#DRAFT# English-Language Exonyms and Indigenous Endonyms of Manitoba Indigenous Peoples and Languages

This is currently a draft/work-in-progress. Suggestions and contributions are welcome.

The following chart attempts to identify the terminology used by English-speakers and Indigenous language-speakers when referring to Indigenous peoples and their languages in Manitoba.

Endonyms are the terms used by people within their own communities. Exonyms are the terms (in this case, English-language) used by outsiders to those communities. Using exonyms are much like calling someone “Susie” when they prefer to be called “Susan” [8] — using endonyms is a step toward showing respect for the identities of community members.

Peoples Languages
Exonym Endonym Exonym Endonym Examples
Cree [1] In in o wak, Iyiniwok, Ininiwok (“the people”) Cree [3] Ininimowin
ᑲ ᐃᓯ ᐱᑭᐢᑫᔹᐠ
tânisi ᑖᓂᓯ (hello),(thanks)
Cree, Plains Nehiyawak ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐊᐧᐠ [2] Plains Cree
(y-dialect) [3]
Nêhiyawêwin ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐁᐧᐃᐧᐣ [2]
Cree, Swampy Nēhinaw Swampy Cree
(n-dialect*) [3]
Nēhinawēwin [4]
Cree, Woods Nīhithaw Woods Cree
(th-dialect) [3]
Dakota [1] Dakhóta Oyáte Dakota [1] Dakȟótiyapi Iyuskin/kuwa (welcome), ho/han (hello), (thanks)
Dene [1] Dene [1] Dene [3] Dëne Sųłiné wotziye (hello), (thanks)
tunngasugit (welcome), ai ᐊᐃ
Inuit [1, 3] Inuit ᐃᓄᐃᑦ Inuktitut [3] Inuktitut ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ (hello),
qujannamik ᖁᔭᓐᓇᒥᒃ (thank you)
Métis [1] Métis Michif [1] Michif Peehtikway (welcome), tánishi (hello), marsee (thanks)
Oji-Cree Anishinini [5] Oji-Cree [1, 3] Anishininiimowin ᐊᓂᔑᓂᓂᒧᐏᐣ [5] aaniin (hello), (thanks)
Ojibway [1] Ojibweg
Anishinaabeg [6]
Ojibway [3] Ojibwemowin [6]
Anishinaabemowin [6]
aaniin (welcome), boozhoo (hello), miigwech (thanks)


[8] Vowel, C. (2016). Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit issues in Canada. Winnipeg, Canada: Portage & Main Press.

[1] McMillan, A. & Yellowhorn, E. First peoples in Canada. (D & M Publishers, 2009).

[2] Online Cree Dictionary. Available at: http://www.creedictionary.com/. (Accessed: 15th October 2016)

[3] Statistics Canada. Manitoba (Code 46) (table). National Household Survey (NHS) Aboriginal Population Profile. 2011 National Household Survey. (Statistics Canada, 2013).

[4] Cree language, scripts and pronunciation. Available at: http://www.omniglot.com/writing/cree.htm. (Accessed: 15th October 2016)

[5] Oji-Cree syllabary, pronunciation and language. Available at: http://www.omniglot.com/writing/ojicree.htm. (Accessed: 15th October 2016)

[6] Doerfler, J., Sinclair, N. J. & Stark, H. K. Centering Anishinaabeg studies: Understanding the world through stories. (Michigan State University Press ; Winnipeg, 2013).


* Swampy Cree has an eastern and a western dialect which differ in the use of the š. In the western dialect, š has merged with s.

This article contains Canadian Aboriginal syllabics characters. If question marks, boxes, or other symbols appear instead of the syllabics, please install and enable a font, such as DejaVu Sans, that provides the appropriate glyphs.

Image credit: Downtown Winnipeg BIZ (http://downtownwinnipegbiz.com/indigenous-languages-celebrated-downtown-business-city-recreation-centres-install-decals-with-message-of-welcome/)

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