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Native American Names & Meanings | 100 Native & Tribal Names

Posted By PowWows.com October 7th, 2019 Last Updated on: February 28th, 2022

Native American names for your baby-to-be!

All new parents know naming your child is one of the hardest decisions you'll probably ever have to make. If you're unsure of which direction to go, consider Native American names—they're unique, and they often carry powerful, sentimental, and beautiful meanings. Anyone with an American Indian background can pay the ultimate homage to their heritage by giving their child a classic Native American name.

Regardless of whether you have Native American ancestral ties, it's worth noting that many of these names can represent a particular word or phrase, while others are specific to a Native tribe or region. Additionally, some of these names are pronounced differently depending on the region in which they originated. So be sure to learn the correct pronunciation out of respect for each indigenous culture. 



Once you've condensed your ideas to a shortlist of contenders, try pairing each name with the baby's last name to see if they flow well, phonetically. After all, it'd be a shame to settle on the perfect first name, only to find that it sounds awkward and clumsy when placed in front of a middle name or surname. 

Here are some tips to apply when choosing a baby name:

  • Read the name out loud: Your voice and your ears are your best friends here. Does your selected name smoothly roll off the tongue? Or does it trip you up?  Short first names generally pair better with longer last names and vice versa. Think along the lines of “Amy Volkanovski” or “Bartholomew Jones.” As a general rule of thumb, names with lots of vowels are harder to pair with last names. However, like choosing names in general, it's all a matter of personal preference.
  • Avoid all rhyming names: Rhyming the first and last name of a child might seem like a fun choice at first, but there's a time and place for everything. And your child's name is sacred ground. Not to mention, children can be cruel to each other, and names that rhyme often serve as the perfect fuel for teasing and belittling. So while it's harmless to daydream about what it might be like to name your kid “Jacy Lacey,” do your child a solid and go a different route.
  • Double-check the initials: After you've settled on a name, always check the initials for your child. Again, you don't want to give your child a great name whose initials happen to form an embarrassing acronym. For instance, Mika Angela Nicholas spells “MAN.” Don't do that to your poor daughter.  

Keep reading for 100 unique Native American baby names for boys and girls…

And if you're looking for shower gifts, be sure to check our Native American Baby Gift Guide!

These 100 names are all excellent options for your coming baby girl or boy. They're surging in popularity, but still unique enough to suit your one-of-a-kind bundle of joy. Take a look and remember to bookmark this page to revisit your favorite names!


Native American Girl Names

Native American Baby Names

Algonquian Tribe

Odina
The Algonquian name means “mountain.” Usually, it's a girl's name, though it bears a strong resemblance to the name of the Norse God, Odin.

Chepi
This Native American baby girl's name means “fairy.”



Cherokee Tribe

Aiyana
One of the most popular names for girls, Aiyana means “forever flowering.”

Galilahi
A Cherokee Native American girl's name that means “attractive.”

Chippewa Tribe

Nokomis
This unique name is a Chippewa girl name that means “grandmother or daughter of the moon.”

Choctaw Tribe

Tallulah
A beautiful girl's name that means “leaping water.”

Isi
A Native American girl name increasing in popularity that translates to “deer.” Notably, the Monster High fashion doll series introduced a character in 2015 inspired by the Deer Woman myth. Her name is Isi Dawndancer.

Coo Tribe

Aleshanee
A charming name that means “she plays all the time.”

Hopi Tribe

Hehewuti
A Native American girl name that translates into “warrior mother spirit.”

Kachina
A Native American girl name that means “spirit.”

Pavati
A girl name from the Hopi that means “clear water.”

Soyala
A Hopi girl name that means “time of the winter solstice.” For that reason, Soyala would make an excellent name for a baby whose due date falls on or around Dec. 21. 

Qaletaqa
A strong Hopi name that means “guardian of the people.”

Tablita
A girl name originating from the Hopi meaning “crown.”

Tiva
A short Hopi girl name that means “dance.”

Una
A Hopi Tribe girl name that translates into “remember.”

Inuktitut Tribe

Sakari
A popular name among Native Americans that means “sweet.”

Iroquois Tribe

Orenda
A mystical Native American girl name that means “magic power.”

Omaha Tribe

Mitena
A common Native American girl name that means “new moon or coming moon.”

Donoma
This girl's name means “visible sun.”

Tadewi
A girl name that means “wind.”

Urika
A Native American girl name growing in popularity that means “useful.”

Pamunkey Tribe

Pocahontas
Arguably the most famous Native American name, it means “playful one.” If you're other strong Native American females for inspiration, check out our post “20 Native American Women You Should Know.” 

Shoshone Tribe

Sacajawea
Another famous name on the list. It means “bird woman.” An alternative spelling for this name is Sacagawea.

Sioux Tribe

Winona
Just like the Academy Award-nominated actress Winona Ryder, this Sioux name means “the first daughter.”

Makawee
Makawee means “generous, abundant, freely giving and motherly” in Sioux.

Magaskawee
A Sioux girl name means “swain maiden” or “graceful.”

Wachiwi
This Sioux name translates to “dancing girl.”

Nahimana
A Native American girl's name that means “mystic.”

Snana
A Sioux girl's name that means “jingle like little bells.”

Wuti
A short girl's name popular among many Native Americans that means “woman.”

Zuni Tribe

Elu
This three-letter name from the Zuni tribe means “beautiful.” It is, indeed, among the most beautiful Native American baby names.

Taa
A short Zuni tribe girl name that means “seed.”

Unknown Tribal Affiliation

Bly
If you like shorter names, Bly is a beautiful Native American girl's name meaning “tall or high.”

Chenoa
A beautiful girl name with an even more beautiful meaning. Chenoa means “white dove.”

Enola
A Native American female name that's growing in popularity. It means “magnolia.”

Halona
Halona is a Native American baby girl name meaning “fortune.”

Istas
If you have a little girl in the winter, maybe name her Istas. It means “snow.”

Nina
This is one of the most popular Native American baby names, but it's common and growing in popularity in other cultures as well. It means “mighty or fire.” Famous Ninas? A lot of choices here, but we like Nina Dobrev, the Canadian actress who rose to prominence on the series “Degrassi: The Next Generation” and later on the CW's supernatural drama series “The Vampire Diaries.”

Olathe
This stunning girl name literally means “beautiful.”

Shysie
Shysie is a girl's name that means “silent little one.” It's one of the more unique Native American baby names on this list. 

Tayen
A lovely Native American girl name that means “new moon.”

Bena
A girl name that's riding a wave of popularity. It translates into “pheasant.”

Etenia
A Native American baby name that means “rich.”

Lomasi
A girl's name that means “pretty flower.” It's among the most lovely, memorable Native American baby names. 


Native American Boy Names

Native American Baby Names for Boys

Algonquian Tribe

Waban
A Native American boy's name that means “East wind.”

Apache Tribe

Cochise
Cochise means “Renowned warrior chief of the Chiricahua Apache.” It's one of the more powerful Apache names for a little boy. 

Blackfoot Tribe

Jacy
Jacy is a common male Blackfoot name meaning “the moon.”

Chinook Tribe

Tyee
A strong name for a boy, Tyee means “chief, leader, or big and superior.”

Cherokee Tribe

Dustu
A Native American boy's name that means “spring frog.”

Cheyenne Tribe

Viho
A Cheyenne boy name that means “chief.”

Dakota Tribe

Tokala
An adorable name for a little boy. Tokala means “fox.”

Wicasa
A Native American boy name that means “sage.”

Hopi Tribe

Hania
This cool boy's name means “spirit warrior.”

Kele
This cute boy's name means “sparrow” in Hopi.

Ayawamat
This Native American boy's name means “one who follows orders.”

Tawa
A Hopi tribe boy name that means “sun.”

Hototo
A Native American boy name that translates to “warrior spirit who sings.”

Wikvaya
A Hopi tribe boy's name meaning “one who brings.”

Lushootseed Tribe

Seattle
Just like the city, it means “man of high status.” Not a common name yet, but could easily grow in popularity in coming years. 

Mandan Tribe

Mato
This sweet-sounding boy name means “bear.”

Miwok Tribe

Kosumi
Another unique boy name. Kosumi means “fishes for salmon with a spear.”

Misu
A Native American boy name that translates into “rippling water.”

Hawaiian Tribe

Nahele
Nahele is a boy name that means “forest.”

Navajo Tribe

Adriel
Adriel is a Native American baby name that means “beaver or symbol of skill.”

Bidziil
While this name may sound different to some, it's a male Navajo name meaning “he is strong.”

Shilah
A male Navajo name that means “brother.”

Gaagii
A Native American boy name that means “raven” in Navajo.

Puyallup Tribe

Tahoma
This male name means “giver of the water.” It's strong, memorable and also growing in popularity. 

Sauk Tribe

Keokuk
A solid boy's name meaning “one who is alert and watchful.”

Sioux Tribe

Chayton
Similar to Clayton, this popular name for boys means “falcon.”

Enapay
A Sioux name for boys that means “appears bravely.”

Wapi
Wapi is a male Sioux name that means “lucky.”

Ohiyesa
A Native American boy name meaning “winner.”

Paytah
A boy name coming from the Sioux tribe meaning “fire.”

Shappa
A Sioux tribe boy name that translates to “red thunder.”

Tatonga
A Sioux tribe boy name that means “large deer.”

Wahkan
A Native American baby name for boys meaning “sacred.” Think first two syllables of “Wakanda,” the fictional country in the Marvel blockbuster “The Black Panther.” 

Laguna Tribe

Tauri
A Native American boy name that means “young eagle.”

Zuni Tribe

Elu
Elu is a boy's name of Zuni origin that means “full of grace.” It's one of only a handful of our Native American baby names with just three letters. 

Lonan
A Native American name from the Zuni Tribe that means “cloud.”

Unknown Tribal Affiliation

Dasan
Another firm male name, Dasan means “chief.”

Sahale
This boy's name of unknown origin means “above or high place.”

Nayati
A boy name of unknown origin that means “he who wrestles.” If you settle on this name for your boy, prepare for a handful. 

Nitis
This popular male name of unknown origin means “friend.”

Paco
Paco is a male name of unknown origin meaning “eagle.”

Bodaway
This is one of the more uncommon Native American baby names for boys. It means “fire maker” (unknown origin). 

Illanipi
A Native American boy name of unknown origin that translates to “amazing.”

Kajika
This Native name for boys is equal parts beautiful and stoic. It translates to “walks without sound.” 

Nodin
One of the more familiar-sounding Native American baby names due to its similarity to the Norse God, Odin, this boy's name of unknown origin that means “wind.”

Nova
This name, which means “new,” is also an astronomical term for a star that suddenly increases in brightness, then fades.


Native American Unisex Names

Native American unisex names

Algonquian Tribe

Shawney
Shawney is a variant of the name of the Algonquian tribe name “Shawnee.” It works for both the masculine and feminine.

Cherokee Tribe

Onacona
Onacona means “white owl” in Cherokee. It's believed that Cherokee people have always held owls in high regard. The predatory bird appears in differing contexts within Cherokee lore. According to several sources, the screech owl was often a messenger of future events.

Chippewa Tribe

Abedabun
This name is a variation of Cheyanne that means “sight of day.” Coincidentally, Abedabun flutes are also growing in popularity.

Chumash Tribe

Simi
This stunning name means “valley of the wind.” This one will sound familiar if you live in Southern California, which is home to Simi Valley, a city located in the southeast corner of Ventura County.

Navajo Tribe

Kai
This Navajo baby name is ultra popular now. It means “willow tree” in Navajo. One of the most high-profile individuals to bear the name is Kai Kara-France, a New Zealand professional mixed martial artist, who currently fights in the flyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Sioux Tribe

Dakota
Dakota is one of the most popular Native American baby names for both male and female babies across America. This name means “friend.” The most famous Dakotas are most certainly Dakota Johnson, the actress, producer and model, best known for her starring role in the “Fifty Shades” film series, and Dakota Fanning, another actress, who rose to prominence at the age of seven for her performance as Lucy Dawson in the dramatic film “I Am Sam.”

Mika
Mika is often used for both boys and girls; the name means “rabbit.”

Takoda
Rearrange the letters in the name “Dakota” (also on this list) and you get this unisex name, which means “friend to all.”

Weayaya
Though many first names with a lot of vowels tend to not pair as well with last names, we consider the name Weayaya an exception. This Sioux tribe name for boys or girls means “setting sun” or simply “sunset.”


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Adyn Peterson

Bodaway or rather Boodawe is Ojibwe/Chippewa and Potawatomi.

Nodin or Noodin is also from the same bands/tribes.

Having heard multiple dialects of Ojibwe spoken as well as testimonies from those who still speak from my band. We found that the dialects from or near Minnesota and Wisconsin to be more well understood from various ojibwe people when they themselves have difficulty in understanding other dialects from other bands in our nation. Not going to say our dialect is the correct one but for a lot of pronunciation I would follow the rules from Minnesota and Wisconsin to get a better result. Regional dialect corrections to better fit the immediate area are alway acceptable though. So take both the pronunciation giving by the article as well as my own statement with a grain of salt.

Patricia L Swearingen

Looking for a girl’s name from the Crow tribe. Thank you

Tara

Looking for a name that means Precious jewel or jewel

Thea

Does anyone know of any Crow names that are common?

HERNY LIGHTFOOT EASLEY

i would to know what tribe did the name light easley could have come from

Riley

Um. . . huh? 🤨I didn’t understand what that is supposed to mean. 😕Get your typing correct. 😒Sheesh. Then maybe someone could actually understand you.🙄

Light easley possibly was translated from the honor of being a fire keeper ganawishkodawe ( Chippewa) he keeps the fire; tends the fire. This happens often when someone tries to translate one language to another.

londa

I have an ancestor named Namequa. Does anyone know what that means?

Lety

Look for tepehua indigenous

Toyah

Knowing the name meaning is important but also the culture and origin! My name was given to me by my Godmother because I was born a girl and was thought to have been a boy so they did not have a girl’s name picked. My godmother named me Toyah and said it meant ‘little one’ and was the name of a great Comanche Indian Chief. The name fit me perfectly because I was only 5lbs when I was born and she wished for me to do great things. I used to hate the name because I am a very white girl, and everyone made fun of my name, but my Godmother is native and she knew what she was doing. My father’s slight native looks just didn’t pass on to me! I digress, I have done research on my name and now I love my name and am proud. Anyone who asks about it, I gladly tell them, both the history of the name and how I received it!

Drew

I named my son…….”Awaehsaeh” or “Bear” in our own Native-Language (Menominee),as when my wife was only a few months pregnant and not even knowing what the sex of the child was yet………..I had a “vision”,of our child and when I awoke……….that’s the name I chose!!! Also helpful is our Family is “Bear-clan” within our Tribe as well!!! 🙂

Me

My fav name was Nina it means mighty fire

Riley

My fav name was Kachina it means spirit

Shawna

Which tribe arw these “native names derived from? Because my sons name Adriel is straight out of the bible!

Frances Paul

what does my name Frances mean? my children’s name ,Antonio,Juanita, and granddaughter

Lety

Research… above it is explained

Stella Mary

Naming a newborn is always a process and a joyful act as the parents must think if the name suits the baby. Again knowing the meaning of the name is an advantage. Thank you for the helpful data.

Cathy Cannon

I named my son Nakia ….yes it was a tc show about a Native/Abarigional policeman who was Navaho & did his job without using a gun unless he had to starring Robert Forester in the late 70’s….I loved the show NAKIA & how the main character tried to settle things without violance as much as possible….anyway I’ve never been able to find out the meaning behind his name & while its been 41 yrs since I named my son Nakia , I was wondering if you might possibly know how to find the meaning of his name. Thankyou in advance for any help you can provide for me.

Jean

Hi Stella, my nephew is also named Nakia : my sister also watched that show -if you find out the tribal origins of that name please let us know. Maybe it is Navajo since you mentioned it in your post.

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