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8 Ways My Native Grandma Is the Best

Native American grandmothers hold a near and dear place in our hearts, here are 8 ways my Tota is the best.

In Mohawk, it’s Tota, In Diné it’s amá sání or análí asdz???? and in Cherokee it’s Elisi or Enisi. The special word we are referring to is one we all love, Grandmother.

A Grandmother is someone we think of with warm thoughts of love, friendship and a storyteller of ancestral ways. While they are someone who might give us a bowl of split pea soup when we visit, or help us get out the gum we got stuck in our hair, Grandmothers are the best.

In honor of these special women who are or once were in our lives to guide us on our journeys, here is ICTMN’s list of ways of why we think Native grandmas are the best.

They are the best huggers ever

I don’t care who you are, there is nothing better than a Native grandma hug. They just had so much love which for just a moment in time, cured all of our lives problems and let us just be who we were. We didn’t have to prove anything, be tough or be someone we are not. They hugged and loved us for who we were and are.

They were there when we seemed to need them the most

A lot of times, Native grandmas may not get in the way of those dumb decisions we make in life, but they are there to help pick up the pieces of our broken hearts, skinned knees or hungry stomachs. Just when we thought we had nowhere to turn, they were here to give us advice at just the right time.


They may be sweet, but they also can scare the heck out of us when they get stern

Lately, I have been trying to learn more and more of my Mohawk language, my Tota, who says she is proud of me, also scares the heck out of me if I get something wrong. She is not mad, but stops me on the spot – “Say it this way Tsio’kwaris!” she says – “Yes Tota!” (Gulp)


They don’t mind telling us when we are getting out of line or about to make a mistake in life

Behind their loving exterior is a woman who has lived a life of experiences that will take us decades to learn – so when they have wise words to share, we’d better listen. When we do, they give us the patience only a grandmother can share.

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They will always surprise us with how funny they can be

Just when we think our grandmother may be too much of an elder to get a joke or understand what we are going through, they will throw a joke our way that will blow our minds. Sometimes they might even throw out a curse word that we would NEVER say around them out of respect. But times like this make the whole family laugh – this is why Native grandma’s are the best!


Nobody in the world beats their cooking – nobody

You can put all the Food Network Iron Chef’s all of the Food Network Stars or any other famous chef such as Gordon Ramsey in the world in a competition – and I know my Tota would mop the floor with all of them. That is ALL I need to say about that – period.

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No matter what mistakes I make I am great and need to try harder, If I succeed, I am the world’s best

To my Tota, I can make no mistakes – it just means I need to try harder. If I am successful, Donald Trump could not have done better. Our Native grandmothers think we are great no matter what – and NOBODY in the world can tell them different.


Our Native grandmothers think we are the greatest grandchildren in the world

The simplest of things means the most – Because of them – we are the greatest in the world. In life, that is all we need to feel. Thanks for making our lives so great Tota. We love you too.


Have something that makes your grandma the best, we’d like to hear it, share it in the comments below.