrived before Callicoatl – the Arawak, the Beothuk, and the Lenni-Lenape. But it was the Aztec flag of Anauak and the Inca flag of Tawantinsuyo that were first firmly planted on our soil. Soon after Callicoatl arrived, this land was named Omequauh after another Aztec-sponsored explorer. The Aztecs and Incas conquered and divided up South and Central Omequauh – the lands we call Africa, Iberia, and the islands of the Mediterranean Sea. Later, the Dakota and Ojibwe fought over and divided North Omequauh, my home continent, which we call “Europe.”
Some great “European” leaders pulled together alliances of knights to resist the settlers, but our freedom fighters were never unified enough to prevail. Some of our Native peoples – among them the Irish, Corsicans, and Sardinians – were wiped out, their cultures lost to history.
You may know us as “Native Omequauhns”, but we prefer to be called the “Original Europeans,” or the “First Nations.” We are not one people but many peoples, following different customs. We speak many tongues, which you may call “dialects,” but we prefer to equate with your languages. We worship under different religions that were outlawed until recently, and are ridiculed to this day as mere superstition. The religion of my ancestors was known as “Christianity,” and there are some of us who even today pray to a single god and his son.
Though we are commonly called “tribes,” we have historically existed as nations, with our own borders, provinces, and capitals. The capital of my ancestors, London, was as great in its time as Cuzco or Tenochtitlan, until it was sacked by the invaders. My people, the York band of the English tribe, were once citizens of Yorkshire county (or province) in the English Nation (or “England”). Many of our peoples are not even called by their original names, but by derogatory names that others have given them. The Krauts, for instance, are more properly called the “Germans,” or Deutsche in their own language. Similarly, the Frogs should be called the “French,” or Français in their own tongue.
These terms are important if we are to reclaim our nationhood. But even more important is reclaiming our ancestral land rights, which have been steadily whittled away over the past 500 years. My English people, for instance, are scattered in over 50 small reservations throughout of island of Newfoundland (which we have always called “Britain”), and on the continental mainland where one-third of us were forcible relocated a century ago. Despite disease, removal, and loss of lands where we hunted and farmed, our traditional forms of local government have been carried on to this day.
Agreements we signed with the settlers guarantee that we still have access to natural resources on lands we used to own. Most of these agreements were broken, and many lands were stolen without any agreements whatsoever. Today, some descendants of the settlers don’t understand why we continue to exercise these rights. Some of them even tell us to go back where we came from!
My people were forced into dependency after the warriors (who we called the “Long Arrows”) slaughtered our sheep – our main livelihood. The children began to be sent to schools where they were forced to use Dakota names to replace their English names, and were beaten if they spoke English. Through the generations, many of our people became so assimilated that they began to look, dress, walk and talk like the settlers. But they still retained their identity, hidden from view.
It was only about 25 years ago that our peoples started to reclaim their European heritage. On my reservation, that meant young people starting to relearn the English language. We also began to communicate with Native peoples in South and Central Omequauh, some of whom actually form a majority in their countries. Though they speak different colonial languages (Nahuatl and Quechua), our concerns are similar.
Reclaiming our cultures means learning from our elders, and reading the great works of Chaucer and other ancient prophets. It means challenging stereotypes, such as the view that all of our people wear suits of armor, or live in thatched-roof huts. Above all, it means countering the despair on many of our reservations – the poverty, the consumption of beer and chicha, and the low self-esteem among Native youth.
This new pride has led to conflict with the governments occupying our lands. We have had to take on the Bureau of Caucasian Affairs (BCA), which has controlled our economies and prevented any independent Native voices from speaking out. We are attacked for being poor, and then criticized for methods we use to get out of poverty. We have also had to deal with collaborators among our own people, in some of the councils that the BCA established years ago to replace our traditional governments, and to sell off what is left of our land. Some of the Europeans on these councils are so obedient to authority that we call the “conches” – white on the outside, but red on the inside.
The rebirth of our European cultures has also stimulated interest on the part of mainstream non-European society. Nowadays, some children playing “Warriors and Knights” actually want to be the knights. While this trend is welcome, we also find non-Europeans romanticizing our cultures, and trying to usurp them in the same way they usurped our land. We loathe seeing non-Europeans dressing up like our own priests, and conducting the sacred catechism ceremony, for the benefit of their own curiosity. We don’t appreciate seeing ethnic Dakota wearing powdered wigs, or putting on ballroom dances. And we roll our eyes whenever one of these ‘wannabes’ says that their great-grandmother was a Swedish princess.
There was a time when our land would be stolen and our people divided and relocated, with only a passive response. But no more. The European Wars are being rekindled, as more nations are defending the lands our ancestors are buried under. Many remember the armed confrontations at the Long Fjord Norwegian Reservation about two decades ago, or at the Lake Balaton Hungarian Reservation two years ago. If our sovereignty is not recognized, these skirmishes are likely to continue.
It should be clear to you, the non-European public, that despite 500 years of colonization, we still exist as peoples and nations. In the face of overwhelming odds – the near-extinction of our population, and the theft of our religions and lands – we have survived. When you talk about “celebrating” the arrival of Callicoatl, it sends a chill up our spines. Even Callicoatl’s name, in the Nahuatl language, means “Serpent from the West.” If you do not recognize that our people were here when he arrived in our land, you will never be able to recognize that we are here, in front of you, today. Posted by neaseno at 10:17 AM No comments: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest

Some words for the extended 4Th of July vacation for some

Senonakosedongemek                              stone frame house

Onakosedon                                              frame

zhegén i wonakosedon                             build a frame

zhegwa  (v.)                                               build for s.o.

Wzhegé                                             h/s builds s.t.

                                                          usually a bldg. of some sort

Gbakwek                                          close or shut s.t.

Baknat   (v.)                                               open s.t.

Nsakwenen i wshkwadém              open the door

Kwidnen i wshkwadém                            lift the door

Nisabignen i wshkwadém              lower the door

Bitogwzhen i shkwadém                          cover the door

Bitogwzhen i wonakosedon           cover that frame

Nde kwedasibidge                                    I climb in

Kwédasi                                           climbing, climb

Nigitikosi                                         climb a tree

Nazi                                                  h/s climbs toward

Nde kwédasiwana                                    I climb after h/h

Imowa                                              giant

Msahba/Msahbé                             giant

Paisek                                              little men/people

Gigabések                                        little men/people

Mtegonenwik                                   tree men

Nampeshi/Nampeshe                      underwater monster

Kokoji                                              monster

Bkonyak                                           late evening

Nséyak                                              evening

Nebgeshmok                                    evening



Jajepnowé                                       every

Égme                                                          each/every

Wyézh                                               fool  (v.)

nwi wyézhma o shkenwé                          I am going to fool that young man.

Wyézhet                                            fool   (n.)

O shkenwé wyézhet yawe ngom    that young man is a fool today.

Wyézhgejek                                                those who are fools   (n.)

shkeshiwiwkwanéwen                     enamel covering

Ibdebwiwkwanéwen                       enamel covering

Iwshkeshin                                       nail (finger or toe)  dead

Owshkeshin                                               nail (finger or toe)  living

Éyéyet                                     Where he/she is

Gajeyet                         Where he/she was

Éje mikwéntek              What is remembered

Épij tbewéwat                        As they were holding council

Neto                              Try

Neto nmnekwé              I try to drink

Éje wdankwenet                    Where they had a town

Égi wepmaksot             He went to lie down

Éne gachiyet                          Then he was small

Éne byat                       Then he came

Égi kisdébmat                        He had already had enough

Ga kispshinat                        After he had skinned him

Wéj kew ngapawek               Why he melts easily

Bébamenashkew          Chase someone around

Majiwnashkew             Chase someone out

Bébamenashan            Chase something around

Menashkew (ko)          Chase

Zagdenashkago           Chase outside

Ndezhnashkowa           Chase – Send over

Zagdenashkowan                  He/she chases someone out

Zagdenashkowak                  Chases them out

Zagdenashko’at           Got chased out

Égi webitgéwat            They started to come in

Éwebngapawet            he started to melt

Ése ngotwet                           He lived alone thus

Ki se cik kateno           He lay thus with one leg in the air

Zhakiyek                       Crawdads

Wéj ngom mégwa zhakiyek yewak                   There are still crawdads today

Bwa                               Neg preverb

Égi bwa byat                         He didn’t come

Mbop                                                soup

Pabwé                                    to add s.t. to soup/a thickening

Pabwén                                  thickening added to soup

Nwapkezo                               pretty good shine going on

                                                half drunk/half lit up

giwshkwebyé                          drunk

giwshkakwe’ye                       staggering/dizzy

giwshkakwé                                     dizzy

wéwébzewen                          swing

wéwétegwen                                    rocking chair?

Wéwébesapébiwen                          another rocking chair?

Wéwébshedwen                     wrestling

Wéwébshedmen                     let’s wrestle

Nok she I                                look at that

Mno nes                                  goodness!

Nin mno nes                                    my goodness!

Mnowébéndem                      worry

Mnowébéndan                       worry about s.t

Mnowébénma                        worry about s.o.

Wdeténdek                              worry about s.t.?

Wdeténmat                                       worry about s.o.?

Wébna                                    leave s.o.

Wébnat                                   h/s left s.o.

Wébnewat                              they left s.o.

Gi wébnego                                     h/s got left

Nda wébna                                      I can/could/should leave h/h

Nge wébna                             I am leaving h/h

Nwi wébna                             I will leave h/h

Nwi wébnegomen                           we got left behind (we-u)

Gwi wébnegomen                           we got left behind (we+u)

Mamkeji/mamkechi               toad

Ojé                                          fly

Skemé                                               mosquito

Wawatesi                                lightening bug

Amo                                        bee

Gwakwadé                             grasshopper

Nimikiwidikom?                    Moth

Skebgyamnedo                      blue snake

Wnadoan                               heal h/h

Wgi nadoan                                    h/s healed h/h

Nenandawi                                      traditional healer?

Gnebech                       Perhaps, maybe, I think that

Ndenim                         My husband (possessive of nene)

Ndeygwam          My horse

Ndey                              My dog

Mbé                               See, I told you so!,  There!

Wégmakwé wdansen             Queen’s daughter

Wégmakwés                           Princess (diminutive)

Békadzet                       Be quiet, be calm, be patient, be peaceful

Nbékades, mbékades, nde békades

Békadze                        He/she is

Békadzet                       One who is

Kéndaswen                            Knowledge, education, art of becoming knowledgeable, becoming knowledgeable

Cho wi nda zhya si ibe énim’ediwat nde gizsom ndeto odo pi, i yé i ézhewébek égizsoyesh ébyat.

Mteno gi gizhabék mine gi gizhakwék ébidgéwat ibe éméndokaswat.





Ndebénma o ndey.

Mbwachewé’a o nitawes wabek gnebech.

Wgi gishpnedo ni waskonédonen o ndenim.

Nmedagwéndmenem gi ndokyanek, o ndéygwam mine o ndey.

Ggi wabma ne o wégmakwés égi zhyayen ibe épa nim’ediwat gi neshnabék.

Wgi békadze ne o ga wje pkenagé i naganiwen wnago.

Ngi kigdo’a o wgyéyom wnago ga wje pkenagét, békadzet yawe o gi kedo.

Mbé, i yé i ga kto yan kche weswnago.

Mbé, i yé i édépsenyan.

Mbé, i yé i ne ga wje widmoyan.

Hau                                         Well, so!

Majishkat                               Move

Méméjek                                 In particular

Bédo                                       I hope that/I wish that

Asho igwan                            On the other side of

Débso                                     Quite a bit/enough of

Shpemsegok                           Upstairs, somewhere up above

Iw se                                       And/used in story telling

                                                So/used in story telling

Dbenwé                                  Real

Agmesé                                   Walk in snowshoes

Ndagmesé                              I walk in snowshoes

Agmesét                                  Walk in snowshoes

Ni’wesh                                  lover/secret lover

Shpemek                                 Above, heaven

Shpem                                     Up, above

Débwétwa                              Believe some one

Éwabdemok édébwétmok     Seeing is believing

Cho she ngi débwétwasi

I really didn’t believe him/her

Gbmadsownenan se gzheshmownenan

Our life is our language

Gzheshmownenan se gbmadsownenan

Our language is our life

Ni’wesh ma o yawe.

Méméjek ode Bodéwadmimwen nwi kenomagé nomek pkonyak.

Hau, gishpen ode zheshmowen ébédoyék ékéndemyék pené she gwi shketoyék ékigdoyék éwi débséyék, méméjek i bodéwadmimwen.

Sneget se ode gzheshmownenan éwi kéndet weye ma shna dbenwé i.

Gishpen ékéndet weye ode majmowen wéwéne i émno majishkat pené o bémadzet.

Iw se égi kedwat gi getsimnajek mno wi pi mine gwi mno zhewébes ézhyayen asho igwan naké shpemsegok gishpen éneshnabémyen.

Pené égi wipémwét ngoji o, ik she yé i ga wje agmesét.











Gi gmowen bédbekok shote mjésh gi bgeshnomget i mbish gaga she gi moshknowen.

Kyétnam shna gi gméyamget geshép ngom.

Nyézanzik gode gigabések ga wje bambetowat shote mine ibe kche odan dbekok, mjesh i mbish gi mnoshknémget ni myéwnen.

Nwésh mowe o sekmekwé, i yé i ga wje bgednot o mamogosnan i mbish, mine i wawyastowen, mine i kche nodnen, wa je zibyéné’at o gokmeskignan, naké o sekmekwé.

I yé i wa zhe wébek gishpen émowet o sekmekwé.

Iw se ga kedwat gi kekyajek nangodgen égi penojéwiyan.

Iw énajmoyan!

Nwi zagnena’a o nemosh bwamshe zhishignegét.

Ggi zagnena’a ne o nemo.

Pené she ézagden’at o nemo.

Zagdenéa nemo yawe o kwésmo.

Zheké kenomagé o nde kwéyom pkonyak.

Wéwéne ga wje zhechkét o kwé égi kenomagét ode zheshmowen.

Dopwen                                           table

Taswen                                             closet/cupboard

Deschegen                              shelf

Pedyebwen                                      chair cushion

Jibdebwen                              chair

Nweshmojibdebwen                        couch

Mbagen                                            bed

Mbagas                                            little bed

Penoje mbagas                      crib

Penojejibdewen                     high chair

Wabwabmowen                               mirror

Wabwabchegen                               mirror

Msenakseken                         picture

Msenatsegen                                    movie

Msenakaken                                     poster

Shkwadem                                       door

Wigwam                                           house

Wigwames                                        little house

Nijago                                              doll

nijagogemek                                    doll house

Penoje wigwam                     doll house

Dabyanewgemek                             garage

Shapkesgen                                     furnace/heating stove

Jandewen                                         kitchen stove

Notakcheken                                    radio

Wabnotakjegen                      television

Wzhobtakcheken                    computer

Shazhgeshwen                                 recliner

Tnachken                                         dresser

Wasechgen                             window

Aneskewen                             carpet

Aneskewes                              little throw rug

Zkhapke’egen                                  key             

Mkek                                                 box

Mkek(os)                                          little box (es)

Mode                                                          bottle

Modes                                              little bottle

Jibakwewgemeg                    kitchen

Sakemewgemeg                               bathroom

Nweshmowgemeg                           motel/hotel

Dawewgemeg                                  store/supermarket

Nweshmoatsekwnegadek                bedroom

Mnekwewgemek                              tavern/drinking place 

Gigenowgemek                                kitchen/cooking place          

Zignegewgemek                     toilet/emptying out place



De’we’gen                                       drum

De’we’genatek                                drum stick

De’we’genasiy                                drum hide

Gemwen                                           song

Gemwenen                                       songs

Gemon                                             sing

Negmot                                            singer

Negmojek                                         singers

Zeksowen                                         dance ceremony

Kawtagnege’wen                                      in a circle to dance

Nimedi                                             dance

Nimediwge                                       dancer/one who is dancing

Nimediwjek                                               dancers

Mishkonimediwjek                                    grass dancers

Neshnabeanwenimediwjek             traditional dancers

Iwsheanwenimediwjek                    straight dancers

Mizhatsonimediwjek                       fancy dancers

Wawyeyanimediwjek                       hoop dancers

Moshwenimediwjek                        shawl dancers

Sheshkemjegodenimedwijek          jingle dress dancers

Madweimjegodenimediwjek          jingle dress dancers

Nimediwen                                       dream dance

Negmojek pedyebwen                     singers’ stool

Kewe’wen                                        drum flag

Migwen                                            feather

Migwenen                                        feathers (when stored)

Migwenek                                        feathers (when they are displayed/worn)

Geshe’mnedo                                  Great Spirit

De’we’gensiynazwen                      drum hide color

Chiwenogemwen                                      honor song  or  (kejitwawégemwen)

Kewe’wgemwen                              flag song

Zhemagneshiwgemwen                            veterans’ song

E’bidge’wgemwen                                    grand entry song

Migwe’wgemwen                                      eagle feather song (when dropped)

Ke’kyawgemwen                                       elders’ song

Penojewgemwen                             childrens’ song

Kwe’wogemwen                              womens’ song

Pwagnegewgemwen                       pipe song

Bgednege’wgemwen                       offering song

Minage’wgemwen                                    give away song

Bmose                                     walk/he-she walks or is walking

Mbe bamse                                      I am walking around

Pa msewak                                       h/s is walking around

Gbe bamse                             you are walking around

Pa msewek                             they are walking around

Wi pamse                                h/s is going for a walk

Nwi pamsemen                      we are going for a walk (excl.)

Gwi pamsemen                      we are going for a walk (incl.)

Ke pamsemen                        let us go for a walk

Bebamset                                one who walks  (Big Bird spirit) (sing.)

Bebamsejek                                      those that walk–also all the  (pl.)

                                                Big birds and spirit birds

Bmose or Bmosewak             walking or walking by

Bmosek                                   walking or walking by (pl.)

Bode’wadmi Zheshmowen/Kigdowen.

Bid                                          inside something

Bidek                                      inside/in doors

Bidge’n                                  come inside

Bidge’k                                   all of you come inside

Shkwade’m                            door/descriptive of something                                             one uses to enter something

Baknen                                   open something/usually a door

Gbakwan                                close something/usually a door

Bidwabdan                            peer inside/look inside

Nbidge’                                  I will come/go inside

Gbidge’                                  You will come/go inside

Wbidge’men                           We will come/go inside

Ndabidge’                    I should go/come inside

Gdabidge’                    You should go/come inside

Wdabidge’men                      We should go/come inside

Wdabidge’k                            You all should come inside

A Sample Lesson on the word Bidge’:

Bidge’n shote              come in here

Bye’bidge’n                           do come in

Jibdeben shote            sit down here

Ni ka kigdo nomek gishpen she e’jibdebyek

I shall be speaking for a short time if you all sit down

Thoughts on freedom today.

In all the things we experience these days I am reminded of what it was like growing up as simple a lifestyle as we lived. For example, we grew most of our own vegetables, picked and canned a lot of fruits and veggies, hunted and fished a lot, and even canned a lot of wild game we took in. We lived simply, sunup to sundown, one day to the next, prayed a lot as well. Most of our daily living centered around prayer, in fact, one might say our lives were a whole series of ceremonies, from the time the sun arose, to the time it went down again, and the next day it would start all over again. No electricity, no indoor plumbing, no clocks to rule the day, and plenty of fresh air and sunshine.

The one thing I am cognizant of is that we did not seem to place a great importance on the days of the week. This Stay at Home business has brought that back to my memory in a big way. The other day my wife asked me what day it was, and I could not remember. We both had a good laugh over it, and then I told her a little of what it was like growing up the way I did.

There was no concept of days of the week. It was not until we started school that everyone really became conscious of the days of the week. Those that worked in town were aware of those time factors, but we often were not, those of us remaining at home. Time was meaningless, inasmuch as labeling it, micro-managing it. It was good to just be.

We had no concept of time, as we have come to know it today. Most people are governed by their day, from the moment they arise, till they lie down again. This time period we are all experiencing has returned us to the simple ways of the lives of our forefathers.

A word on freedom……..

“What is freedom?” an enlightened teacher asked her class.

“It’s when you can leave home and go wherever you want, and do whatever you

want, and your parents can’t tell you what to do,” a child replied.

“But what if you get hungry?

Are you now free to starve?”

“I would go home,” the child says.

We are not free. Nor have we ever been. Perfect freedom demands a perfect vision of reality, one too painful for the healthy to endure. It requires that we be alive, alert and exquisitely aware of our raw being. Faced with the pain of freedom, man begs for his shackles. Afraid of death, he seeks the stultifying boundaries of religion. Afraid of loneliness, he imprisons himself in relationships. Afraid of want, he accepts the bondage of employment. Afraid of rejection, he conforms to the commands of society. If our knowledge of freedom were perfect, we would not choose it. Pure freedom is pure terror.

Perhaps these folks who are protesting about being quarantined too long are afraid of this freedom. Is that why they need guns when they protest?

These moments of time have brought me much freedom. Freedom from being shackled to a schedule, and other things that ate up the days for me. I am enjoying the liberty of being free in Christ also, free to worship him the way my mom and dad did, in the beginning days of their conversion to Christianity. I am free to literally bathe in the Holy Ghost, not being mindful of religious labels, and just be free as Christ wants me to be.

It is liberating, this freedom and the way it exhilarates the senses. Folks, we are free, in spite of the corona virus. We are free to live and be alive. That is a wonderful thing, to be free in Him…..Christ and the Holy Ghost are not religion.

Iw enajmoyan

Nin se Neaseno.

Postscript: Independence Day huh? It is hard to imagine how many of our Native People have never felt free in this land of the free and the brave. We join in with the festivities of days like this and some never pay no mind to remember how many of our Native People gave their lives for this freedom that others enjoy, but not us……it is like the word justice! It is rather Just Us, not justice, when one stops to take a closer look at it.

That is why my freedom is not predicated on the beliefs of this country, but rather on Christ and the freedom he gives me. I am free to be who I am and I am bound for a place where He is, and I shall know freedom from anything enslaving in the meantime.

Egi penojewiyan

When I was a young child, I recall my grampa and others telling me one time how to learn to walk a long distance. I was never afraid to walk or run anywhere, as we didn’t have a car handy for us at the time. My brother and I stayed with our grandparents while my mother and dad worked in town, some 25 miles away. My dad had a car but they had to use it to go back and forth to work, they traveled on weekends only to come home. So, we walked everywhere we needed to go.

My grampa and uncles teased me about walking a long distance; just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and keep repeating that, they said. You’ll get there eventually, they told me.

That is the way it is with learning language too. It is a long journey and you start by putting one foot in front of the other, so to speak. You can’t give up or you shall never get there. You shall never achieve the goal of learning to speak this language if you give up, and the more you rest and not study, the longer it takes you to reach your goal.

Study, study and study some more…..or walk, walk, and walk some more…’ll get there eventually.

Iw enajmoyan…..

Nin se Neaseno.

Language Lesson

Language Lesson – Verb Conjugation

Pronouns vs. Inflection       Vocabulary       Quiz

Pronouns are words that take the place of nouns in sentences. We use them all the time to avoid redundancy.

English Pronouns

The following statement doesn’t have pronouns for Mary. Notice how repetitious it sounds:

Mary likes to eat fry bread. Mary is fond of other foods as well. Mary’s favorite snack is peanut butter and banana sandwiches.”

Now we will use pronouns (words that replace nouns to avoid redundancy). Notice how at first we use Mary’s name, and then we switch to pronouns:

Mary likes to eat fry bread. She is fond of other foods as well. Her favorite snack is peanut butter and banana sandwiches.”

English uses pronouns for persons being talked about. I, you, he, she, it, we and they are all pronouns.

I see the bear.
You are eating.
We were sleeping.

Potawatomi Personal Pronouns

Potawatomi have similar pronouns, but these are used when a speaker wants to place special emphasis on a person:

he, she, or it
we, but not you
we all
you all

Nin, nwi-maji.
As for me, I am leaving.

I she an we, gin je?
Everything is okay, and you?


The usual way to express who is doing what in Potawatomi is to inflect the verb by adding prefixes and suffixes. Prefixes come before the word (pre means “before”, think preview, precursor, predated). Suffixes come at the end of a word. Instead of using whole words to show who the subject is, Potawatomi modifies the word with a letter or letters in front of the word (prefix), and a letter or letters at the end of the word (suffix).

O Mko nwabma.
I see the bear.

Mko gwabma.
You see a bear.

You are eating.

We are eating.

I was sleeping.

We (but not you) were sleeping.

A Look At The Vocabulary

Let’s take a look at a few of the words from our Vocabulary Builder. (After you have completed study on this page, click here to listen to the audio for this lesson’s vocabulary builder.)

Bmose is a verb that means “he or she is walking”. Below is a conjugated list of “bmose”. Read each form and see how it changes depending on who is doing the walking.

Nbemse I am walking 
Gbemse you are walking 
bmose he or she is walking 
Nbemsemen we (but not you) are walking – exclusive 
Gbemsemen we all are walking – inclusive 
Gbemsem you all are walking 
bmosek they are walking 

Notice how the “n” on the front means “I” and the “g” on the front means “you”.

Also notice how the word changed from bmose to bemse when the “n” and “g” were added. This change is due to the addition of a consonant to the beginning of a word that already has two consonants in the beginning. Nbmose doesn’t work, so the word changes to nbemse. If you use the long form conjugation, this change does not occur.

Nde-bmose I am walking 
Gde-bmose you are walking 
Byébmose he or she comes by walking 
Nde-bmosemen we (but not you) are walking – exclusive 
Gde-bmosemen we all are walking – inclusive 
Gde-bmosem you all are walking 
Wde-bmosek they are walking 

Bmepto is a verb that means “he or she is running”. Below is the conjugation.

Nbempeto I am running 
Gbempeto you are running 
Bmepto he or she is running 
Nbempetomen we (but not you) are running – exclusive 
Gbempetomen we all are running – inclusive 
Gbempetom you all are running 
Bmeptok they are running 

Notice how the last four forms have a prefix (the part at the front) and a suffix (the added ending). This makes the words refer to more than one person – we (but not you), we all, you all, and they.

Also notice that just like Bmose, the word Bmepto changes to bempeto if you add a consonant to the beginning of the word. This is because you cannot have the three consonants together at the beginning of the word. This causes it to change. Nbmepto doesn’t work, but nbempeto does. Once again if you use the long form conjugation the word will stay as Bmepto.

Nde-bmepto I am running 
Gde-bmepto you are running 
bmepto he or she is running 
Nde-bmeptomen we (but not you) are running – exclusive 
Gde-bmeptomen we all are running – inclusive 
Gde-bmeptom you all are running 
Wde-bmeptok they are running 

Pabmadze is a verb meaning “he or she is traveling”. Below is the conjugation of Pabmadze in short and long form.

Simple Conjugation of Pabmadze

Npabmades I am traveling 
Gpabmades you are traveling 
Pabmadze he or she is traveling 
Npabmadzemen we (but not you) are traveling – exclusive 
Gpabmadzemen we all are traveling – inclusive 
Gpabmadzem you all are traveling 
Pabmadzek they are traveling 

Long Form Conjugation of Pabmadze

Nde-pbamades I am traveling 
Gde-pabmades you are traveling 
Pabmadze he or she is traveling 
Nde-pabmadzemen we (but not you) are traveling – exclusive 
Gde-pabmadzemen we all are traveling – inclusive 
Gde-pabmadzem you all are traveling 
Wde-pabmadzek they are traveling 

Gmajimen means “lets leave”. This word is made from the word “maji” which is a verb that means “he or she leaves”. Below is the short form conjugated list of “maji”.

nmaji I am leaving 
gmaji you are leaving 
maji he or she is leaving 
nmajimen we (but not you) are leaving – exclusive 
gmajimen we all are leaving (let’s leave)- inclusive 
gmajim you all are leaving 
majik they are leaving 

You can see that “gmajimen” above means “we all are leaving”. This is the same as saying “let’s leave”.

Short and Long Form Conjugation – a brief explanation

Short and Long form conjugation are two different ways to conjugate a verb in the present tense.

The long form has an extra “de” in the prefix. This “de” is saying, “ok, this is the present tense”. The “n”, the “g”, and the “w” are combined with the “de” to make up the full prefix.

Long Short 
nde-maji – i leave nmaji – i leave 
gde-maji – you leave gmaji – you leave 
wde-maji – he/she leaves (w)maji – he/she leaves 
nde-majimen – we (-u) leave nmajimen – we (-u) leave 
gde-majimen – we all leave gmajimen – we all leave 
gde-majim – you all leave gmajim – you all leave 
wde-majik – they leave (w)majik – they leave 

The short form just drops that “de” and simply adds an “n”, “g”, or “w” to the beginning of the verbs to tell us who is doing the action. Try not to over think this. It is just two different ways to do the same thing. Some verbs in Potawatomi will only conjugate with long form conjugation, but most of the time you can do either/or as your preference dictates.

On Possessives.

Conversation 1

A: Ngi nge’a ndokyan.

A: Ngazhoyem ne ggiwabma?

B: Cho ngi wabmasi gdegazhoyem. Hé, Mani, wde gazhoyen ne ggiwabma?

Mani: Cho ngi wabmasi o!

B: Ahau. Megwa she nwi ndewebna o gde gazhoyem. Gnebech ggiwét.

A: Oh, ékiwadziyan égi nge’ayan o ndokyan!

Conversation 2

1: Ngi ngetomen ndo dabyanmenan

1: Ndo dabyanmenan ne ggiwabdan?

2: Éhe, ézhi ngiwabdan gdo dabyanmewan.

1: Aho, ikshe gwien!

Conversation 3

Kid: Ni pi je ndomkesnen?

Mom: Shkwadémek. Yabjiyen!

Kid: Ni pi je ndo biskewagnem?

Mom: Ézhi! Yabjiyen! Gdo mbusen byéwak!

Kid: Ni pi je ndo shkemotem?

Mom: Shote ndeto node! Kyénep! Kyénep!

Kid: Ok, bama mine shkejiméyek! Gdebanen!

Conversation 4

1: Épa ndewébnayan nmeshomes

2: I yé o ne zhi?

1: Cho, nzheshé o yawe

2: I yé o ne ézhi épanibwet?

1: Cho, n’os o yawe

2: Égwano nene éjajibdebet azhosek, I yé o ne gmeshomes?

1: O Ehé! Nmeshomes yawe!

There is a lot in a word…..


Odan                                       Town

Odanek                                   To the town (locative)

Nemewgemek                         Church

Nemewgemgok                       At the church (locative)

Kigdogemek                           Hall

Kigdogemgok                         At the hall (locative)

Dawewgemek                         Store

Dawewgemgok                       At the store (locative)

Mnekwewgemek                     Hotel/bar

Mnekwewgemgok                  At the hotel/bar (locative)

Nweshmogemek                     Motel

Nweshmogemgok                   At the motel (locative)

Jandewgemek                         Restaurant

Jandewgemgok                       At the restaurant (locative)

Mshkekiwgemek                     Hospital

Mshkekiwgemgok                   At the hospital (locative)

Tbaknegewgemek                   Police station/jail

Tbaknegewgemgok                 At the police station/jail (locative)

Jibewgemek                            Funeral home

Jibewgemgok                          At the funeral home (locative)

Negdoshawgemek                  Barn/horse barn

Negdoshawgemgok                At the barn/horse barn (locative

Okangemek                             Barn

Okangemgok                           At the barn (locative)

Bidiwgemek                            Chicken hut

Bidiwgemgok                         At the chicken hut (locative)

Kenomagewgemek                 School

Kenomagewgemgok              At the school  (locative)

Skonogemek                           School

Skonogemgok                         At the school (locative)

Zhonyewgemek                      Bank

Zhonyewgemgok                    At the bank (locative)

Zhoshwewgemek                    Arena

Zhoshkwewgemgok                At the arena (locative)

Wibtanjigegemek                    Dentist building

Wibtanjigegemgok                  At the dentist building (locative)

Nimidigemek                          Dance hall

Nimidigemgok                        At the dance hall (locative)

Dabyangemek                         Car garage

Dabyangemgok                       At the car garage (locative)

Dabyankegamek                     Garage

Dabyankegemgok                   At the garage (locative)

Gzhadgewgemek                    Day care center

Gzhadgewgemgok                  At the day care center (locative)

Wigwamewgemek                  Tent

Wigwamewgemgok                At the tent (locative)

Nweshmosgemek                    Tent

Nweshmosgemgok                  At the tent (locative)

Bakwiyangemek                     Tent

Bakwiyangemgok                   At the tent (locative)

Debendawgemek                    Tribal enrollment office

Debendawgemgok                  At the tribal enrollment office (locative)

Kewabdangemek                    Child care center

Kewabdangemgok                  At the child care center (locative)

Shkodedabyangemek              Train station

Shkodedabyangemgok           At the train station (locative)

Mzenatsejigewgemek              Movie theatre

Mzenatsejigewgemgok           At the movie theatre (locative)

Tasogemek                              Shed

Tasogemgok                            At the shed (locative)

Zakomewgemek                      Out house

Zakomewgemgok                   At the out house (locative)

Kekyajgemek                          Seniors’ home

Kekyajgemgok                        At the seniors’ home (locative)

Gigenogemek                          Kitchen

Gigenogemgok                        At the kitchen (locative)

Nbagewgemek                                    Bedroom

Nbagewgemgok                      At the bedroom (locative)

Zagech                                    Outside

Mtigon                                    On the tree

Bidek                                      Inside

Zibek                                       At the river (locative)

Kijigbeg                                  At the beach (locative)

Wemtegwaki                           At the forest/woods (locative)

Gteganek                                 At the garden (locative)

Taswenek                                At the cupboard (locative)

Jimanek                                   At the boat/to the boat (locative)

Dopwenek                               On the table

Wigwamewgemgok                At the house (locative)

Dabyanek                                At the car (locative)

Shkodedabyanek                    At the train (locative)

Nbagnek                                  On the bed

Pakwanek                                On the roof