Animal Names in Ojibwe

  • Ma’iingan- Wolf
  • Ginebig- Snake
  • Bimiiskodisii- Snail
  • Apakwaanaajiihn- Bat
  • Gwiingwa’aage- Wolverine
  • Enigoons(ag)- Ant
  • Makwa(g)-Bear
  • Aamoo(g)-Bee
  • Bineshii(yag)- Bird
  • Gaazhagins(ag)- Cat
  • Bakwe’aakwe(yag)- Chicken
  • Bizhiki(wag)- Cow
  • Mooshka’oosi(wag)- Crane
  • Aandeg(wag)- Crow
  • Waawaakeshi(wag)- Deer
  • Animosh(ag)- Dog
  • Zhiishiib(ag)- Duck
  • Migizi(wag)- Bald eagle
  • Giigoo(wag)- Fish
  • Ojins(ag)- Fly
  • Waagosh(ag)- Fox
  • Omakakii(g)- Frog
  • Gekek(wag)- Hawk
  • Mooz(oog)- Moose
  • Zagime(g)- Mosquito
  • Waawaabigonooji(yag)- Mouse
  • Gookooko'oo(g)- Owl
  • Nigig(wag)-Otter
  • Gookoosh(ag)- Pig

Roughly translated as Love from Anishinaabemowin.

Zaagi’ = a state that describes an unconditional flowing out

idi = a root form of Ode, or Heart

-win = suffix meaning using life’s energy to form an action.

Zaagi'idiwin, then, describes the state of living your life with an open heart, from which flows unconditional love and care.


Nibwaakaawin—Wisdom: To cherish knowledge is to know Wisdom. Wisdom is given by the Creator to be used for the good of the people.

Zaagi’idiwin—Love: To know peace is to know Love. Love must be unconditional. When people are weak they need love the most.

Minaadendamowin—Respect: To honor all creation is to have Respect. All of creation should be treated with respect. You must give respect if you wish to be respected.

Aakode’ewin—Bravery: Bravery is to face the foe with integrity. To do what is right even when the consequences are unpleasant.

Gwayakwaadiziwin—Honesty: Honesty in facing a situation is to be brave. Always be honest in word and action. Be honest first with yourself, and you will more easily be able to be honest with others.

Dabaadendiziwin—Humility: Humility is to know yourself as a sacred part of Creation. You are equal to others, but you are not better.

Debwewin—Truth: Truth is to know all of these things. Speak the truth. Do not deceive yourself or others.

You will not find empires in my eyes
or cathedrals in these bones.
In this smile you will find echoes of a wolf’s howl,
in my teeth I carry left behind pieces of flesh of those who came before you.
—  Shadow Angelina Starkey

In response to this post, have an Anishinaabeg “Native American Aesthetic” populated by my friends and family.

1. Me, at a protest of the Washington Football Team

2. Somebody’s hand in the maple sugar at Sugar Bush, photo by my aunt 

3. A friend’s mom, praying, at an event

4. My aunt and uncle, at their traditional wedding

5. A friend’s super pretty beaded moccasins

6. My uncle harvesting wild rice

My point is basically… we’re still here.  We’re alive, we do things.

We are many peoples, diverse and vibrant. We are more than stereotypes.

We’re not your noble savage, we’re not your eco porn, we’re not your mascots.

And there is no honor in racism.