For Orange Shirt Day: Solomon Ratt (th-dialect)

stanleychurch

Thanks to Sol for sharing his own reflections on intergenerational damage in honour of Orange Shirt Day. This was not an easy story to record – but it’s a powerful piece to share, especially to show Sol’s resilience in the face of adversity.


anohc ôma osâwâw-papakowayân kîsikâw ita kâ-kiskisiyahk awâsisak kâ-kî-kwâsihihcik wîkiwâhk ohci ohpimî ta-nitawi-ayamihcikîcik, ayamihâw-kiskinwahamâtowikamikohk î-isi-kwâsihihcik mitoni wahthaw wîkiwâhk ohci. mistahi mâna kî-kâh-kitimahâwak ikota awâsisak, âhpô mîna âtiht ikota kî-nipahâwak.ᐊᓄᐦᐨ ᐆᒪ ᐅᓵᐚᐤ ᐸᐸᑯᐘᔮᐣ ᑮᓯᑳᐤ ᐃᑕ ᑳ ᑭᐢᑭᓯᔭᕽ ᐊᐚᓯᓴᐠ ᑳ ᑮ ᒁᓯᐦᐃᐦᒋᐠ ᐑᑭᐚᕽ ᐅᐦᒋ ᐅᐦᐱᒦ ᑕ ᓂᑕᐏ ᐊᔭᒥᐦᒋᑮᒋᐠ , ᐊᔭᒥᐦᐋᐤ ᑭᐢᑭᓌᐦᐊᒫᑐᐏᑲᒥᑯᕽ ᐄ ᐃᓯ ᒁᓯᐦᐃᐦᒋᐠ ᒥᑐᓂ ᐘᐦᖬᐤ ᐑᑭᐚᕽ ᐅᐦᒋ ᙮ ᒥᐢᑕᐦᐃ ᒫᓇ ᑮ ᑳᐦ ᑭᑎᒪᐦᐋᐘᐠ ᐃᑯᑕ ᐊᐚᓯᓴᐠ , ᐋᐦᐴ ᒦᓇ ᐋᑎᐦᐟ ᐃᑯᑕ ᑮ ᓂᐸᐦᐋᐘᐠ ᙮
Today is “Orange Shirt Day” to remember the children who were taken away to residential schools. Many children were abused, and even some were killed there.
nîsta nikî-kwâsihikawin. ispî nikotwâsik î-itahtopiponîyân nikî-kwâsihikawin kistapinânihk isi. tahtw-âskiy ikota nikî-nitawi-ayamihcikân. mitâtaht pîsim ikota nikî-kitinikawin. kâ-nîpihk mâna poko kâ-kî-kîwîyân. namwâc nîtha nikî-ohci-kitimahikawin, namwâc mîna nikî-ohci-wanihtân nipîkiskwîwin. kiyâpic ninihithowân wîtha kapî mâna î-kî-nîhithowîcik ninîkihikwak ispî kâ-kîwîyân kâ-nîpihk.ᓃᐢᑕ ᓂᑮ ᒁᓯᐦᐃᑲᐏᐣ ᙮ ᐃᐢᐲ ᓂᑯᑤᓯᐠ ᐄ ᐃᑕᐦᑐᐱᐳᓃᔮᐣ ᓂᑮ ᒁᓯᐦᐃᑲᐏᐣ ᑭᐢᑕᐱᓈᓂᕽ ᐃᓯ ᙮ ᑕᐦᐟᐤ ᐋᐢᑭᕀ ᐃᑯᑕ ᓂᑮ ᓂᑕᐏ ᐊᔭᒥᐦᒋᑳᐣ ᙮ ᒥᑖᑕᐦᐟ ᐲᓯᒼ ᐃᑯᑕ ᓂᑮ ᑭᑎᓂᑲᐏᐣ ᙮ ᑳ ᓃᐱᕽ ᒫᓇ ᐳᑯ ᑳ ᑮ ᑮᐑᔮᐣ ᙮ ᓇᒹᐨ ᓃᖬ ᓂᑮ ᐅᐦᒋ ᑭᑎᒪᐦᐃᑲᐏᐣ , ᓇᒹᐨ ᒦᓇ ᓂᑮ ᐅᐦᒋ ᐘᓂᐦᑖᐣ ᓂᐲᑭᐢᑹᐏᐣ ᙮ ᑭᔮᐱᐨ ᓂᓂᐦᐃᖪᐚᐣ ᐑᖬ ᑲᐲ ᒫᓇ ᐄ ᑮ ᓃᐦᐃᖪᐑᒋᐠ ᓂᓃᑭᐦᐃᑿᐠ ᐃᐢᐲ ᑳ ᑮᐑᔮᐣ ᑳ ᓃᐱᕽ ᙮
I too was taken away. When I was six years old I was taken away to go to school in Prince Albert. Every year I was in school there. I was kept there for 10 months of the year. It was only in the summer that I got to go home. I was not abused, and I did not lose my language. I still speak Cree because my parents spoke Cree to me when I would go home in the summer months.
mâka ôma kâ-mâmitonîthihtamân, nikitâpahtîn nipimâtisiwin. mistahi kîkway nipî-wâpahtîn kâ-kî-isi-wanâhikoyân nikiskinwahamâkowin ikota ohpimî ayamihâw-kiskinwahamâtowikamikohk.ᒫᑲ ᐆᒪ ᑳ ᒫᒥᑐᓃᖨᐦᑕᒫᐣ , ᓂᑭᑖᐸᐦᑏᐣ ᓂᐱᒫᑎᓯᐏᐣ ᙮ ᒥᐢᑕᐦᐃ ᑮᑿᕀ ᓂᐲ ᐚᐸᐦᑏᐣ ᑳ ᑮ ᐃᓯ ᐘᓈᐦᐃᑯᔮᐣ ᓂᑭᐢᑭᓌᐦᐊᒫᑯᐏᐣ ᐃᑯᑕ ᐅᐦᐱᒦ ᐊᔭᒥᐦᐋᐤ ᑭᐢᑭᓌᐦᐊᒫᑐᐏᑲᒥᑯᕽ ᙮
But this is what I am thinking about, I look at my life. I have come to see a lot of things where I have been hindered by my residential school experience.
namwâc awasimî ikota nikî-ohci-pihtîn âcathohkîwina. iyakoni anihi âcathohkîwina kâ-kî-kiskinwahamawâcik onîkihikwak ocawâsimisiwâwa: tânisi ta-isi-ohpikihâwasocik, mîna tânisi ta-isi-pimâtisick ôta askîhk. kahkithaw kîkway ikota âcathohkîwinihk kî-kiskinwahamâkîwak onîkihikomâwak. namôtha kî-ispathin iyakoni kiskinwahamâkîwina ta-kiskinwahamâkawiyân wîtha kâ-pipohk mâna kâ-kî-âcathohkâniwak, ispî ohpimî kâ-kî-ayâyân.ᓇᒹᐨ ᐊᐘᓯᒦ ᐃᑯᑕ ᓂᑮ ᐅᐦᒋ ᐱᐦᑏᐣ ᐋᒐᖪᐦᑮᐏᓇ ᙮ ᐃᔭᑯᓂ ᐊᓂᐦᐃ ᐋᒐᖪᐦᑮᐏᓇ ᑳ ᑮ ᑭᐢᑭᓌᐦᐊᒪᐚᒋᐠ ᐅᓃᑭᐦᐃᑿᐠ ᐅᒐᐚᓯᒥᓯᐚᐘ : ᑖᓂᓯ ᑕ ᐃᓯ ᐅᐦᐱᑭᐦᐋᐘᓱᒋᐠ , ᒦᓇ ᑖᓂᓯ ᑕ ᐃᓯ ᐱᒫᑎᓯᐨᐠ ᐆᑕ ᐊᐢᑮᕽ ᙮ ᑲᐦᑭᖬᐤ ᑮᑿᕀ ᐃᑯᑕ ᐋᒐᖪᐦᑮᐏᓂᕽ ᑮ ᑭᐢᑭᓌᐦᐊᒫᑮᐘᐠ ᐅᓃᑭᐦᐃᑯᒫᐘᐠ ᙮ ᓇᒨᖬ ᑮ ᐃᐢᐸᖨᐣ ᐃᔭᑯᓂ ᑭᐢᑭᓌᐦᐊᒫᑮᐏᓇ ᑕ ᑭᐢᑭᓌᐦᐊᒫᑲᐏᔮᐣ ᐑᖬ ᑳ ᐱᐳᕽ ᒫᓇ ᑳ ᑮ ᐋᒐᖪᐦᑳᓂᐘᐠ , ᐃᐢᐲ ᐅᐦᐱᒦ ᑳ ᑮ ᐊᔮᔮᐣ ᙮
There (at the school) I was no longer able to hear the traditional sacred stories. These traditional stories were used by the parents to teach their children: how to raise children, as well as how to live in this world. Everything parents needed to teach their children were in those traditional stories. It was not possible for those stories to teach me because it was in the winter when those stories were told, when I was away from home.
namôtha mâmaskâc kâ-pî-kitimâkisiyân nipimâtisiwinihk: nikî-kitimahikon minihkwîwin mîna maci-maskihkiya; nikî-wîpinâwak niwâhkômâkan ikwa mîna nitawâsimisak; namôtha nikî-ohci-miciminîn atoskîwin. pîthisk namôtha âhpô nânitaw ita nikî-ohci-wîkin. ôtînâhk mîskanahk pîthisk nikî-wîkin. pâtimâw kâ-nakatamân minihkwîwin ikwa maci-maskihkiya kâ-ati-kaskihtâyân atoskîwin ta-miciminamân; pâtimâw kâ-nakatamân minihkwîwin ikwa maci-maskihkiya kâ-kî-kaskihtâyân ta-mitho-pimâtisiyân; pâtimâw kâ-nakatamân minihkwîwin ikwa maci-maskihkiya kâ-kî-kaskihtâyân ta-mitho-pamihakwâw nicawâsimisak ikwa nôsisimak. kayâs, mitoni kîkâc nistomitanaw askîwin, kâ-kî-nakatamân iyako nipimâtisiwin.ᓇᒨᖬ ᒫᒪᐢᑳᐨ ᑳ ᐲ ᑭᑎᒫᑭᓯᔮᐣ ᓂᐱᒫᑎᓯᐏᓂᕽ : ᓂᑮ ᑭᑎᒪᐦᐃᑯᐣ ᒥᓂᐦᑹᐏᐣ ᒦᓇ ᒪᒋ ᒪᐢᑭᐦᑭᔭ ᓂᑮ ᐑᐱᓈᐘᐠ ᓂᐚᐦᑰᒫᑲᐣ ᐃᑿ ᒦᓇ ᓂᑕᐚᓯᒥᓴᐠ ᓇᒨᖬ ᓂᑮ ᐅᐦᒋ ᒥᒋᒥᓃᐣ ᐊᑐᐢᑮᐏᐣ ᙮ ᐲᖨᐢᐠ ᓇᒨᖬ ᐋᐦᐴ ᓈᓂᑕᐤ ᐃᑕ ᓂᑮ ᐅᐦᒋ ᐑᑭᐣ ᙮ ᐆᑏᓈᕽ ᒦᐢᑲᓇᕽ ᐲᖨᐢᐠ ᓂᑮ ᐑᑭᐣ ᙮ ᐹᑎᒫᐤ ᑳ ᓇᑲᑕᒫᐣ ᒥᓂᐦᑹᐏᐣ ᐃᑿ ᒪᒋ ᒪᐢᑭᐦᑭᔭ ᑳ ᐊᑎ ᑲᐢᑭᐦᑖᔮᐣ ᐊᑐᐢᑮᐏᐣ ᑕ ᒥᒋᒥᓇᒫᐣ ᐹᑎᒫᐤ ᑳ ᓇᑲᑕᒫᐣ ᒥᓂᐦᑹᐏᐣ ᐃᑿ ᒪᒋ ᒪᐢᑭᐦᑭᔭ ᑳ ᑮ ᑲᐢᑭᐦᑖᔮᐣ ᑕ ᒥᖪ ᐱᒫᑎᓯᔮᐣ ᐹᑎᒫᐤ ᑳ ᓇᑲᑕᒫᐣ ᒥᓂᐦᑹᐏᐣ ᐃᑿ ᒪᒋ ᒪᐢᑭᐦᑭᔭ ᑳ ᑮ ᑲᐢᑭᐦᑖᔮᐣ ᑕ ᒥᖪ ᐸᒥᐦᐊᒁᐤ ᓂᒐᐚᓯᒥᓴᐠ ᐃᑿ ᓅᓯᓯᒪᐠ ᙮ ᑲᔮᐢ , ᒥᑐᓂ ᑮᑳᐨ ᓂᐢᑐᒥᑕᓇᐤ ᐊᐢᑮᐏᐣ , ᑳ ᑮ ᓇᑲᑕᒫᐣ ᐃᔭᑯ ᓂᐱᒫᑎᓯᐏᐣ ᙮
It is no wonder that I came to suffer during my life: alcohol and drugs made my life pitiful; I abandoned my wife and my children; I was unable to hold down a job. Eventually I had nowhere to live. I lived on city streets. Not until I walked away from alcohol and drugs was I able to hold down a job; Not until I walked away from alcohol and drugs was I able to live a good life; Not until I walked away from alcohol and drugs was I able to take care of my children and my grandchildren. A long time, almost 30 years now, since I left that life behind.
ninanâskomon anohc kâ-isi-pimâtisiyân: namwâc awasimî nimihkwân mîna namwâc nitâpacihtân maci-maskihkiya, ikwa mîna nistomitanaw askîwin nipî-atoskâtîn ôma nitatoskîwin. nama wihkâc nika-wanikiskisin ita kâ-pî-ohci-pasikoyân, ita kâ-pî-isi-kitimâkisiyân. tahto-kîsikâw nikakwî-mitho-pimâtisin.ᓂᓇᓈᐢᑯᒧᐣ ᐊᓄᐦᐨ ᑳ ᐃᓯ ᐱᒫᑎᓯᔮᐣ : ᓇᒹᐨ ᐊᐘᓯᒦ ᓂᒥᐦᒁᐣ ᒦᓇ ᓇᒹᐨ ᓂᑖᐸᒋᐦᑖᐣ ᒪᒋ ᒪᐢᑭᐦᑭᔭ , ᐃᑿ ᒦᓇ ᓂᐢᑐᒥᑕᓇᐤ ᐊᐢᑮᐏᐣ ᓂᐲ ᐊᑐᐢᑳᑏᐣ ᐆᒪ ᓂᑕᑐᐢᑮᐏᐣ ᙮ ᓇᒪ ᐏᐦᑳᐨ ᓂᑲ ᐘᓂᑭᐢᑭᓯᐣ ᐃᑕ ᑳ ᐲ ᐅᐦᒋ ᐸᓯᑯᔮᐣ , ᐃᑕ ᑳ ᐲ ᐃᓯ ᑭᑎᒫᑭᓯᔮᐣ ᙮ ᑕᐦᑐ ᑮᓯᑳᐤ ᓂᑲᑹ ᒥᖪ ᐱᒫᑎᓯᐣ ᙮
I give thanks for the life I have today: I no longer drink and I no longer use drugs, and it’s been 30 years in which I have been working at my job here. I will never forget from where I have risen, where I have had a pitiful life. Every day I try to live a good life.

 

 

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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One Response to For Orange Shirt Day: Solomon Ratt (th-dialect)

  1. Ken Holmlund says:

    I am fighting hard to reverse the discrimination of the past. My adopted children are Cree, from a damaged history unable to keep them safe.

    They came with no culture or understanding of their history. I made a vow to give them their language, their ceremony, and their culture. In reconciling their past I have gained a remarkable connection to a culture that is not mine by birth. I have adopted the Cree culture as my own.

    niya nehiyaw nitêhihk!

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