nîhithaw âcimowina / Woods Cree Stories: Introduction (th-dialect, audio)

Thanks, Solomon, for providing this text from the Introduction to your book of Woods Cree stories – in audio form for reading along!

Learn more about  this book (or even find links to order a copy of your own) at http://creeliteracy.org/2014/09/16/congratulations-solomon-ratt/

ita kayâs ithiniwâtisiwin , tâpiskôc ithinînâhk, tânisi kâ- isi-pimâtisinâniwik kî-kiskinwahamâkonâniwin anita ithiniw-isihcikâniwinihk, mîna tahto-kîsikâw pimahkamikisiwinihk, ikwa âcathohkîwinihk.ᐃᑕ ᑲᔮᐢ ᐃᖨᓂᐚᑎᓯᐏᐣ, ᑖᐱᐢᑰᐨ ᐃ ᖨᓀ ᓈᕽ , ᑖᓂᓯ ᑳ ᐃᓯ ᐱᒫᑎᓯᓈᓂᐃᐧᐠ ᑫ ᑭᐢᑭᓇᐧᐦᐊᒫᑯᓈᓂᐃᐧᐣ ᐊᓂᑕ ᐃᖨᓂᐤ ᐃᓯᐦᒋᑳᓂᐃᐧᓂᐦᐠ , ᒣᓇ ᑕᐦᑐ ᑫᓯᑳᐤ ᐱᒪᐦᑲᒥᑭᓯᐃᐧᓂᐦᐠ , ᐃᑲᐧ ᐋᒐᖪᐦᑫᐃᐧᓂᕽ᙮ In an oral tradition, such as those of the Native Americans, culture was passed on through the use of language in ceremonies, daily activities and stories.
tahto-pipon kî-âh-âcothokânowin, tahto-pipon î-kî-kiskinwahamâkâniwik kâ-isi-pimâtisonânowik ikota ohci âcathohkîwinihk.ᑕᐦᑐ ᐱᐳᐣ ᑫ ᐋᐦ ᐋᒍᖪᑳᓄᐃᐧᐣ , ᑕᐦᑐ ᐱᐳᐣ ᐁ   ᑫ   ᑭᐢᑭᓇᐧᐦᐊᒫᑳᓂᐃᐧᐠ ᑳ   ᐃᓯ ᐱᒫᑎᓱᓈᓄᐃᐧᐠ ᐃᑯᑕ ᐅᐦᒋ ᐋᒐᖪᐦᑫᐃᐧᓂᕽ᙮ The stories were told each winter and in each subsequent winter the process of enculturation went a step further.
ikosi kapî î-kî-isi-kiskinwahamowiht oskâya isko kâ-kîsi-ohpikit. ᐃᑯᓯ ᑲᐯ ᐁ ᑫ ᐃᓯ ᑭᐢᑭᓇᐧᐦᐊᒧᐃᐧᐦᐟ ᐅᐢᑳᔭ ᐃᐢᑯ ᑳ ᑫᓯ ᐅᐦᐱᑭᐟ᙮The process continued to adulthood.
ikosi kapî kî-âh-itahkamikan nama katâc ta-nitawi-ayamihcikânowik, kî-ati-nisitawîthihtamwak ithiniwak opîkiskwîwiniwâw mîna otithiniwâtisiwiniwâw.ᐃᑯᓯ ᑲᐯ ᑫ ᐋᐦ ᐃᑕᐦᑲᒥᑲᐣ ᓇᒪ ᑲᑖᐨ ᑕ   ᓂᑕᐃᐧ ᐊᔭᒥᐦᒋᑳᓄᐃᐧᐠ , ᑫ ᐊᑎ ᓂᓯᑕᐁᐧᖨᐦᑕᒪᐧᐠ ᐃᖨᓂᐊᐧᐠ ᐅᐯᑭᐢᑫᐧᐃᐧᓂᐋᐧᐤ ᒣᓇ ᐅᑎᖨᓂᐋᐧᑎᓯᐃᐧᓂᐋᐧᐤ᙮ Without a break in this process and without the aid of "formal" schooling, came the acquisition of language and culture.
ikosi kâ-pî-isi-ohpikit ithiniw, ta-pimitisahahk ithiniw-isihcikîwin, mîna tahto-kîsikâw itahkamikisiwin, ikwa âcathohkîwina. kî-kiskinwahamawâw kahkithaw kîkway:ᐃᑯᓯ ᑳ ᐯ ᐃᓯ ᐅᐦᐱᑭᐟ ᐃᖨᓂᐤ , ᑕ ᐱᒥᑎᓴᐦᐊᕁ ᐃᖨᓂᐤ ᐃᓯᐦᒋᑫᐃᐧᐣ , ᒣᓇ ᑕᐦᑐ ᑫᓯᑳᐤ ᐃᑕᐦᑲᒥᑭᓯᐃᐧᐣ , ᐃᑲᐧ ᐋᒐᖪᐦᑫᐃᐧᐣ᙮ ᑫ ᑭᐢᑭᓇᐧᐦᐊᒪᐋᐧᐤ ᑲᐦᑭᖬᐤ ᑫᑲᐧᐩ : Having grown to adulthood partaking in the ceremonies, daily life and stories, a person had a well-rounded education:
tânisi ta-isi-ohpikihâwasot, tânisi ta-isi-wîcâyâmât owîkimâkana, kistîthimitowin, sîpîthihtamowin, sîpîyâwîsowin, kisîwâtisiwn, mîna sâkihitowin—kahkithaw iyakoni kî-kiskinwahamawâw ikota ohci.ᑖᓂᓯ ᑕ   ᐃᓯ   ᐅᐦᐱᑭᐦᐋᐊᐧᓱᐟ , ᑖᓂᓯ ᑕ ᐃᓯ ᐁᐧᒑᔮᒫᐟ ᐅᐁᐧᑭᒫᑲᓇ , ᑭᐢᑌᖨᒥᑐᐃᐧᐣ , ᓭᐯᖨᐦᑕᒧᐃᐧᐣ , ᓭᐯᔮᐁᐧᓱᐃᐧᐣ , ᑭᓭᐋᐧᑎᓯᐤᐣ , ᒣᓇ ᓵᑭᐦᐃᑐᐃᐧᐣ — ᑲᐦᑭᖬᐤ ᐃᔭᑯᓂ ᑫ ᑭᐢᑭᓇᐧᐦᐊᒪᐋᐧᐤ ᐃᑯᑕ ᐅᐦᒋ᙮ child rearing, spousal responsibility, respect, patience, kindliness, tolerance and love - all were covered in this education.
tânisi mâka kita-ispathihikow awiyak kîspin ikota ohci kwâsihihci ta-nitawi-kiskinwahamowiht ayahci-pîkiskwîwin mîna ayahci-isi-pimâtisinânowin?ᑖᓂᓯ ᒫᑲ ᑲ   ᐃᐢᐸᖨᐦᐃᑯᐤ ᐊᐃᐧᔭᐠ ᑫᐢᐱᐣ ᐃᑯᑕ ᐅᐦᒋ ᑳᐧᓯᐦᐃᒋ ᑕ ᓂᑕᐃᐧ ᑭᐢᑭᓇᐧᐦᐊᒧᐃᐧᐦᐟ ᐊᔭᐦᒋ ᐯᑭᐢᑫᐧᐃᐧᐣ ᒣᓇ ᐊᔭᐦᒋ ᐃᓯ ᐱᒫᑎᓯᓈᓄᐃᐧᐣ ? What happens, however, if this process of enculturation were interrupted, intruded upon, by a foreign language, a foreign culture?
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Solomon Ratt: Wisahkêcahk and the Moose (y-dialect, video)

   
1.1Wîsahkêcâhk êkwa môswaWîsahkêcâhk and the Moose
2.1pêyakwâw êsa wîsahkêcâhk pah-pimohtêw sisonê sâkahikanihk. Once Wîsahkêcâhk was walking along the lake.
2.2kêtahtawê kâ-wâpamât môswa nipîhk ê-pahkopêyit, ê-kah-kanawâpamisoyit. Suddenly, he came upon a moose wading in the water, looking at himself.
2.3kêtahtawê mâna kâ-sipwê-mâtot awa môswa ispîhk kâ-wâpamisot nipîhk. All of a sudden, every now and then, he'd start crying every time he saw himself in the water.
2.4kitimâkihtawêw osîmisa wîsahkêcâhk. Wîsahkêcâhk took pity on him when he heard him cry.
2.5ati-nâtêw. He goes toward him.
2.6wî-sipwêpahtâyiwa mayaw kâ-wâpamikot. nitomêw.But, when the moose saw him, he ran away.
3.1“hay! nisîmis! tânêhki ôma kâ-mâtoyan?” kâ-itât êsa. Wîsahkêcâhk calls him: "Hey! nisîmis why are you crying?" he said to him.
3.2kipihcêyiwa.He stops.
4.1“ayisk ê-osâmi-mâyâtisiyân,” kâ-itikot."Because, I am really ugly!," he said to him.
5.1“hay awas! kimiyosin ôma!” kâ-itât."Hey, oh! You're beautiful! Go on, you're beautiful," he said to him.
6.1“mâka nawac niciwâm apisimôsos ê-miyosit ayisk ê-miyotêskanêt,” kâ-isi-mâtot êsa awa môswa. "But my cousin the deer is much more beautiful, cause he has beautiful horns," said the moose.
6.2kitimâkihtawêw osîmisa wîsahkêcâhk."Hey." W took pity on what he heard.
7.1“hâw, kâya mâto nisîmis,’ kâ-itwêt wîsahkêcâhk. "Haw... Don't cry, younger sibling," said Wîsahkêcâhk.
7.2“kika-osihtamâtin têskanak kîspin nâtamawiyani iskwêw,” kâ-itât osîmisa. "I'll make you new horns, if you go get me a woman." he said to his younger sibling.
7.3aciyaw mâmitonêyihtam awa môswa nawac piko ê-ânwêhtawât ostêsa.A little bit, just a short while the moose thinks about them, because he thinks Wîsahkêcâhk is going to play a trick on him. So he doubts him.
8.1“hâw, mâka nîkân otêskanêstamawin,’ piyisk itêw wîsahkêcâhkwa. "Aah. But first you must make me new horns," eventually he says to Wîsahkêcâhk.
9.1tâpwê piko ani ati-otêskanêstamawêw osîmisa awa wîsahkêcâhk.Now right away Wîsahkêcâhk makes new horns for his younger sibling.
10.1“hâw, kimiyosin nisîmis,” itêw osîmisa. "Aah, there you go, now you're beautiful," he says to his younger sibling."
10.2“kanawâpamiso nipîhk.”Go ahead! Look at yourself in the water!
11.1wahwâ! miyonâsow awa môswa ispîhk kâ-kanawâpamisot nipîhk ayisk ê-misâyiki otêskana. Wahwâ! The moose really likes what he sees in the water. He looks really handsome because he has big, beautiful antlers.
11.2êkwâni sipwêpahtâw, ê-nitawi-nitonawât iskwêwa wîsahkêcâhkwa ta-wîwiyit.And from there he leaves, going to go look for a woman for W to wed.
12.1kinwêsk itahkamikisiw awa môswa. mêtoni ê-ati-iskaci-pêhot wîsahkêcâhk. He's in the bush for a long time, and Wîsahkêcâhk gets tired of waiting.
12.2kêtahtawê kâ-matâwisit. All of a sudden, the moose emerges from the bush.
12.3wah! kitimâkinâkosiw awa môswa, nawac mistahi ê-kinokotêt êkwa otâpiskan kêkâc mohcihk ê-isi-akotiniyik êkwa otêskana ê-napakisiyit.Ho, wahwâ! He takes pity on how the moose looks. The moose looks really pitiful. His face is longer, and his chin almost falls to the ground! And his horns are flat!
13.1“tânêhki ôma kâ-isinâkosiyan nisîmis?” kâ-isi-kakwêcimât osîmisa wîsahkêcâhk."Why do you look the way you look, younger sibling?" Wîsahkêcâhk asks him.
14.1“ê-nawaswâtakik aniki iskwêwak mâka sakâhk ê-ispahtâcik êkwa êkotê nitisi-nawaswâtâwak mâka nitati-micimosinin mistikohk. "I was chasing the women into the bush, but they ran into the bush, and then I followed them there. But I got stuck in the trees.
14.2nitêskanak ê-micimosimakik mistikohk. My horns got stuck in the trees.
14.3tahtwâw kâ-kakwê-wîhkwacihoyân nawac mistahi nimicimosinin. And every time I tried to free myself, I got stuck further and further.
14.4mêtoni nihkwâkan ê-tah-tâwahamân mistikohk êwak-ohci kâ-isi-kinwêhkwêyân! And I banged my face onto the trees every time I tried to get free. That's why I have such a long face.
14.5mêtoni mîna ê-ati-napakisimakik nitêskanak. And my horns got flattened.
14.6mahti kihtwâm miyosêhin nistêsê.”Please, can you make me beautiful again, older brother?"
15.1“nama, osâm namwâc kipêtamawin iskwêw,” itwêw wîsahkêcâhk, ê-ati-nakatât."No! Because you didn't bring me a woman!" said Wîsahkêcâhk, and he left him there.
16.1kêyâpic pêyakwan isinâkosiw awa môswa! The moose still looks the way he looked to this day.
16.2kêyapic mîna mâh-mâtow ispîhk kâ-wâpamisot nipîhk.And he still cries every time he sees himself in the water.

 

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wîsahkîcâhk and the wîhtikow (th-dialect, video)

Recorded in honour of Aboriginal Story Telling Month, February 2016. Traditionally, stories of Wîsahkêcâhk could only be told when the ground was covered with snow.

Although the text for this story is arranged in a table to make it easier for students to compare the English and the Cree, please bear in mind that the English here is Sol’s English retelling of the story, and not a sentence-by-sentence translation.

 Wîsahkicâhk êkwa wihtikowWîsahkicâhk and the Wihtikow
1.1piyakwâw îsa Wîsahkîcâhk kî-pah-pimohtîw. kîtahtawî îsa kâ-wâpamât wihtikowa.One day Wîsahkicâhk was walking along when he came up on a wihtikow.
1.3âh… kîsiskaw kâsôpathihow, athisk î-kostât iyakoni, â, â, ikosi ikota ohci sakâsîhk ohci-kanawâpamîw, î-kakwî-paspîhot.He ran, and quickly hid in the bush because he was scared the wihtikow would eat him.
1.4kîtahtawî poko Wihtikow kâ-matwî-ayamit.All of a sudden, the wihtikow comes and talks to him.
2.1“Wîsahakîcahk, kipasotin. "Wîsahkicâhk, come here! I smell you.
2.2âstam! ninohtî-mîcison ôma.”I'm hungry and I'm going to eat you!"
3ikosi Wîsahkîcâhk ati-nâtîw Wihtikowa, î-mah-mâcosit pâskac, î-mawihkâtisot, athisk î-wî-môwiht.So Wîsahkicâhk had to go to the Wihtikow, and he's walking over there, and he's crying over his face because he doesn't want ot be eaten.
4“Wîsahkîcâhk! nâcinihtî ikwa kotawî ikota ohci kika-môwitin.”And the wihtiko says, "Wîsahkicâhk! Go and get firewood! You can build a fire and I'm going to eat you."
5ikosi Wîsahkîcâhk kospiw, ikota ohci, î-nâcinihtît. kîtahtawî poko kâ-wâpamât sihkosa.And so, Wîsahkicâhk is picking up wood, and when he sees a weasel, he calls to the weasel,
6“âstam, nisîmis!” itîw."Come here, little sibling!" he says.
7ikwa ana sihkos, “kîkwây? kîwây Wîsahkîcâhk?”And that weasel says, "What? What is it "Wîsahkicâhk?"
8.1“cîstî, nâha nîtî wihtikow. î-wî-môwit ana."See the wihtiko over there? He's gonna eat me.
8.2niyâ! ikotî ispahtâ.
8.3nâcipah…sîkwahtawî ikota ohci okohcâkihk kita-nitawi-paskîmat otakisiyâpiyâhk, ikotî kâ-astîthik.”I want you to run over to him, and, from his rear end, crawl into his belly, into his body, and chew on his heart-strings so he'd kill him.
9ikwa awa sihkos: “ê,..” ânwîthihtam, “awas nikanipin!” And the weasel says, "Well... I don't know about that: He'll kill me. I could die!"
10.1“namô-witha, sihkos.And Wîsahkicâhk says,
10.2misawâc kâwi kika-pimâcihit. "Well, if you do this, I will give you the finest coat.
10.3ikwa kîspin omisi itôtamani nika-osihtân kahtay nawac kita-mâwaci-mithwâsik.”If you die, I'll bring you back to life, and I will give you the finest coat that anybody else has.
11ê….mithohtam awa sihkos. …ati-nâcipahîw Wihtikowa.So the weasel ran off to the wihtiko.
12.1ikosi awa sihkos ispahtâw itî Wihtikowa kâ-ayâthit.And he ran up the wihtiko's anus.
12.2nitawi-sihkopâhtâw okohcâkithik ikota ohci nitawi-iskwâhtawîw.And he crawled through his intestines and started to bite on the heart strings
12.3ikota î-nitawi-tahtahkwamât otîyihk omisa.And the wihtiko can feel the pain,
12.4ikwa kîtahtawî poko ikwa…And the wihtiko goes...
12.5“Wîsahkîcâhk kithipa! ninohtîkatân ôma."Wîsahkicâhk, I'm hungry, I'm really hungry!"
13.1Wîsahkîcâhk kithipa! ninohtîkatân ôma!”"Wîsahkicâhk, I'm hungry, I'm really hungry!" ,
14.1ikwâni kîtahtawî poko kâ-pahkisihk awa Wihtikow î-nipit.And so the weasel ran off to the wihtiko and bit him in the heart strings. And eventually, the wihtiko fell down, dead.
14.2ê… Wîsahkîcâhk kwayask mithwîthihtam.And Wîsahkicâhk is glad.
14.3nâcipahîw anihi Wihtikowa.And he ran over to the wihtiko.
14.4ikota ohci pahkonîw. And skinned him.
14.5ikota ohci, kitahtawî, î-otinât anihi sihkoso.And there, suddenly, he found that weasel.
14.6ikwa awa sihkos î-nipit.And that weasel was dead.
15.1ikota ohci Wîsahkîcâhk kâ-itohtahât sâkahikanihk, î-nitawi-sîpîkinât anihi sihkosa.And so, he takes the weasel out of the wihtiko, and takes him to the lake and blows on him to try to revive him.
15.2î-wâh-wâskinât omisi-isi.And he swishes him around in the water. And the water was washing the blood off him.
15.3ikwa mâna î-pâh-pôtâtât, î-kakwî-pimâcihât.And he'd blow on him and he'd swish him around some more, cleaning him up.
15.4hâ! kinwîsk awa ikosi, osôsithik î-pimi-miciminât, î-sîpîkinât anihi sihkosa.Blow on him again, holding him by the tail as he swishes him and cleans him in the water.
15.5î-pâh-pôtâtât mâna, ikwa mâna, ikwa kîtahtaî kâwi kâ-pimâtisithit.And eventually that weasel came alive.
16“cîstî, nisîmis. kanawâpamiso nipihk!”And Wîsahkicâhk says to the weasel, "Look at yourself in the water, little brother!"
17.1î… awa sihkos kanawâpamisow nipîhk.And the weasel looks at himself in the water.
17.2ikota wâpamisow, î-wâpiskisit.And he has this beautiful shiny white coat, the most beautiful he had ever seen.
17.3kwayask î-mithonâkosit ana sihkos ikwa ita kâ-kî-miciminikot Wîsahkîcâhkwa osôthik.And he saw that the tip of his tail was black where Wîsahkicâhk had held it.
17.4ikota kaskicîwâsinithiw kiyâpic osoy anohc kâ-kîsikâthik.And to this day, the weasel is very beautiful. All white with a little black tip on the tail.

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Hinterland Who’s Who – in Cree!

Thanks to Miriam McNab for posting this in the Facebook group Nêhiyawêwin Word of the Day. The videos are produced Canada’s old familiar Hinterland Who’s Who that was part of Canadian childhood for anyone with a television. You can find them online at http://hww.ca. The collection gives new voicing to the familiar videos in Cree, Ojibwe, Oji-Cree (that sure sounds like my friend Jerry Sawanas), Mohawk, Inutitut and Dene-Sułine.

The Cree videos are labelled Woods Cree, but the speaker sounds an awful lot like someone I know from the Norway House area. I’ll be checking around to find the facts – and find the transcripts so we can read along. In the mean time, these are just wonderful, and I hope there are many more to follow. Congratulations to everyone involved!

(Further about the initiative is included in the CBC news story: http://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/canadian-wildlife-federation-hinterland-who-s-who-videos-indigenous-languages-1.3925371)

 

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2017: kisêpîsim / ᑭᓭᐲᓯᒼ / January

January 2017Thanks to Solomon Ratt for allowing the Cree Literacy Network to share his 2017 calendar, complete with his own original illustrations. Following his request, we will post one image at the beginning of each month. For those who like to plan a little further in advance, a link to complete pdfs is included here:
Y- and Th-Dialect Version: http://creeliteracy.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017CalendarCorrected_Whole.pdf
N- and Th-Dialect Version: http://creeliteracy.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017CalendarN.pdf

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Wîsahkêcâhk Goes South: Solomon Ratt (th-dialect, y-dialect with audio)

Thanks to Sol for this story, and to Ben Godden for all his work translating and transliterating Sol’s original th-dialect telling into y-dialect. Fabulous teamwork! mâmaskâc!

[th-dialect - Solomon Ratt, as in video)Translation by Ben Godden[y-dialect transliteration by Ben Godden]
piyakwâw îsa wîsahkîcâhk kî-pah-pimohtîw wâsakâm sâkahikanihk. kâ-wâpamât îsa niska î-âh-ohpahothit ikwa mâna kâwi î-twîhothit. mâmaskâtîw.Once Wīsahkēcāhk was strolling along, around a lake, when he saw some geese flying up and then landing again. He wondered what they were doing.pēyakwāw ēsa wīsahkēcāhk kī-pah-pimohtēw wāsakām sākahikanihk. kā-wāpamāt ēsa niska ē-ay-ohpahoyit ēkwa māna kāwī ē-twēhoyit. māmaskātēw.
“tânisi ôma î-itahkamikisiyîk, nisîmitik?” isi-kakwîcimîw îsa ôho niska.“Little brothers, what are you doing?” he asked the geese.“tānisi ōma ē-itahkamikisiyēk nisīmitik?” isi-kakwēcimēw ēsa ōhi niska.
“iyaw, î-takwâkik ôma. wîpac ta-pipon ikwa kita-tâh-tâhkâyâw! ohcitaw poko sâwanohk ta-isi-pimôtîhoyâhk îkâ kita-nipahâskaciyâhk,” itwîw îsa awa piyak niska.“Well, it's autumn now, but soon it will be winter and very cold. We must travel south so that we don't freeze to death,” one of the geese replied.“iyaw, ē-takwākik ōma. wīpac ta-pipon ēkwa tāh-tāhkāyāw! ohcitaw piko sāwanohk ta-isi-pimohtēhoyāhk ēkā kita-nipahāskwaciyāhk,” itwēw ēsa awa pēyak niska.
“mahti nîsta! kika-wîcîwitinâwâw!” itwîw wîsahkîcâhk.“Me too! I'll come with you!” said Wīsahkēcāhk.“mahti nīsta! kika-wīcēwitināwāw!” itwēw wīsahkēcāhk.
“mâka wîtha îkâ î-otahtahkwaniyan!” itwîw îsa awa niska.“… but you don't have any wings,” replied the goose.“māka wiya ēkā ē-otahtahkwaniyan!” itwēw ēsa awa niska.
“hâ, tâpwî-wîspinac!”“Hmm, truly this is tragic.”“hā, tāpwē wēspinac!”
“haw cîska, kika-mâmawi-wîcihitinân,” itwîw awa niska. nitomîw owâhkômâkana ikwa itîw ta-tah-tahkwamâthit wîsahkîcâhkwa omiyâmithik. ôta tah-tahkwâmik ôho niska: piyak ostikwânihk, ikwa âtiht ospitonihk, ikwa mîna kotakak oskâtihk. ikosi isi-kaskihtâwak ta-pimôhtahâcik ostîsiwâwa, wîsahkîcâhkwa. ispimihk pâskac î-itâpithit ôho, î-sâsakicisinithit.“Okay, wait. All together we will help you,” said the goose. So the goose called his relatives and told them, using their mouths of course, to grab a hold of Wīsahkēcāhk's body. So the geese did just that: one at his head, a few at his arms and others at his legs. In this way, the geese were able to carry their older brother Wīsahkēcāhk: who was facing upwards, he was on his back.“hāw, cēskwa, kika-māmawi-wīcihitinān,” itwēw awa niska. nitomēw owāhkōmākana ēkwa itēw ta-tah-tahwamāyit wīsahkēcāhkwa omiyāmiyik. ōta tah-tahkwamik ōhi niska: pēyak ostikwānihk, ēkwa ātiht ospitonihk, ēkwa mīna kotaka oskātihk. ēkosi isi-kaskihtāwak ta-pimohtahācik ostēsiwāwa, wīsahkēcāhkwa. ispimihk pāskac ē-itāpiyit ōhi. ē-sāsakicisiniyit.
“kâwitha waskawîw nistîsî,” itîw îsa awa niska ostîsa. “kika-kiciskinitinân kîspin waskawîyani!”“Don't move older brother,” said the goose; “If you move, we might accidently drop you!”“ēkāwiya waskawī nistēsē,” itēw ēsa awa niska ostēsa. “kika-kitiskinitinān kīspin waskawīyani!”
“hâw, namwâc nika-waskawân,” itwîw îsa wîsahkîcâhk. ikosi ati-sipwîpithâwak ôko niskak, î-tahkonâcik ostîsiwâwa. mithwîthihtam wîsahkîcâhk athisk wîsta sâwanohk î-wî-itôtîhot. “Okay, I won't move!” Wīsahkēcāhk replied as the geese began to fly away holding on to him, their older brother. Wīsahkēcāhk was glad as he too was going south.“hāw, namwāc nika-waskawīn.” itwēw ēsa wīsahkēcāhk. ēkosi ati-sipwēpihāwak ōki niskak, ē-tahkonācik ostēsiwāwa. miywēyihtam wīsahkēcāhk ayisk wīsta sāwanohk ē-wī-itohtēhot.
kitahtawî kâ-pihtawât iskwîwa î-matwî-môcikihtâkosinithit. kisâstaw î-pakâsimothit, itîthihtam.Suddenly Wīsahkēcāhk heard some women, and it sounded like they were having fun. “Perhaps they are swimming,” he thought. kētahtawē kā-pēhtawāt iskwēwa ē-matwē-mōcikihtākosiyit. “kisāstaw ē-pakāsimoyit,” itēyihtam.
sîmâk waskawîw, î-kwîskipathihot, î-kakwî-wâpamât anihi iskwîwa. mayaw kâ-waskawît, kâ-kiciskinikot anihi niska.Quickly he moved, twisting to try to see those women. As soon as he moved, the geese dropped him.sēmak waskawīw, ē-kwēskipayihot, ē-kakwē-wāpamāt anihi iskwēwa. mayaw kā-waskawīt, kā-kitiskinikot anihi niska.
mitoni î-pakastawîsihk ita ôko iskwîwak kâ-pakâsimothit. kwayask pâhpihik!Wīsahkēcāhk fell right into the water where the women were swimming. Truly they laughed at him.mitoni ē-pakastawēsihk ita ōki iskwēwak kā-pakāsimoyit. kwayask pāhpihik!
ikwâni namwâc sâwanohk ohci itôtîhow wîsahkîcâhk. mâka kiyâpic ôko niskak sâwanohk âh-itôtîhowak tahto-takwâkin ikwa tâpisckôc kiyâpic î-miciminâcik wîsahkîcâhkwa î-isi-pimithâcik.So Wīsahkēcāhk never made it south but still, when migrating, geese fly in this same formation: as if still holding Wīsahkēcāhk.ēkwāni namwāc sāwanohk ohci itohtēhow wīsahkēcāhk māka kēyāpic ōki niskak sāwanohk itohtēhowak tahto-takwākin ēkwa tāpiskōc kēyāpic ē-miciminācik wīsahkēcāhk.
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Place Names in Amiskwaciwâskahikan / ᐊᒥᐢᑲᐧᒋᐋᐧᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ (Edmonton)

Mayor Don Iveson and Chief Billy Morin at a naming ceremony in February. ((Lydia Neufeld/CBC))

Bravo to Amiskwaciwâskahikan / ᐊᒥᐢᑲᐧᒋᐋᐧᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ (Edmonton) Mayor Don Iveson for supporting decolonization through the use of place names in real nêhiyawêwin, for his own work in support of Cree literacy, and for his eloquence in defending those choices. I won’t name the city councillor who is arguing for literal translations or phonetic renderings – which entrench the colonial model that helped erase the Cree presence in the first place.  Would they even for a minute consider doing this to place names in French?

Mayor Don Iveson said such questions are best left to the city’s naming committee. But he said using Indigenous names is “a significant act” of reconciliation.

“I think it’s really important to remember that the language that’s actually precedent here — that’s been spoken here for thousands of years — those languages are Indigenous languages and in particular, Cree,” Iveson said.

“In the gesture of working to acknowledge that the language of this place historically was a different language, that’s how we recognize and decolonize what is otherwise a narrative of conquest — and language is part of conquest.”

Driving out Indigenous language was one of the reasons for the residential school system, Iveson said — “to excise cultural practices and languages from Indigenous peoples.”

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/councillor-faces-criticism-for-suggesting-city-choose-easier-indigenous-street-names-1.3895066

In a subsequent article, Wilton Littlechild – whose family name was obviously subjected to the same treatment by some missionary or government lackey around the treaty period – responds:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/matter-of-respect-treaty-6-grand-chief-cold-to-suggestion-to-keep-cree-street-names-simple-1.3895506

(Ironically, I am a little surprised at the way they’ve chosen to render “trail” in syllabics with one character per English letter. I suspect a speaker might have given mêskanâs / ᒣᐢᑲᓈᐢ for trail. I might have left the English word “trail” in English, or written it ᐟᕒᐁᓬ. But transliteration of English words in Cree syllabics is another issue altogether.

 

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Christmas Songs & Carols – 2016

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A collection of Christmas songs translated into Cree – mostly by Dolores Sand – who also kindly permitted the use of her audio recordings. Hope this helps out some of her fellow “Creechers” as they prepare for Christmas concert season!

Angels We have Heard on High

Ave Maria

The Chipmunk Christmas Song

The Huron Carol

Jingle Bells / sêwêyâkanak

The Little Drummer Boy

Mary Okosisa / Mary’s Boy Child

O Holy Night

Santa Claus is Coming to Town / Santa Claus wi-takosin

Silent Night / kāmwāci tipiskāw

Away in a Manger

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2016: pawâcakinisîsipîsim / ᐸᐚᒐᑭᓂᓰᓯᐲᓯᒼ / December

2017calendarn2016Calendar_Page_12

Thanks to Solomon Ratt for allowing the Cree Literacy Network to share his 2016 calendar, complete with his own original illustrations. Following his request, we will post one image at the beginning of each month. Click here for the full calendar for 2016:  2016Calendar

If you like planning a little further in advance, you can download a complete pdf of Sol’s new calendar for 2017 here:
Y- and Th-Dialect Version: http://creeliteracy.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017CalendarCorrected_Whole.pdf
N- and Th-Dialect Version: http://creeliteracy.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017CalendarN.pdf

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Online Weekly Cree Study Group with Dorothy Thunder

Painting by Jerry Whitehead from the collection of Dr David MacKinnon

Painting by Jerry Whitehead from the collection of Dr David MacKinnon

Register now for free, weekly online Cree study sessions facilitated by Dorothy Thunder, and sponosred by Nehiyawewin.ca. Classes begin the second week of January. The sessions will make use of an online whiteboard.

To register, use the “contact us” link on the site: http://nehiyawewin.ca/contact-us/.

The textbook to be used is Solomon Ratt’s Beginning Cree. Sol’s book can be ordered from McNally Robinson at http://www.mcnallyrobinson.com/9780889774353/solomon-ratt/beginning-cree?blnBKM=1

or from Amazon (where it’s listed as a best seller!)

https://www.amazon.ca/Beginning-Cree-Solomon-Ratt/dp/0889774358/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1480480973&sr=8-1&keywords=Solomon+Ratt

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