Northeast Turtle Island in Mohawk

Othorè:ke tsi tkarahkwíneken's nonkwá:ti ne A'nó:wara tsi kawè:note (Northeast Turtle Island) in Kanien’kéha (Mohawk), by  Karonhí:io Delaronde and Jordan Engel
Othorè:ke tsi tkarahkwíneken’s nonkwá:ti ne A’nó:wara tsi kawè:note (Northeast Turtle Island) in Kanien’kéha (Mohawk), by Karonhí:io Delaronde and Jordan Engel

Othorè:ke tsi tkarahkwíneken’s nonkwá:ti ne A’nó:wara tsi kawè:note (Northeast Turtle Island) is an area roughly equivalent to the extent of Haudenosaunee territory during the Beaver Wars of the 16th century. One will notice that there is no Tsi tekaristì:seron (Where the tracks are dragged) – or borders – on this map. Haudenosaunee land spans the border between so-called Canada and the so-called United States, and did so before the tracks were dragged by colonists. It should also be noted that Ka’nón:no (New York City), the largest city on Turtle Island was literally built by Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) skywalkers.

This map was made by Karonhí:io Delaronde, a Kanien’kéha speaker from Kanièn:ke (Ganienkeh –, and Jordan Engel, a map-maker from Ka’skonhtsherá:kon (Rochester).

The following list of toponyms contains the Kanien’kéha place name, it’s translation, and the English place name:
A’nó:wara Tsi Kawè:note (Turtle island), or A’nowarà:ke (On the turtle), or Onkwehonwè:ke/Onkwehonwè:ne (Place of the Native people) – North America

Anatakáriasne (Place of the president) – Washington, DC

Aterón:to (It’s tree in the water/It’s a dug-out canoe), or Tkarón:to (Tree in the water there) – Toronto, ON

Ka’nón:no (Splints in the water/Splint trees in the water), or Tkaná:to (A town in water there), or Kanorónsne (Place of expensive things) – New York City, NY

Kaha’kwaró:ton (Many standing tracheas [in earlier years it was known as a place for geese and swans to gather]) – The Potomac River

Kahentà:ke – The Kentucky River / Eskippakaithiki, KY

Kanà:tso (Pail in the water, pail boiling) – Ottawa, ON / The Ottawa River

Kanahnòn:ke (Where it’s replenished [said so because of a story about a giant beaver damming the lake]), or Teiohóserare (Basswood around on it), or Anòn:warore (Hat [said because a European boat capsized and all that was seen afterwards were hats floating]) – Lake Erie

Kanakaró:ton (Many sticks are standing), or Kanakaró:ton tsi kawè:note (Island of many sticks standing), or Kanakaróntie (Sticks that go off into the distance), or Kanakaróntie tsi kawè:note (Island of sticks that go off into the distance) – Manitoulin Island (ON)

Kanatà:ke (At/On town) – Green Bay, WI

Kaniataráhere (A lake perched up) – Lake Winnebago (WI) / Oshkosh, WI

Kaniatarowanénhne (Place of the big river), or Kahrhionhwa’kó:wa (The great sized river) – The St. Lawrence River

Kanontowá:nen (Big mountain [because of the Cahokia site near by]), or Kanatowá:nen (Big town [because of the Cahokia site near by]) – St. Louis, MO

Kawehnohkowanénhne – The Susquehanna River

Kawehnohkwésne (Place of the long island) – Long Island (NY)

O’nionkserì:ke (Place of the onion/wild garlic ([in reference to the origin of the name Chicago]) – Chicago, IL

Ohnawiiò:ke, or Kahnawiiò:ke – The Mississippi River

Ohrhionhwí:io, or Ohionhwí:io – The Ohio River / The Allegheny River

Ohròn:wakon (In the ditch, ravine), or Tsi kanatákera’s (At where the town smells) – Hamilton, ON

Oniatarí:io (Beautiful Lake), or Kaniatarí:io, or Skaniatarí:io, or Oniarà:ke – Lake Ontario

Ratirón:taks (They eat trees [named so because of the Algonquin people who were in the area]) – The Adirondack Mountains

Skahentowanè:ke – The Delaware River

Skahnéhtati (Beyond the Pines), or Ka’nón:no (Splints in the water/Splint trees in the water) – The Hudson River (NY)

Skanontkaraksèn:ke (Where the cliffs are clumsy), or Skanontkaraksèn:ke tsi iononténion/ionontahrónnion (The mountains where the cliffs are clumsy) – The Green Mountains

Teioswathénion (Many bright things) – Pittsburgh, PA

Tekaiashontòn:ke (Place of the crosses) – Baltimore, MD

Tekiatenontarí:kon (Two mountains meet), or Tekiateniatarí:kon (Two rivers meet) – Quebec City, QC

Tiohio’tsista’kowáhne, or Kaniatara’kehkó:wa – The Atlantic Ocean

Tiohná:wate (It is a strong current there) – Louisville, KY

Tiohtià:ke (from Tiotià:kon/Tiótia’ke [broken in two) – Montreal, QC

Tioshahróntie (The mouth of the river goes off into the distance) – Detroit, MI / Lake St. Clair

Tiotó:ren (There’s a split) – Buffalo, NY

Tsi iohahó:kaht (Where the road is rough), or Kahrhiónhwakon/Kahiónhwakon (In the river) – Cleveland, OH

Tsi kahenta’kehkó:wa (At where the great prairies are), or Kahenta’kehkowáhne (Place of the great prairies) – The Great Plains

Tsi kanataien’kó:wa (At the great town), or Tekashó:ken (A forked mouth) – Philadelphia, PA

Tsi tiontashehtahkhwà:ke (Where they use to hide at [from the Tutelo when they joined the confederacy]), or Tsi tiontashehtahkhwà:ke tsi iononténion/ionontahrónnion (The mountains where they use to hide at) – The Appalachian Mountains
Wáston / Wastòn:ke – Boston, MA

Map: Jordan Engel. As always, the Decolonial Atlas’ original media can be reused under the Decolonial Media License 0.1.



  1. Hi – I live on an Island in Oniatarí:io – currently named Wolfe Island – which is near Ken’tarókwen. I would like to know and refer to it’s Mohawk name. Local references use the spelling – Ganounkoesnot – and I wonder if that is an Anglicized version. The meaning is Long Island Standing Up.

    Any help you can give would be very appreciated. We would like to teach our children well.


    Donna Ivimey

    Liked by 1 person

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