We the People

We the People

The summer months are an excellent time to rest, recreate and spend some much-needed quality time with the family . Whether your family consists of one or two key relatives, a group of 100 (or more) aunts, uncles, siblings and cousins, or extends beyond blood relations to encompass your entire community, we at AIANTA thought this was a good time to celebrate the people who help define who we are.


We were a people, before “We the People.”

–Jefferson Keel, 2013
20th President of the
National Congress of American Indians


We queried our tribal partners and other language experts and asked how they say “The People” in their Native languages. (Thanks to all who participated, and as always, it’s never too late to submit your own additions.)


Catawba Language, Catawba Indian Nation, South Carolina
People yéwa (yAY- wah)  


Chickasaw Nation, Oklahoma
People ima aok la  
All People hattak moma  


Inupiat Language, North Slope, Alaska
Real Person Inupiaq  
Real People Inupiat  


Mahican Dialect, Stockbridge – Munsee Tribe of Wisconsin
People of the Tidal River (Hudson) Maʔeekunew Ninãapaak  


Ojibwa, Wisconsin
People Anishinaabe  


Northern Paiute, Nevada
The People Numa  


‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i (Hawaiian Language)
The People Ka Lāhui  


Tunica, Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana
The People Tonisɛma  

Note: The words and phrases in this post were provided by members of the tribes listed. Spellings and translations may vary. Some words may be missing accents or symbols due to limited characters on a keyboard.

We’re happy to add your language and/or hear corrections and suggestions on spellings and translations, so feel free to contact us at info@aianta.org.

Year of Indigenous Languages

Learn more about the year of Indigenous Languages and view more posts in AIANTA’s Native Greetings series here.


Photo credits: Top image: Indian Summer Festival, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Featured image: The Yurok Tribe.

Bureau of Indian Affairs

Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail

Native American Agriculture Fund

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

Bureau of Land Management

National Endowment of the Arts

National Park Service

United States Forest Service