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“Anishinaabemowin (also called Ojibwemowin, the Ojibwe/Ojibwa language, or Chippewa) is an Indigenous language, generally spanning from Manitoba Québec with a strong concentration around the Great Lakes. Elders share that the term Anishinaabemowin acknowledges the creation story of the Ojibwe people: “Anishinaabe” means “the spirit that is lowered down from above,” “-mo” refers to expression through speech and “-win” refers to the life energy within, used to do so. Linguists also explain that “-win” is a nominalizer that turns the verb Anishinaabemo (“he/she is speaking the Anishinaabe language”) into a noun.” – The Canadian Encyclopedia

ojibwe episodes

Ojibwe Speakers


Robert is Anishinaabe, raised in his people on the Lake Manitoba First Nation located in the Interlake Region of Manitoba. Robert is a pipe carrier, sweat lodge-keeper and attends the annual ceremony of Sundance. Robert has also hosted Warrior lodges and Eagle dances, to name a few. Over the years, Robert has served his Lake Manitoba First Nation community as both a Council member and Chief. Robert was also a Health Director in two First Nation communities and the Senior Health Policy Analyst for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs.



Henry Pitawanakwat is with the Three Fires Confederacy from Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory. He is very fluent in all dialects, which may also include Chippewa and Algonquin. With over 40 years of research experience, Henry has worked as an archaeologist,  an internship at the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, now Museum of History, and is a member of translators for the Translation Bureau Government of Canada. He was one of the Translators at the Federal Election Debate in 2019. Henry enjoys working with the language and is also qualified to teach the language, which is in danger of becoming extinct.


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A aAa aaB bCh chD dE eG g
H hI iIi iiJ jK kM m
N nO oOo ooP pS sSh shT t
W wY yZ zZh zh   
Other letters     

Kitchi-Manitou – The Great Spirit.

Minopimatiziwin– A good and healthy journey in life.

WahbungIn reference to the future, our Tomorrows. The word Wahbung originally comes from the root word Wahbanang, which refers to the east, the direction of the rising sun, in this context meaning going back to the beginning to our birth, beginning, and vision as a People. Anang means “star” in Anishinaabemowin, and thus, Wahbanang also refers to the star of the east, the first light of the morning star, and the evening star, which is the planet Venus We receive our knowledge from the stars.

Shawanang–Direction of the south. As we travel from the East to the South, we receive our teachings along the way. By the time we reach the cardinal point of the South, we have received our teachings.

Niingaabii-anang– Direction of the West, the direction of the ancestors. Those who have gone to the next world have left us their history and teachings. It is in this direction we can receive this knowledge.

Keewatinang– Direction of the North. The root word is Keekeeyaymin, meaning “going home”. When we move the Pipe in the direction of the North, we do so with the intent to restore our way of life, and the way we do things.

InaakonigayminanDescribing the practice of ceremony, to connect people to the land and spirit world and to reach out to Creator through prayer. Example: A Pipe ceremony.

 NikanisitookAll my relatives in life. Can also mean all those that came before me (older relations) Midemoway– Refers to the Grandmothers, “teachers of the heart”.

Akiwenzii “man of the Earth,” reflecting the responsibility of the Grandfather Elders in sharing and teaching about the laws of the Earth and our spiritual way of life, connected to the land.

Waywaynay Bizindun – Listen carefully.

Ojijaakun– The spirit.

Mayaaganane da gokojijaakon– The most important element of our lives is the spirit.

Neesaynayojijaakon – The spirit is very low, and needs to be uplifted and nurtured, to help bring joy back to life.

 Ogichitibakonigewin– The Great Binding Law of the Great Spirit.

Abinoojii Kagekwewin  – Teachings that are given to a child, that last forever, that can only be given by woman; referring to the teachings given by our mothers, grandmothers, and essentially by our first mother, Mother Earth. The foundation of education.

 Mamanan Mide Aki– Our good-hearted mother land, Mother Earth.

 Endosondaanimak Mushkiki – Four Directions Medicine, made from cedar, sweetgrass, sage, and weekay, prayed overusing tobacco and boiled together in the water.

GichiGiizhigongMushkiki– Heaven’s Medicine.

Mamawaymowin– Everyday common language.

Anami-aymowin – Prayer, ceremonial language).

 Nibi– Water.

Gii-mii-ni-gō-wi-zi-nan– Sacred bundles.

Paagun– Pipe.






MadoodswanSweat Lodge ceremonies.

Ishkotay– Sacred Fire.

Asaymaawooshk– Tobaccoties.

Maagoday– Ribbon skirts.

Babaagowaanan– Ribbon shirts.

Mashkiki – Medicine.

Kiizhaywatisiwin-The first teaching we receive from our Grandmothers, the teaching of kindness.

 Ongomiizwin– To be very careful, to look in all four directions to be aware of all the determinants and factors that bring to bear on an issue, and to think things through very carefully before making a decision, one that does right by our sacred laws and by our children and future generations.


Indigenous Thought

Anishinaabe inendamowin–Anishinabe thought.




This term reflects the role of the leader, describing the responsibilities that a leader has to carry, the ceremonies, and walking in front to lead and guide the People.

Ogichita Describes the warrior – the peaceful leader who serves his people, reflecting and supporting the spiritual laws, the natural laws, and providing for and supporting the women in their responsibilities as both works to center the children and youth in the heart of the Nation.

Ogichi (Anishinabemowin) – Great, or higher.

Ogimaakwe (Anishinaabemowin) – The woman leader who understands, accepts, and lives her responsibility as a life-giver, who has prioritized teaching, loving, and guiding the children in our way of life, in her duties and responsibilities to speak for the water, and in supporting the men in their responsibilities.



 The materials written and provided by Robert Maytwayashing.

Spiritual and Natural Laws


Ogichitibakonigaywin – The Great Binding Law


Seven Sacred Laws and Seven Animals

As Shared by Dr. David Courchene, Jr.



  1. Manachiitiwin Respect

Mushkodebizhiki                         Buffalo


  1. Zaagii-idiwin Love

Ginew                                          Eagle


  1. Zoongi-tay-iwin Courage

Makwa                                         Bear


  1. Gway-a-kwaa-diziwin Honesty

Sabe                                             Sasquatch


  1. Nibaakaawin Wisdom

Amik                                            Beaver


  1. Da-ba-sayn-da-mowin Humility

Ma-iingan                                     Wolf


  1. Day-bway-win Truth

Mikinak                                        Turtle


Onjinaywin Law of the Circle. This Law says that whatever we put into our circle returns to us multiplied. 



Written and provided by Robert Maytwayashing