Category Archives: Commentary

Niska Napoleon: Reclaiming Cree Identity

She may not have intended this as more than a Facebook post, but there’s a special fierceness to this statement from Niska Napoleon (niskanapoleon.com) – who is clearly not the first rock star in her family – as she reflects on the power … Continue reading

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Why the French can throw away their hats – But we still need them for written Cree

Yesterday’s news of spelling reforms in France – eliminating most (but not all) uses of the circumflex accent – is an interesting comment on the information we get from spelling – and on the information we need. (In case you haven’t seen … Continue reading

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The truth may set us free to walk again

  From the Winnipeg Free Press, Saturday, 30 May 2015, a gentle piece from Treaty Commissioner Jamie Wilson who reflects literally and metaphorically on recovery of Creeness after Residential School. The truth may set us free to walk again.  

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Chelsea Vowel: Unsettling Your Language

Chelsea Vowel talks about being a learner of  Cree in this opening overview of her planned new series of Cree language learning podcasts. She touches something really important I’ve heard from other language teachers as well: the pressure, expectations, and even … Continue reading

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Regifting, belatedly: A Canada Day gift from apihtawikosisan

Lawyer/Activist/Educator Chelsea Vowel (originally from northern Alberta, now living in Montreal)  created a social justice video game – with Plains Cree language and cultural content, and a healthy dose of sardonic wit – that she launched on her apihtawikosisan.com blog as a … Continue reading

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Roadblocks to effective indigenous language development

Reblogged from Chelsea Vowel’s apihtawikosisan.com, October 4, 2013. This anecdote used to be shared on a now-defunct website for a Sims-like game calledRezWorld.  Someone tweeted a link to the site many months ago and I was nearly incoherent with excitement.  … Continue reading

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Sixth Anniversary of UN Adoption of Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Six years ago, on September 13, 2007, the UN adopted the Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Thanks to Dick Preston for sharing the attached pdf which reflects on the document’s important, and Canada’s (failure to) progress in embracing this … Continue reading

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Tyrone Tootoosis, Sr. on the Treaty Six Flag

“Facelifted” from Tyrone Tootoosis Sr., September 10, 2013. Tyrone writes: Earlier this year, the University of Saskatchewan President’s Office requested that I compose a brief summary of the meaning and significance of the Treaty Six flag and that I serve … Continue reading

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When Kids Don’’t See Themselves Reflected At School

This brief TVO video reflects on the value to Aboriginal children of seeing themselves, their language and their culture reflected at school. Another reminder of the importance of creating not only books in Cree, but also culturally appropriate books in … Continue reading

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John Murdoch, 1981, on Syllabics

Although the Cree Literacy Network maintains its preference for Standard Roman Orthography, the syllabic system still retains a healthy collection of advocates. An interesting — but lengthy — read for both sides of the discussion is presented in the 1981 … Continue reading

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