Category: kaakiihtwaam

Lesson 2

Welcome to Lesson 2 … but first, a word from our sponsor:

And this is how you can address our sponsor (or sponsors) …

Relationships are everything to us Michif.

Our language is based on our relationships to each other as Michif, to the land, to our ancestors (both born and unborn), and to non-Michif.

Noohkoom (Grandma) and Mii Taante (my Aunties) said our language was one of the main reasons we were so successful as harvesters, hunters, and organizers. Beginning in the early 1800s, many people began to venture into what is now Western Canada, and many languages being spoken.

We Michif were commonly fluent in multiple languages, which made us natural translators and guides. And just as Noohkoom was super secretive about her favourite berry-picking spot, we were secretive about our tactics in pursuit of food, clothing, tools, etc. (again, thank you to our sponsor) …

Here are some words for those close to us:

Mother … probably didn’t need to sound this one out.
Or this one … Father.

Here are some alternate words you’ll hear for Mother and Father. I’ve also added the possessives to denote that the speaker is talking specifically about his/her own Mother and Father.

MY” Mother AND Father.

What about “YOUR” Mother and Father?

I’m glad you asked …

“YOUR” Mother AND Father.

A person might also use the French versions of your Mother and your Father. In that case: Congratulations! You obviously speak some French.

Now, back to our language.

In my view, Grandmother is the most important word you’ll come across. It’s a word that represents the Earth, Nature, and the women who carried the lives of all the men and women who came before us … and will come after us.

You’ll frequently hear people refer to Grandmothers in general with this word:

That word refers to Grandmothers in general, or, specifically to “YOUR” Grandmother (as in, if I’m referring to your Grandma, that’s the word I would use).

In reference to “MY” Grandmother, I’ll use this word:

“MY” Grandmother.


Lesson 1

Okay … there are two rules of Michif club.

Here is the first:


And here is the second:


Don’t those phrases sound alike? That’s because the second word (the word for “practice”) is really just repeat again, and again, and again …

There are many ways to say hello.

Here’s the one you’ll hear most frequently (for more information on this, please see

Hello (kind of …)

This is how we ask another person (one person) how they are:

How are you?

And here’s how we might greet a group:

Hello (to more than one person)

And here are more (depending upon the situation, of course):

Good morning!
Good afternoon!
Good evening?

And, finally, two ways of saying your name (I’ll use my own name, but please use yours … unless your name is also Graham, then you can borrow my name …). One is arguably more tricky:

My name is [insert your name here].
[Insert your name here] is what I am named.