The month of May, may be over, but it’s never too late to prioritize mental wellbeing. Make every month ‘Mental Health Month’ by making your own affirmation cards!


  • Blank cards (we used 3.5×2.2 inch business cards).
  • Markers.
  • Your creativity!

*Optional- for our activity we used words from the Seneca language.

Cultural wellbeing is significantly connected to overall mental health. We were grateful to have Allison Mongillo from Seneca Nation of Indian’s Language Department (Allegany sector) teach us the pronunciation and meaning of many positive Seneca words.

Cropped image of someone actively creating an affirmation card. Photo only shows the person's arms/ They hold a red pen and are writing on a yellow card. There is a reference sheet of words in the Seneca language under the small yellow card.

The reference sheet of Seneca words used is made available to view below. Or you can download them to view or print using the button.

Sheet with the following text "SNI ALD 2024 in collaboration with SNI Onöhsagwë:de’ Seneca Museum and Seneca Strong , SALC Just fyi to help : Onödowá’ga:’ – (People of the great hill) – Correct name and spelling for Seneca people Hodinöhšö:ni:h– (People of the longhouse) – Cor-rect name/spelling for Iroquois people or Iro-quois confederacy Ësgögë’ ae’ - ëgegë’ ill see IT The s is repetitive, so again “ ë “– means in the future The “ gö ” signifies me to you “ gwa ” signifies me to all of you (who im talking to) So , ësgwagë’ ae:’ - ill see you all again Connector word —the / namely Gayá’dagéhashä’ helpfulness Gáíwayëdahgöh responsibility, obligation Gáío’dashä’ the original word starts with an “i” - no “y” Work Ga’nígö:iyo:h good mind, happiness Gaënö’ song(s) Deyödadë’nya:ë’ taking care of one’s self Deyödënö:nyöh people being thankful / deyenö:önyö:h people give thanks Gáíwagwëni:yo’ it’s true Gáíwagwëni:yo’shä’ truth Ga’hásdeshä’ strength"

* A tip for using these reference sheets:

The Seneca language is verb based and for this activity majority of these words are to be written as one word alone. Exceptions to this rule include the phrases: Nya:wëh Sgë:nö’, Sgënö’ Edwënohdönyo:g, and Sgënö’ Ëdwade’hasdöh. The word deknö:nyöh can also be combined with words on the second sheet to say that you’re thankful for something.

An example card using the words Deknö:nyöh adéo’shä’ meaning "I'm thankful for friendship".

Deknö:nyöh Adéo’shä’ (I’m thankful for frienship).


Choose a word or phrase that means something to you. Maybe it’s a value you hold dear like adéo’shä’ (friendship). Maybe it’s a characteristic you are proud of like age’ha:sde’ (I’m strong). Maybe it’s something you want to manifest into your life like Deyödadë’nya:ë’ (taking care of one’s self).

Feel free to write as many for yourself or create some to give to others! Decorate the cards however you would like. Keep these cards as words of encouragement and be proud of yourself for taking sometime to take care of your mental wellbeing! Ja:göh (good job/keep it up)!

We had a great time running this activity at Seneca-Iroquois National Museum on May 30, 2024.

Want to join the next program in person? Follow us on social media and check our Upcoming Events page for updates!