Ėthë Bodwéwadmimwat


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Ėthë Bodwéwadmimwat means "Where they speak Potawatomi." Click here to listen to the pronunciation. 

Chapter 9 of Potawatomi Language Course is Available Now!

The Pokagon Ėthë Bodwéwadmimwat Department is pleased to announce that chapter nine of the Bodwéwadmimwen Potawatomi Language Course through the Mango Languages App is available now! 

Chapter nine provides learners with the language needed to communicate about locations and professions. In addition, users will also learn how to incorporate grammar into their speaking.  Examples include the following goals.   

Conversational Goals

  • Describe wants and likes
  • Say what color something is
  • Say where you saw or found something
  • State whether you remember or know something
  • Talk about common animals

Grammar Goals

  • Form the conjunct forms of (VTI) <-dan.-an> verbs
  • Form the diminuitive
  • Learn the obviative
  • Make the plural form of objects or beings
  • State the color of something by using (VII) and (VAI) color verbs
  • Use (VTI) <-dan> verbs singular and plural, animate and inanimate
  • Use participle forms of colors for singular and plural, animate and inanimate
  • Use patterns for vowel deletion
  • Use plural demonstratives <ni>, <nodë>, and <godë>
  • Work with (VTA) verbs singular and plural independent forms

The Mango Languages App containing the Bodwéwadmimwen Potawatomi Language Course is available for free download in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store!

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Ėthë Bodwéwadmimwat Team Memebers

Rhonda Purcell, Director
(269) 783-9027 

Carla Collins, Advanced Language Specialist
(269) 462-4334

Kyle Malott, Advanced Language Specialist
(269) 462-0586

Dejonay Morseau, Language Apprentice

Margaret Long, Language Appentice


Ėthë Bodwéwadmimwat

(269) 783-3138
58653 Sink Rd.
Dowagiac MI, 49047

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Learning the Language

Want to jump start your language learning?

The Pokagon Band Language Department offers programs, classes, and resources for those interested in learning the Potawatomi language. If you are a beginner or just wanting to learn the basics of Bodwéwadmimwen. Click here for our Language Basic Essentials page. 

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Check Out Resources That are Provided or Recommend to Citizens

  1. All Seasons Potawatomi Language Coloring Books on our Language Basic Essentials page.
  2. Children’s Potawatomi Language Learning DVD’s (call L&C | $10/2-DVD set)
  3. Children’s Potawatomi Language Storybooks (call L&C | $10/6-book set)
  4. A Gathering is Happening Today book ($7.08)
  5. Macy Goes to the Stars book ($12.95 + shipping)

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Bodéwadmi Language Learning Resources

Utilize our first app called Bodwéwadmimwen to label everything in your home!

You can now download the Bodwéwadmimwen language app onto your Apple, Kindle, and Android devices for free! Just search "Bodwéwadmimwen" on iTunesAmazon, or GooglePlay.

Utilize our newest Mango Languages app to learn sentence structure and your introduction which is introduced in Chapter 1. We now have 7 chapters! 

We also recommend you utilize our amazing online archival program created by our very own talented citizen and L&C Archivist, Blaire Topash-Caldwell. The online archival program is home to many language audio files, historical information and photos from our very own Potawatomi/Pokagon history.

If you want to hear some old recordings of Martin Wesaw or Julia Wesaw, check out this collection of recordings housed at the University of California, Berkeley online language library.

  1. Use this link to search the audio file library.
  2. Enter “Potawatomi: into the search field
  3. Click “Filter by Language- Potawatomi”

If you have access to Facebook, we have two interactive language pages for you to follow”

It is our individual effort that contributes to the whole mission of learning and using our Bodéwadmi sound. Who we are should be at the forefront of everything we do and it is our language that leads us in showing us who we have been, who we are, and who we will always be.

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Forest County Potawatomi Dictionary

You can order you very own Potawatomi dictionary! Here's all you need to know:

  • The dictionaries are $85.00 a piece, depending on how many you would like to purchase. The Forest County Cultural Library & Museum can calculate shipping costs for you and send you a final invoice.
  • The Forest County Cultural Library & Museum accepts all forms of payment. If you are order via check/money order/purchase order, they will mail the dictionaries out after we receive payment.
  • The dictionaries are shipped priority mail, and they can provide a tracking number, if needed.

Order your dictionary online, or contact Tribal Librarian Samantha R. Smith, (715) 478-4841, today!

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Intro to Bodwéwadmimwen

The Pokagon Band Language Program has made the Intro to Bodwéwadmimwen available as an iBook! It can be downloaded on any Mac device (Mac computer or iPad).

This digital version is complete with video to make learning Potawatomi easier and more accessible. It also includes audio clips from our late elders: Julia Wesaw, Luella Louis and Martin Wesaw. Help revitalize our language and download this book today.

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Bodwéwadmimwen Language App on Mango 

After months of collaboration between our tribe’s Language Program and Mango Languages, a language-training company, the first chapter of our Potawatomi Language Course has launched. This is the first of ten chapters planned for phase one of the course.

The first Bodwéwadmimwen Language App the Language Program launched focuses solely on vocabulary, but this new app course teaches phrases and sentence structure. The Language Program realized that not only as a Band, but as a Potawatomi Nation, there is no set curriculum for teaching Potawatomi to new language learners. 

“I knew we needed to head into a direction that was going to utilize technology to help us identify how we structure Potawatomi curriculum that advances learners and asses their progression,” said Rhonda Purcell, language coordinator.

Rhonda tasked citizen Corinne Kasper, a graduate from Dartmouth with a degree in linguistics, with identifying a developer the Language Program could partner with. Rhonda and her team quickly realized that language course app developers did not want to work with a language like Potawatomi that has such a small audience. Duolingo gave no response, but Mango did.

The Language Program entered a contract with Mango Languages after speaking before Tribal Council to request the needed funds. Tribal Council approved their request, and they are now in the final stages of course creation for chapter 1.

The first chapter teaches conversational language that learners can use in real life immediately. Those who complete all ten chapters, Rhonda says, will have a well-rounded grasp of the structure of Potawatomi.

“This is truly something I wish I could’ve had access to when I started learning this language,” Rhonda says about the course.

This first phase of the Potawatomi course will include ten chapters. These chapters will teach “survival language,” as Rhonda puts it, which will include phrases and questions that learners will need for any conversation. The next phases will dive deeper and teach more descriptive language, though Rhonda says learners will not gain fluency through this app.

“Fluency cannot be created through technology,” Rhonda says. “Fluency comes from face to face interactions.”
Emphasis, sounds, tonal fluctuation, and more can only be learned from genuine conversations, Rhonda explained. Otherwise, “you’ll sound exactly like the technology that you’re learning from.”

This course will ensure all citizens, no matter where they live, can learn our Potawatomi language. 

“We’re always striving to create meaningful language learning resources that help move us toward our goal as a Potawatomi speaking community and nation,” Rhonda said.

Rhonda says other Potawatomi nations are eager to use the course we’re creating, and she hopes it will inspire other nations to invest in language learning.

“No one Band is going to save this language,” Rhonda says.

The Potawatomi Language course is available for free to everyone. Mango Languages previously partnered with the Cherokee Nation to create a Cherokee language course.

All ten chapters will be published by the end of 2020 on a staggered released. The Language Program plans to continue working with Mango Languages to create many more chapters after the initial ten for our Potawatomi app course.

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Migwėtth for all of your commitment that have taken us this far.