Ojibway

Land of the Long Knives

Land of the Long Knives

Here is a screen caption of a user I follow on Twitter: Anishinabemowin. Their profile reads:

Free resource to learn Anishinaabemowin, Saulteaux, Ojibway and Chippewa

This particular word in the above image translates to the “Land of the Long Knives.” I remember learning about a related word when I was younger. The person told me that sometimes we can refer to “white people” as “gitchi-mookiman” which she told me, meant “Big Knife.” She went on to tell me that it literally was referring to the long knives white people carried with them when they arrived. She also told me that they were also referred to as this because they used their long knives to “cut up the land.” Now I think they probably used those “long knives” to do a lot more than to just “cut up the land.”

Also, I am not sure if the Land of the Long Knives is relating to North America or not, because I don’t think North America belongs to “the Long Knives.”

Note: Obviously, the word presented in the image is a variant or different dialect from the word I was taught. That is a given for any language, whether the language is Aboriginal or not. Gitchi-mookiman is pronounced “get-chi mook-i-mun” as I was taught.

Update: I had a friend tell me that the name Chimookimaning refers to the Bayonets that were used during the war of 1812 and refers to only America. Check out my friend, Andrew Manitowabi on his twitter HERE!

Chi-Miigwetch

Or as some people say nowadays … “Miigs” 😉

I am writing this post because I want to say Thanks to all my readers. I started “Little Miss Kwe” in October 2010. 6 months later. I have written on an array of topics, some light-hearted… and some not-so-lighthearted.

I have received a lot of great feedback in response to this blog. It is exciting for me because I never expected anything from it. I didn’t expect anyone to read it (well, except for my loyal 4 readers a day… *ahem* Thanks to my family). It has been mentioned on APTN (and yes, even bad press is good press). Professionals have asked to read it. People who I don’t even know or have never met, message me and say they read a post I had written and they were inspired. And, this why I am thankful for my readers. You help share it. I didn’t expect any of this to happen and I certainly didn’t expect anyone to read it. But, it is exciting to see “Little Miss Kwe” being shared with others.

Now, I have 50-60 (at most 80) readers a day (I know to some that isn’t a lot … but to me THAT is a lot). On a slow day, 20 readers. I know that this blog is not representative of every single Aboriginal female out there, and I want my readers to know this. These writings are just of my own experiences.

If there is one thing that I want to say to anyone is this: go out and do what it is that you want to do (don’t wait for others). I wanted to start a blog for a long time. I never knew what I wanted to blog about but I wanted to do it. I kept asking others: what should I write about? What do you think about this topic? or How about this for a blog? Then one day, I just realized that I would write about what I know: my experiences as young Aboriginal female in Canadian Society. Then, “Little Miss Kwe” was born.

I have many other dreams, goals, and desires in my life (not just to write my own blog). I am working towards them each and every day. I believe that they will happen. The more I speak about them and share them with others, the more I feel that they are going to happen. So don’t be afraid to share your dreams with anyone else. Who knows you might meet someone one day who can help you or get you in contact with the right person? 😉

But always remember: It is only you that can make your own dreams true…

Oh, and “Chi-Miigwetch” means “Big Thank You” as I was taught 😉

Little Miss Kwe

So the other day someone said, “I saw your blog, it said ‘qu-we.'”

For those that don’t know, I am Aboriginal. More specifically I am Three Fires. Even more specifically, Ojibwe, Odawa, Potawatomi. But I learned to speak three different dialects of Ojibwe back in elementary school and high school. I didn’t learn much beyond animals, numbers, places, directions, some actions which is one of the multigenerational effects of Residential schools: loss of language–as Aboriginal children weren’t allowed to speak their native tongue (if they did, they were severely punished).

One of the things I do remember being taught is that “Kwe” means “Woman” or “Lady.” Yes, there are different spellings and I am going off the spelling I was taught in elementary school by my favourite teacher: Mrs. Naogizic (whose name I forget how to spell, sorry!)

I don’t know why I chose “Little Miss Kwe” as my blog name. I guess I wanted it to have some sort of Aboriginal vibe to it. But in truth, I think it sounds nice… Little Miss Kwe. (Oh and “Kwe” is pronounced “q’way.”)

I figured I would write about this and share with it since someone already thought it said “qu-we” (and this person actually pronounced the “we” as the actual English word “we”). Not their fault, but I corrected them. “We” in Ojibwe is pronounced “way.” I guess that sums it up with what I am really trying to say.