tāpitaw ta-kī-kakwē-miyo-kwayaskohtēyan / Walk in Balance and Beauty


Honor the sacred. Honor the Earth, our mother. Honor the Elders. Honor all with whom we share the earth: four leggeds, two-leggeds, winged ones, swimmers, crawlers, plant and rock people. Walk in balance and beauty.

Gorgeous collaboration of photo and audio from Solomon Ratt, translation into Cree by Arok Wolvengrey, and expert vocabulary provided by Jean Okimāsis.

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Honouring the Buffalo

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Three websites with comments and previews of this new book from Judith Silverthorne, with Plains Cree translation by Randy Morin, and Cree-language editing provided by Arok Wolvengrey and Jean Okimâsis. Congratulations to all involved. Every new book in Cree is a gift we can all share!

Can’t wait to see a copy for myself!




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A little love for Valentine’s Day

Three choices of Valentine’s greeting from Solomon Ratt:

  • miyo-sâkihitowin-kîsikanisik: Happy love day.
  • miyo-mitêhi-kîsikanisik – happy heart day
  • miyo-wîcimosiwi-kîsikanisik – happy sweetheart day.

From http://www.nehiyawewin.com/ (complete with audio and a cute kohkom!)
(In standard spelling, we would write kîcimos, to show the long vowel!)


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And in lots of other languages. I didn’t see Cree, but the videos are awfully sweet.

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Little You

For I Love to Read month, Edmonton Public Library features Dorothy Thunder and Mayor Don Iveson reading together in Cree and in English, Richard Van Camp’s Little You – with the wonderful illustrations of Julie Flett. Enjoy!

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Dorothy Thunder on CBC!

Dorothy Thunder at

Congratulations to Dorothy Thunder, Antti Arppe and all of our colleagues at the University of Alberta for bringing another great story about Cree to the public eye. If only a dictionary could be completed in the time it takes to make a news video clip!


Click here for the full news story from the CBC News website:


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piko kîkway ê-nakacihtât: He can do anything


Congratulations, Art Napoleon, on completing your MA at the University of Victoria, and thank you for letting me spread the good word about your work with language and culture – particularly with kids!

kimahihcihinân: You make us all proud.

It is a delight to share this link to Art’s UVic thesis: Key Terms and Concepts for Exploring Nîhiyaw Tâpisinowin the Cree Worldview – and to send a shout out to Art’s MA Advisor, UVic linguist Leslie Saxon.

This blog may not be big enough to list all of Art’s accomplishments (actor, musician, hunter, chef, former chief…) but watch out for him on APTN’s Moosemeat and Marmalade (which has a regular schedule for shows in Cree). And here’s a September 2010 story from the Globe and Mail (from before he even began his graduate work, which he seems to have finished in near-record time, too!)




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miyo-manitowi-kîsikanisik with help from Rocky Morin

From the 2011 Grandma Jean Round Dance, via YouTube, Rocky Morin of Thundering Spirit sends wishes for Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, with just the right amount of sâkihitowin thrown in for good measure. Here’s some help for returning those good wishes in Cree, with warmest wishes from the Cree Literacy Network!  (Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFfRQ_Man5c)

In Plains Cree (y-dialect) from Arok Wolvengrey:

To one person:
ᒥᔪ  ᒪᓂᑐᐏ  ᑮᓯᑲᓂᓯ
[mee yo MUN toe kee sig GUN sih]
Have a Merry Christmas!

To more than one person:
ᒥᔪ  ᒪᓂᑐᐏ  ᑮᓯᑲᓂᓯᐠ
[mee yo MUN toe kee sig GUN sihk]
Have a Merry Christmas!

To one person:
mahti ka-wî-miyo-manitowi-kîsikanisin
ᒪᐦᑎ   ᑲ  ᐑ  ᒥᔪ  ᒪᓂᑐᐏ  ᑮᓯᑲᓂᓯᐣ
[muh TIH kuh wee mee yo MUN toe kee sig GUN sin]
May you have a Merry Christmas Day!

To more than one person:
mahti ka-wî-miyo-manitowi-kîsikanisinâwâw
ᒪᐦᑎ   ᑲ  ᐑ  ᒥᔪ  ᒪᓂᑐᐏ  ᑮᓯᑲᓂᓯᓈᐚ
[muh TIH kuh wee mee yo MUN toe kee sig gun SIN now wow]
May you have a Merry Christmas Day!

From Canoe Lake, Saskatchewan, provided by Russell Iron:

miyo-nîpâ-ayamihâw kîsikansi!
Merry Christmas!

Christmas: kâ-nîpâ-ayamihâhk

Russell suggests the name probably comes from the custom of praying at the church at night (Christmas Eve midnight mass?)

In Woods Cree (th-dialect) from Solomon Ratt:
mitho-makosîkîsikanisik ikwa ka-mithopathihkonâwâ kâ-pî-oskaskîwak
ᒥᖪ  ᒪᑯᓰᑮᓯᑲᓂᓯᐠ  ᐃᑿ  ᒥᖪᐸᖨᐦᑯᓈᐚ  ᑳ  ᐲ  ᐅᐢᑲᐢᑮᐘᐠ
Have a good Christmas and may good fortune happen on this coming New Year.

In Moose Cree (l-dialect, spoken in Northwestern Ontario, near James Bay),
from C. Douglas Ellis, author of Spoken Cree I & II,
Published by University of Alberta Press.

kipakosêlimitin kici-milopaliyan ê-makosê’-kîsikâk.
I wish you well on the Feast Day.

If addressed to several people, use
kipakosêlimitinâwâw kici-milopaliyêk.
I wish you all well on the Feast Day.

makosêwi-kîsikâw is widely used for ‘Christmas’.

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