First Nations Circle of Knowledge and Practices Conference: Wilfred Buck

“Science is all around us – and we have to start applying it on our terms.”

Wilfred Buck’s keynote talk at the MFNERC First Nations Circle of Knowledge Conference (October 2017) focused on the need of 21st century kids for 21st century tools. He talked about his many travels and studies of astronomy and quantum physics, and his connections with NASA.

Compared to Kepler telescopes and NASA missions to Mars, the technology we push here at the Cree Literacy Network is pretty low tech. But without solid reading and writing skills, 21st century students can’t become the proud, strong and knowledgeable people our world needs. Whether we’re using roman or syllabic spelling, reading and writing well in Cree language demands consistent spelling.

Here is some of the vocabulary in Cree that Wilfred uses in his talk (additions and corrections welcome!)

Cree (SRO)EnglishSyllabic
acâhko-sîpiy star river, the Milky Wayᐊᒑᕽ ᓰᐱᕀ
acâkosak stars ᐊᒑᑯᓴᐠ
atim-acâhk dog star ᐊᑎᒼ ᐊᒑᕽ
awâsisak childrenᐊᐚᓯᓴᐠ
câpânak great-grandparents, great-grandchildren: tied together at the beginning and end of the seven generationsᒑᐹᓇᐠ
êkosi, ninanâskomonthat's it, I am gratefulᐁᑯᓯ , ᓂᓇᓈᐢᑯᒧᐣ
kâh-kitowak thunderers, thunderbirdsᑳᐦ ᑭᑐᐘᐠ
kiwêtin Polaris, the north star, literally, going home starᑭᐍᑎᐣ
mahihkan wolfᒪᐦᐃᐦᑲᐣ
mahkêsiw foxᒪᐦᑫᓯᐤ
namêw sturgeonᓇᒣᐤ
ospwâkana pipesᐅᐢᑇᑲᓇ
pakonêkîsik hole in the sky, Pleiadesᐸᑯᓀᑮᓯᐠ
pawâkanak dream spiritsᐸᐚᑲᓇᐠ
pawâmiwin dreamsᐸᐚᒥᐏᐣ
pimâtisiwin lifeᐱᒫᑎᓯᐏᐣ








About Arden Ogg

Arden Ogg is Director of the Cree Literacy Network, launched in 2010 with the goal of creating Cree language literacy materials suitable for use by learners of all ages.
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