With the start of festival, attendees are encouraged to try and use some Potawatomi words while visiting the various activities taking place this weekend. Below are some basic phrases and responses, and the Potawatomi dictionary can be found online here. Potawatomi words spelled out in English like below don’t require any accent, just read the word slowly at first and then speed up your pronunciation as you feel comfortable.

It is a little daunting at first, but as Potawatomi it is up to us to continue the tradition of our spoken language.

In order to get a little more interest going, the Language Department has put together a scavenger hunt using Potawatomi words. The first clue is in each bag Festival attendees get when they arrive and sign in at the Registration location. The first clue will lead you to a location where another clue awaits you. Again, check out the Potawatomi dictionary we provide online here, or check out a dictionary we have provided at the Library in the Cultural Heritage Center.

As for incentive, there is the opportunity to learn about your heritage. And $50, $75 and $100 gift cards and other items from the FireLake Gift Shop inside the CPN Cultural Heritage Center.

Happy hunting!


Hello, how are you? – Ni je na, gin?

  • Good, how are you? – Anwé she shena! Gin jé?
  • Hot, but having fun! – Gshatémget, nesh je chikazkéyan!
  • Happy to be here at Festival. – Nchikazo shodé Mawjeshnowen.

What is your name? – Gdezhnekas né?

  • My name is _____ –  _______ ndezhnekas.

Nice to meet you. – Ahau

Where are you from? – Ni je pi wech bya?

  • I am from _________. –  _________ ndoch bya.
  • I am from Oklahoma. Oklahoma ndoch bya.

What family are you from? – Wég wni je gde-mezodanem?

  • I am a descendent of the _______ family. – _________ ndaw.

Where is the pow-wow ground? – Ni je pi e-zhe nimédi kik?

  • Just north of the water tower .- Wech ksenyak béshoch i kché mbish mkek.
  • On the West side of Gordon Cooper Drive. – Wech bgéshmok Gordon Cooper Drive-ek.
  • I don’t know. – Nmetsena

Where are the restrooms? – Ni je pi nodé e-zhe zagmowgemekenek?

  • Men’s restrooms are there. – Nené miziwgemek ibe (points with lips in direction of men’s room)
  • Women’s restrooms are there. – Kwé zagmowgemek ibe (points with lips in direction of men’s room)

Where are tribal roles? – Ni je pi e-zhe dbendagwezéwgemek?

  • I need an ID card – Nmnezo dbendagwenzéwen mzenegenen.
  • I want to learn about my family history. – N-nedwendan kkendeman nde-mezodanem debwéwen.

Where is the court? – Ni je pi e-zhe dbakwnegéwgemek?

  • I would like to vote. – Nwimedagwendan gishpen gedasyan.
  • It is in the Administration building. – Ibe e-zhe nagangemek.