Naming Ceremonies & Giving a Baby Namesakes

Anishinaabe Naming Ceremonies

with Lee Obizaan Staples and Joe Waabishkibines Nayquonabe

Traditionally parents or guardians approach an individual who has the ability to give an Anishinaabe name with tobacco. You then wait to hear back from the namer on when it will work for them to give the name, usually after they are given a dream or a message about the name to be given. This naming ceremony will be an exception to that.

We do want to keep in mind how names are traditionally given here in the Mille Lacs area. (You can learn more about Anishinaabe Naming Ceremonies by downloading this PDF:  Namesake Ceremony Article.)

We will be scheduling days where Obizaan and Big Joe will both be at the community center to give names to individuals or families. Please call ahead and reserve a spot. An individual child can take an hour and a family can take up to an hour and half.

How to Prepare

Bring TOBACCO for the namer and for the namesakes.

Prepare a FEAST.

This is your offering to the manidoog (spirits) for the help you are asking for your child. Please think about this as you choose your foods and while you prepare your meal.

Choosing namesakes “WEN’ENYAG”.

If both parents are involved, each parent should choose 2 namesakes each. If one or no parents are involved, you should pick 4 namesakes.

Namesakes should be someone who will pay attention to the child. If you want your child to be a hunter maybe choose a hunter who can teach them. If they want to be a singer, choose a singer. If they want to learn to sew quilts, choose a quilt maker. These are only suggestions. You are free to choose who you think will be best for your child.

Make sure the namesakes have a name or they should plan to bring tobacco for a name as well.

If a namesake cannot make it to the feast, get their Anishinaabe name and a dish will be set for them and they can still be a namesake.

Obizaan does not require adults to have namesakes and he will smoke his pipe and give an adult a name that he already has been given.

Gifts (quilts, money, misc. items) are appreciated but not necessary.

Please contact Chato Gonzalez (715)699-5535 or Dan Wind (320)364-9528 to schedule a time. Please keep in mind these are not exact times. Please be patient with us as we are trying to best serve the community.