Water is Language

This teaching is based on current work being done by the Decolonizing Water collective on revitalizing Indigenous languages.


Kegedonce John Borrows shares some teachings about Nibi.



Also known as Ojibwemowin and Ojibwe, Anishinaabemowin is a language that is spoken by the Anishinaabe people. Some Anishinaabemowin words are listed below.


Bimaadiziwin - Life

Nibi - Water (I am coming towards you)

Ni- I

Bi - To come towards

Ni Bimaadiziwin - I am life

Neyaashiinigmiing - Point of land surrounded by water on three sides

Kegedonce John Borrows teaches us about mashkiki and manidooshensag.

eagles1 (1).jpg

Chichigaawesiinh - Cricket (literally “those little ones who chew things up”)

Chigeyate-wemitigozhi-minibaashki-minisagani-biitoosijigani-zhegwaabikinigani-bakwezhigan - Blueberry pie (literally “Old time French man picking berries and putting them between bread, putting them in the oven and watching it explode”)

Noodin - Wind

Tisaaweshii - Cicada

2J0A0304.MOV.18_20_33_02.Still001 (1).jpg


Manidooshensag - Insects (literally- little spirits)

Manidoo - Spirit, Manitou

Mashkiki - Plants (the strength of the earth)

Mash- Strength

Aki - Earth