ahaw nôtinikî-pimihâkana, ahaw! Go Jets Go!

This same day that we celebrate Fred Sasakamoose’s appointment to the Order of Canada (May 2018), we (in Winnipeg, at least) are also celebrating Game 1 of the NHL Western Conference Finals between the Winnipeg Jets and the Las Vegas Knights. Maybe it’s time for some Cree-language hockey terms!

I asked #CreeSimonSays, and he suggested the following (all dialect neutral and commonly said)


  • wâpiskisîyotân = let’s dress in white
  • wâpiskâw = it is white in colour
  • wâpiskisîho = dress in white
  • wâpiskisîhowak = they are dressed in white
  • kawâpiskâw = it will be white in colour
  • My favourite (also from Simon): kawāpiskipayiw = it will turn white

Since Whiteout is also a metaphor for a blizzard, I found these two words (but isn’t that the name of another team?)

  • pîwani-yôtin, and kostâmikwan


For Jets, I could only find pimihâkan(-ak) = airplane(s).  They say the Predators burnt a small plane as part of their pre-series ritual: A lot of good that did them!

Simon provided:  nōtinikī-piminākana  Fighting planes, (n dialect)


(Thanks to Simon and to Mary Cardinal Collins for help with these!)

  • awâs! for ‘Go!’ (to one person), but if you need to yell at the whole team at once, use awâsitik for ‘Go, All of you!’
  • kisiskâpayiw (vai) = ‘go fast’ (but be really careful with your vowel length: kîsipayiw (vii) = ‘ends, terminates’
  • ahkamêyimoh = keep it up, persist
  • sohkih = go hard
  • kweyaho = hurry .
  • tahkahkih = good on u!
  • ahaw = Let’s go!
  • ahaw mâka = Come on!


For play-by-play, here’s a great example from Clarence “Tsi-boy” Iron at CFNK Radio (89.9 FM, PineHouse) Find more at the CFNK FaceBook Group.

And from Kevin Lewis, the most important play-by-play phrase of all:

  • kitâskwêw, pihtakwatâw!!!!! = He shoots, he scores!!!

Other hockey terms:

And finally, some other general hockey vocabulary from the online itwêwina dictionary:

  • atihkwasiniy (hockey stone, puck; caribou testicle)
  • sôniskwâtahikêwikamik (arena, hockey rink)
  • sôniskwâtahikêwin (skating; hockey)
  • sôniskwâtahikêw (skate; play hockey; ski)
  • okipahowêw (jailer, prison guard; goalie, goalkeeper, goaltender)
  • ohciyâkêw (win from, over people (with things); score a win)
  • mêtawêwin (game, contest, sport; dialogue)
  • okipahowêw (jailer, prison guard; goalie, goalkeeper, goaltender)

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