Indigenous Mapping Workshop, 2015

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I feel so privileged to be in Kitchener this week at Google Canada Headquarters for the Indigenous Mapping Workshop hosted by Chiefs of Ontario, The Firelight Group and Google Outreach. And I’m grateful to my colleagues in the People of the Moose River Basin Historic Text and Mapping project for sending me, along with my Moose Factory colleague, Billy Isaac. It’s exciting to see so many people who are passionate about mapping traditional land use and traditional knowledge. This morning I felt even luckier to meet Shauna Morgan Siegers – who studied Cree at UofM with the late Freda Ahenakew, and her colleague Amanda Karst from Lebret, Saskatchewan (whose granny is a 97-year-old speaker of Métchif). Steve DeRoy, on the right, is one of our hosts, a co-founder of the Firelight Group, and a member of Manitoba’s Anishinaabe/Saulteaux Ebb and Flow First Nation. (Oh, and we’ve been meeting here in Google’s Darth Vader Room – I wonder what he paid for naming rights!)

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Akina Shirt sings O Canada in Cree

Whether you’re feeling like a proud Canadian today, or hoping for better days ahead, I hope you’ll join us in celebrating Akina Shirt’s performance – in Plains Cree – of O Canada in this 2007 YouTube video.  Akina – from Saddle Lake, Alberta – was 13 when she made this memorable performance at a Calgary Flames hockey game. And, just in case you want to sing along, scroll past the video to find the words in Plains Cree thanks to Dolores Sand.

O Canada
O Canada
nîkinân nitaskînân
kisâkihitinân ôta kâ-wîkiyâhk
nitêhinâhk kiwâpamitinân
sohki-kîwêtinohk
pikw îtê ôta, O Canada
ka-sîhtoskâtinân.
nohtâwînân kanawêyihta.
O Canada, kinîpawîstamâtinân;
O Canada, kinîpawîstamâtinân.

ᐆ  ᑲᓇᑕ
ᐆ  ᑲᓇᑕ
ᓃᑭᓈᐣ  ᓂᑕᐢᑮᓈᐣ
ᑭᓵᑭᐦᐃᑎᓈᐣ  ᐆᑕ  ᑳ ᐑᑭᔮᕽ
ᓂᑌᐦᐃᓈᕽ  ᑭᐚᐸᒥᑎᓈᐣ
ᓱᐦᑭ ᑮᐍᑎᓄᕽ
ᐱᑹᑌ ᐆᑕ,  ᐆ  ᑲᓇᑕ
ᑲ ᓰᐦᑐsᑳᑎᓈᐣ
ᓄᐦᑖᐑᓈᐣ ᑲᓇᐍᔨᐦᑕ
ᐆ  ᑲᓇᑕ, ᑭᓃᐸᐑᐢᑕᒫᑎᓈᐣ
ᐆ  ᑲᓇᑕ, ᑭᓃᐸᐑᐢᑕᒫᑎᓈᐣ

 

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National Aboriginal History Month Day Thirty: iyiniw nanâtoh-osihcikêwin

CalendarUrban Native Magazine and Regina Aboriginal Professionals Association have launched a photograph challenge (for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) in honour of National Aboriginal History Month. They’re using the Twitter hashtag #NAHM2015PhotoADay.

Here at the Cree Literacy Network, we’ve decided to play along, by gathering the images suggested – but (with help from Solomon Ratt) captioning them in Cree.

For Day Thirty, the phrase is Aboriginal Art: 

Another word that Solomon has made up to suit our purposes, meaning, literally, “All sort of First Nations creations”.

iyiniw nanâtoh-osihcikêwin / ᐃᔨᓂᐤ  ᓇᓈᑐᐦ ᐅᓯᐦᒋᑫᐏᐣ

Through the course of this challenge, I have seen just as much exquisite beauty and diversity in the creations made by Cree people as I have among people themselves. It’s playing favourites, I know, but I’m choosing for this month-ending post to share some images from my friend Dawn Marie Marchand is a Cree and Metis Contemporary Aboriginal Artist from Cold Lake First Nation in Alberta. As a student of the Boreal Forest Institute, she has met and been in studio with some great teacher/mentors. Alex Janvier, Joane Cardial-Schubert, Jane Ashe Poitras, Edward Poitras, Brian Clark and Rebecca Belmore continue to influence her work.

Thanks to support from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Dawn Marie is working on original paintings for an exciting upcoming book project that she and I are working on together. You can see more of Dawn Marie’s work (including the pieces now available for sale) at her Facebook artist’s page.

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Some of Dawn Marie’s other pieces are available in more affordable formats through Society6 at http://society6.com/dawnmariemarchand.

 

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National Aboriginal History Month Day Twenty-nine: pawâmawin-nawatônikan

CalendarUrban Native Magazine and Regina Aboriginal Professionals Association have launched a photograph challenge (for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) in honour of National Aboriginal History Month. They’re using the Twitter hashtag #NAHM2015PhotoADay.

Here at the Cree Literacy Network, we’ve decided to play along, by gathering the images suggested – but (with help from Solomon Ratt) captioning them in Cree.

For Day Twenty-nine, the word is Dream Catcher: 

Another word that Solomon has made up to suit our purposes, since Dream Catchers are not really a Cree tradition.

pawâmawin-nawatônikan / ᐸᐚᒪᐏᐣ ᓇᐘᑑᓂᑲᐣ

“thing that catches dreams”

Not Cree perhaps, but still a beautiful tradition, documented with exquisite care by my dear late friend, physical anthropologist Cath Oberholtzer,

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in her book, “Dream catchers: legend, lore and artifacts”. Firefly Books Ltd., New York. 2012.

Cath’s book is the foundation of the following online piece from the Museum of Ontario: http://archaeologymuseum.ca/dream-catchers/

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National Aboriginal History Month Day Twenty-seven: oskâyak

CalendarUrban Native Magazine and Regina Aboriginal Professionals Association have launched a photograph challenge (for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) in honour of National Aboriginal History Month. They’re using the Twitter hashtag #NAHM2015PhotoADay.

Here at the Cree Literacy Network, we’ve decided to play along, by gathering the images suggested – but (with help from Solomon Ratt) captioning them in Cree.

For Day Twenty-seven, the word is Youth: 

oskâyak / ᐅᐢᑳᔭᐠ

My photo is one of a powerful bunch from Winnipeg, the “Meet Me at the Belltower” group – part of AYO (Aboriginal Youth Opportunities) – has been meeting on Selkirk Avenue in Winnipeg’s North End every Friday for over two years now, welcoming anyone willing to join them in their mission of reclaiming and rebuilding a healthy community (and training young activists in the process). I’ve have only managed to join them a couple of times, but I’m still proud to consider myself and my boys part of this community!

http://www.ayomovement.com/mmbt.html

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National Aboriginal History Month Day Twenty-six: piyêsiw

CalendarUrban Native Magazine and Regina Aboriginal Professionals Association have launched a photograph challenge (for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) in honour of National Aboriginal History Month. They’re using the Twitter hashtag #NAHM2015PhotoADay.

Here at the Cree Literacy Network, we’ve decided to play along, by gathering the images suggested – but (with help from Solomon Ratt) captioning them in Cree.

For Day Twenty-six, the word is Thunderbird:

piyêsiw / ᐱᔦᓯᐤ

The images I’ve chosen are of Winnipeg’s Circle of Life Thunderbird House at 715 Main Street. This building, designed by the great Douglas Cardinal has hosted hundreds of First Nations gatherings since it opened in 2000. Sadly, severe funding cuts now threaten its survival. I’m including with the photos a link to the March 2015 fundraising campaign:

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http://www.gofundme.com/ThunderbirdHouse

 

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National Aboriginal History Month Day Twenty-five: sênipân-wawêsîhowin

CalendarUrban Native Magazine and Regina Aboriginal Professionals Association have launched a photograph challenge (for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) in honour of National Aboriginal History Month. They’re using the Twitter hashtag #NAHM2015PhotoADay.

Here at the Cree Literacy Network, we’ve decided to play along, by gathering the images suggested – but (with help from Solomon Ratt) captioning them in Cree.

For Day Twenty-five, the phrase is Ribbon Skirt/Shirt:

sênipân-wawêsîhowin / ᐍᓂᐹᐣ ᐘᐍᓰᐦᐅᐏᐣ

I may not know much about the tradition behind ribboned clothing, but I know what I like!

Thanks to Nina Wilson for permission to use these photos of her stunningly beautiful ribbon work!

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Screen grab from CBC video

 

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