Important Phrases

—General Concepts—

Mookomaan/Mōhkomān: (Anishinaabemowin/Oma͞eqnomenēweqnaesen): “Long Knives.” White person (singular), settler – person from the east.

Pāhsetonaewak: (Oma͞eqnomenēweqnaesen): White people, settlers.

—Politics & Ideology—

Doodem/Otōta͞em/Kahwá:tsire: (Anishinaabemowin/Oma͞eqnomenēweqnaesen/Kanien’kéha): Clan. Whether the clan membership is traditionally patrilineal or matrilineal varies from nation to nation .

Iakoiá:ner: (Kanien’kéha): Clan Mothers, Title Holder, “they know the path”, “good path maker”, “good”, “noble” within the Rotinonshón:ni.

Kaianere’kó:wa: (Kanien’kéha): (ga-yon-eh-ray-go-wa) “The Great Good Way”, “The Great Law”, “The Great Law of Peace”, “The Good Tidings of Peace and Power (and Righteousness)”, “The Great Binding Law”, “The Constitution of the Rotinonshón:ni”.

Ogimaa/Okēmāw/Roiá:ner: (Anishinaabemowin/Oma͞eqnomenēweqnaesen/Kanien’kéha): A chief. The method by which one assumed the position, their powers, and how (if) they could be removed from the position varied highly from nation to nation.


Animikii/Ena͞emaehkiw: (Anishinaabemowin/Oma͞eqnomenēweqnaesen): (uh-nih-mih-kee/eh-nah-meh-kee) “Thunderer.” The Thunderbird. Beings common to many northern and western nations. They are the second highest beings in creation, just below the Great Mystery, existing in both the spirit realm and the material world. They are the defenders of the Earth Mother and her children, the Red Nations.

Dewe’igan Omi’giwen/Enāpahtan Nīmwan: (Anishinaabemowin/Oma͞eqnomenēweqnaesen): The Dream Dance of the Woodlands Algonkian Nations. A post-invasion spiritual movement seeking to create a sense of unity Indigenous Peoples.

Gichi-Manidoo/Ma͞ec-Awa͞etok: (Anishinaabemowin/Oma͞eqnomenēweqnaesen): (gih-chee-muh-nih-doo/mats-ah-watt-ok) The Great Spirit/Mystery. The divine, cosmic, creative force with no human form or attributes.

Kanonsehsneha: (Kanien’kéha): (ga-noon-ses-nay-ha) “The Long House Way”. The traditional ways of the Six Nations Confederacy.

Midewiwin/Metewen: (Anishinaabemowin/Oma͞eqnomenēweqnaesen): The Grand Medicine Society of the Maritimes, New England and Great Lakes regions.

Nanabozho(Nanabush)/Manabush(Manabozho): (Anishinaabemowin/Oma͞eqnomenēweqnaesen): (nay-nuh-boo-zhoo/muh-nuh-boosh) The Trickster or Transformer; a centrally important figure in the stories of the Great Lakes Nations. Also called Michabo, “The Great Hare.”

Nokomis/Nōhkomaeh: (Anishinaabemowin/Oma͞eqnomenēweqnaesen): (noh-kuh-miss/no-kuh-meah). The Earth Mother, Grandmother of Nanabozho/Manabush, whom she raised.