More songs for kids: owanihikēw kī-wanihikēsiw (tune: Old MacDonald)

Three little sons of Billy Isaacs, Jr. of Moose Factory, sitting in front of a good season's worth of pelts around 1983.

Three little sons of Billy Isaacs, Jr. of Moose Factory, sitting in front of a good season’s worth of pelts around 1983.


This Cree “Old MacDonald” is not a farmer: he’s a trapper, and a good one too. He catches muskrat, beaver, otters, fishers and lynx, here, there and everywhere!

owanihikēw kī-wanihikēsiw
wanihikēskanāhk
kī-wanihikamawēw wacaskwa
wanihikēskanāhk
wacask ōta; wacask nētē
ota, nētē, mīhcēt wacaskwak
owanihikēw kī-wanihikēsiw
wanihikēskanāhk

owanihikēw kī-wanihikēsiw
wanihikēskanāhk
kī-wanihikamawēw amiskwa
wanihikēskanāhk
amisk ōta; amisk nētē
ota, nētē, mīhcēt amiskwak
owanihikēw kī-wanihikēsiw
wanihikēskanāhk

owanihikēw wanihikēskanāhk
kī-wanihikamawēw nikikwa
wanihikēskanāhk
nikik ōta; nikik nētē
ōta, nētē mīhcēt nikikwak
owanihikēw kī-wanihikēsiw
wanihikēskanāhk

owanihikēw kī-wanihikēsiw
wanihikēskanāhk
kīwanihikamawēw ōcēkwa
wanihikēskanāhk
ōcēk ōta; ōcēk nētē
ōta, nētē mīhcēt ōcēkwak
owanihikēw kī-wanihikēsiw
wanihikēskanāhk

owanihikēw kī-wanihikēsiw
wanihikēskanāhk
kīwanihikamawēw pisiwa
wanihikēskanāhk
pisiw ōta; pisiw nētē
ōta, nētē, mīhcēt pisiwak
owanihikēw kī-wanihikēsiw
wanihikēskanāhk

Thanks to Billy Isaac, Jr. of Moose Factory, Ontario, for use of this photo of his boys on the trapline with some of Billy’s own catch.

Text presented here is in Plains Cree (y-dialect), and was prepared by Freda Ahenakew and Ida McLeod. A recording of this song in Swampy Cree (n-dialect) is included on Ruby Beardy and Victoria McLeod’s cd, “Cree Language Songs” published by Sunshine Records. The cd can be ordered directly from Sunshine Records, or online through iTunes.

About Arden Ogg

Arden Ogg is Director of the Cree Literacy Network, a not-for-profit-in-the-making with the goal of creating Cree language literacy materials suitable for use by learners of all ages.
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