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The Meaning of “Odehmenan”

The symbolism of the word Odehmenan is twofold: One, it represents the core organ that all members of UIC’s Health Sciences Campus are very familiar with in their learning and practice of science and medicine, and two, it emphasizes the high level of “heart work” that is needed to be able to take care of oneself and also take care of our patients and communities. Core to the mission of the Odehmenan Health Equity Center (Odeh Center) is the centering of populations and communities that have been historically marginalized and underserved, and have experienced persistent health inequities. This is an effort that belongs to all of us. We hope the entire Health Sciences community at UIC and UI Health, along with our communities around us, will find the center to be a collective place of dialogue, action and peace.


Odeh-me-nan: odéh (oh-debt) me (muh) nan (nan)

Breakdown of "Odehmenan" Heading link

  • O Animate demonstrative pronoun indicating something alive that belongs to or is a part of our belonging

  • Dewe Associated with a drum or describing a drum

  • Odeh Describes my heart

  • Menan Implies that it belongs to all of us, and thus is ours

Overarching Theme of the Odeh Center Heading link

Shote Temget Odehnan Ebmadziyak mine Ekendaswiyak…Here is the Heart of our Living and Learning

Further Exploration of the Word Heading link

  • Deh Heart

  • Ode Deh This heart

  • Odeh menan This heart of ours

  • Gi Odeh menan That heart of ours

  • Ndeh My heart

  • Gdeh Your heart

  • Odeh menan kewak His/Her heart

  • Odeh menanen Our heart

  • Odeh menan keyak Conjunct for our heart but not yours

  • Odeh menan keygo Conjunct for all of our heart

  • Odeh menan keyek Conjunct for all of your (group) heart

  • Odeh menan kewat Conjunct for their heart

Additional Examples of Usage Heading link

O dehmenan yawen shote…Here is the place of our heart

O dehmenan ngoji pi…Our heart is everywhere

O dehmenan ngoji pi shote…Our heart is everywhere around here

Ebyayak shote etemget odehmenan…We came here where our heart abides

Learn More: Inception of the Center