Native Ways of Introducing Yourself - Some Examples
We have a tradition in Native IV of introducing ourselves in a manner of many indigenous peoples, by giving not only our name but our important relations. Those relations generally include our people, not just our immediate family but some of our extended family, clan, tribe or ethnicity. It also includes our relation to our place. These relations, all gifts of our Creator, not only shape and define who we are, but are the gifts we bring to each other as we broaden and deepen our family.
Different tribes have somewhat different ways of introducing. We want you to be at ease introducing yourself, so we are starting to collect some examples that might help you get started as you learn more about yourself and the ways of your people. For many of us, though the everyday use of our language has been lost, we retain the use of some words and many work to learn more. If you like, please use what words you know, treasuring what your have rather than feeling ashamed about what you don't.
Terry M. Wildman
Translation from Ojibwe: Hello my friends who share this life together with me. My spirit name that was given to me is Gitchi Animiki Meno Mashkiki Manido—Voice of Great Thunder with a Good Medicine Spirit, I am also known as Terry Wildman. It feels good to be here with all of you in this place.
I am honored today to greet all of you in the language of my Ojibwe Anishinaabe ancestors. I grew up in the land of the Anishinaabeg in the region of the Great Waters of Mishigami. Like so many of our Native people I mourn the fact that I do not speak our language. But I was gifted with this greeting that I learned from an Ojibwe friend who knows and teaches Ojibwe Moen, the language of our people.
On my father’s side, my grandfather was a mixed-blood Ojibwe of the Anishinaabe of the Great Lakes Region and English. My grandmother was also mixed blood of the Yaqui of Sonora Mexico along with Spaniard and German. I do not know my heritage on my mother’s side. I have greeted you today from the land of the Pima and the Tohono O'odham where I now live in what today is called Arizona.
Ya'at'eeh everyone! My name is Rashawn Ramone. I'm Dine'/Navajo. I'm Mud Clan, born of Mexican Clan, my maternal clan is Bitter Water, and paternal clan is Red Running into the Water. As a matrilineal society, we come from our mother's side of the family. I grew up on the Eastern Agency of the Navajo Nation. I'm grateful to grew with the Navajo language in my family and I want to continue the language. I grew up with my Navajo traditions and learn more of the Jesus Way in college. I'm grateful to be part of the community Creator gave me.
Hau Mitakuyepi, My Name is Courtland Hopkins, I am the Son of James Rattling Leaf and Elizabeth Hopkins. I am Sicangu Lakota and I greet you with a Good Heart and a Handshake Vale and Doksa, Courtland