Sudbury

Ojibway artist deciphers meaning of 'skoden' graffiti on Sudbury water tower

There's something different about Sudbury's iconic water tower on Pearl Street.

Popular Indigenous slang has begun to appear across the city.

'Skoden' appeared last week on Sudbury's Pearl Street water tower. The term is Indigenous slang, loosely translated at 'let's go then.' (Waubgeshig Rice/CBC)

There's something different about Sudbury's iconic water tower on Pearl Street.

Last weekend, the word "skoden" was painted on the side.

The tower is currently owned by Sudbury Wolves Sports Entertainment, and they have since asked police to investigate the graffiti.

In the meantime, pictures of the tower have been making the rounds on social media....leaving some people to wonder what the word means.

Curtis Kagige, an Ojibway artist based in Sudbury, says the word is no mystery to those who are familiar with Indigenous slang.

"In short, skoden is a precursor to 'let's go then,' like, where do you want to go?," Kagige said.

"The comeback would be 'sdoodis' like 'let's do this. The third person would say 'kayden.'

"It's used when three or more people are wanting to do something or holding an idea of some sort, or some kind of initiative."

It's the type of slang that has its roots in Indigenous communities, Kagige said. And the Internet has allowed it to quickly disseminate across the country.

"Some of it is broken down into different meanings and contexts, but it's designed for natives, designed for us," Kagige said.

"It's humour and how we're communicating. It's across Canada, coast to coast. So if I go to Iroquois territory, and say 'skoden', we'll know."

Sudbury Wolves Sports Entertainment told CBC News they plan on removing the graffiti soon. 

Have you heard of the word "Skoden" before? You may have noticed it on the side of Sudbury's Pearl Street water tower. We asked a local Ojibway artist what the meaning of this graffiti was. Curtis Kagige explained the meaning behind the word skoden to the CBC's Robin De Angelis. 3:48

With files from Robin De Angelis