Bodewadmimwen Kenomagewen ngot

Historical origins of the
Algonquian language family
At one time long ago our language and in
fact people were one nation that over
many hundreds of years broke apart and
formed separate tribes. Today if you look
at these tribes there are still similarities in
our beliefs and traditions. Also there are
some similarities in our languages
especially the structure. Over the years
our languages have continued to change
so many words are much different today.
These tribes which come from the
algonquian language family are quite
numerous and include shawnee, kickapoo,
sac and fox, menomenee, abanaki,
delaware, odawa, ojibwe, cree, blackfoot,
cheyenne, miami, as well as other tribes
on the east coast and even a few believed
to be algonquian in origin as far away as
Historical origins of our language
The tribes which are closest to our own
language are Ojibwe or chippewa, and
Odawa or Ottawa.
 It is believed and we have stories that at
one time the Potawatomi,Ojibwe and
Odawa were one nation speaking a
common language. In fact the similarities
of our languages support this belief.
Potawatomi historical origins
The language comes from one of five
major language families in the United
states the Algonquian language families.
Other languages from this family have
similarities in vocabulary and structure.
Some other languages from this group are
nee,Shawnee, but perhaps the closest is
Odawa followed by Ojibwe
Other influences
There is also evidence that we had close
relations with the sac and fox and
kickapoo tribes after our intial split.
 Also there are words which are believed to
have been borrowed from the french.
Within the Citizen Potawatomi you still see
many of those French names so this is
definitely believable.
Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi
Often it is the difference of an extra vowel.
The ojibwe call us vowel droppers.
Sac and Fox word similarities
Fox word
Potawatomi word
 Meshkwi- red
 Mahkatêwi- black
 Shâka- nine
 Nekoti- one
 Êsepana- raccoon
Kickapoo similarities
Kickapoo words
Potawatomi words
 Aamoa- bee
 Ayaapeeha- buck
 netooni – my mouth ndon- my mouth
Words of possible French origin
Bozho- hello
 Bonjour- hello
 Byan- come
 bya- verb to come in French
A deeper understand of who we
are as a people
As you continue to learn our language you will
have a unique window into the past. Through
our language you will undoubtly learn a lot
about our culture and what it meant and
continues to mean to be Potawatomi. Our
language is considered animate or alive because
it is considered spiritual in nature. So the actual
act of speaking the language is a spiritual act
and will help connect you to your ancestors.