Great Lakes in Cree

Thanks to Elder Barry Ahenakew, who provided the names of the Great Lakes in a video mapping session with First Nations University Geographer Andrew Miller at a 2021 Indigenous Mapping Workshop held in Regina, and thanks to Andy Miller for sharing his data from that session.

kihcikamiya “seas, oceans, great bodies of water”
kihci-sâkahikan lit., “the great lake” (contemporary Lake Ontario)
onâtawêwi-sâkahikan lit., “Huron/Mohawk/Iroquois Lake” (contemporary Lake Erie)
misikamiy lit., “big waters” (contemporary Lake Michigan)
kihcikamîs lit., “little ocean” (contemporary Lake Superior)
ocipwêwi-sâkahikan lit., “Ojibwe Lake” (contemporary Lake Huron)

Barry notes that the Cree names reflect the pre-contact territories of the Huron/Mohawk/Iroquois (further to the south), and the Ojibwe, further to the north than they are today.

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