Mary Ann Naokwegijig-Corbiere and Rand Valentine
Web dictionary development:
Marie-Odile Junker and Rand Valentine
Web database programming:
Delasie Torkornoo
Funding to develop the web version:
SSHRC (grant # 435-2014-1199)
ISBN:# 9780770905835


The Nishnaabemwin Web Dictionary contains over 12,000 words. It represents the Odawa dialects spoken along the shores of Lake Huron, with a particular emphasis on the varieties spoken on Manitoulin Island, where fluency is by far the greatest. It also documents Eastern Ojibwe.

It contains copious examples, drawn from both published and unpublished text materials, as well as thousands of examples created by co-editor Dr. Mary Ann Naokwegijig-Corbiere, a prominent Nishnaabemwin educator and fluent speaker of Manitoulin Odawa. It represents the result of 20 years of careful and intensive documentary research conducted by the editors with elders and speakers of the language, including on-site elicitation and checking sessions in almost all communities where the language is still spoken, carefully carried out by Dr. Naokwegijig-Corbiere, and conducted in both Nishnaabemwin and English. It also provides nuanced, sense-based, glossing of Nishnaabemwin vocabulary, due to Dr. Naokwegijig-Corbiere’s full fluency in both English and Odawa, and her careful attention to semantic detail. This 2015 online edition allows searches in English and Nishnaabemwin, and will produce results based on searches of both Nishnaabemwin words and example sentences, as well as English keywords and glosses.

Forthcoming additional functionalities will include morphological analysis of vocabulary, thematic tagging, indexing of key morphosyntactic lexical properties, such as the presence of relative roots, and language-learning helps.


Ngichi-miigwechwi’aak gonda zhanda ezhbiiygaazjik. Mii gonda gaa-bi-zhazhaajik gii-bgosendmaanh wii-naadmawwaat maanda nakiitmaanh. Waabndamaanh epiitendmawaat maanda ndinwewninaa, mii washme gii-getnaamendmaanh maanda wii-giizhtoowaanh:

A heartfelt gchi-miigwech to the following individuals who came out to the many, many dictionary workshops over the years and shared their knowledge of the language. Your love and dedication for our beautiful language has been inspiring:

Curve Lake

Sharon G. Johnson
Rhonda Taylor
Doug Williams


Judy Armstrong
Jean Bebamash
Ann Corbiere
Caroline Corbiere
George L. Corbiere
Gina Corbiere
Melvina Corbiere
Ted Corbiere
Elizabeth Debassige
Levi Debassige
Lewis Debassige
Maisie Debassige
Nancy Debassige
Gregory Ense
Grace Fox
Joseph Fox
David Migwans
Molly Migwans
Victor Migwans
Elizabeth Panamick
Elizabeth M. Paul
Evelyn Roy


Isabel Abitong
Mary Assinewe
Dan Fox
Irene Makadebin
Grace Manitowabi
Alice Moses
Georgina Toulouse
Ida R. Toulouse
Madonna Toulouse
Martha Toulouse
Pauline Toulouse
Mary Ann Trudeau
Mary E. Wemigwans

Walpole Island

Jennie Blackbird
Joanne Day
Linda George
Elizabeth Isaac
Reta Sands
Ira White, Sr.


Eric Corbiere
Rita G. Corbiere
Rosemary Enosse
Jeanette Eshkawkogan
Stephen George
Lima Jacko
Peter Mishibinijima
Jim Naokwegijig
Leonard Naokwegijig
Teresa Naokwegijig
Martina Osawamick
Josephine Pelletier
Rose Linda Peltier
Thecla Pheasant
Isaac Pitawanakwat
Lucy Ida Pitawanakwat
Mary Stacey
Stella Trudeau
Rosemary Wakegijig
Lillian Webkamigad
Phyllis Williams
Shirley Williams

Gchi-miigwech also to my articulate friends whom I ask periodically for help in translating in pithy wording Nishnaabemwin terms that I struggle to render clearly in English. These are Susan Glover, Rachel Haliburton, and Catherine Murton Stoehr. They have apprised me of terms I had never heard before such as scooch and ghostly forerunner that very aptly capture the meaning of some Nishnaabemwin terms.

Supporting institutions:

University of Sudbury, Canada
Lakehead University, Canada and University of Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Carleton University, Canada