2018: ihkopîwipîsim / ᐃᐦᑯᐲᐏᐲᓯᒼ / November

Thanks to Solomon Ratt for allowing the Cree Literacy Network to share his 2018 calendar, complete with his own original illustrations. Following his request, we will post one image at the beginning of each month. For those who like to plan a little further in advance, a link to complete pdfs is included here:
Y- and Th-Dialect Version:

2018Calendar

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Solomon Ratt: Perpetual Calendar based on Lunar Cycles (y- and th-dialects)

Beautiful teamwork – concept and vocabulary from Solomon Ratt, graphic image by Celia Deschambaults. Names of weekdays thanks to Arok Wolvengrey. Posted here with thanks to all three.

This perpetual calendar has 13 moon cycles and six seasons. Months (on this calendar) start at the full moon closest to the winter solstice. Sol says some people have told him that the new year would start at the end of story-telling season, in the spring – which also makes sense.

Note that month names reflect environmental realities – migration cycles – and may therefore differ from one region to the next. The dates in red on this calendar correspond to the Julian (regular) calendar for 2019.

Posted in Calendar, Solomon Ratt | 2 Comments

Moose Cree Talking Dictionary

I was gifted copies of this dictionary in print by a community member – it’s a beauty. I’m excited to hear the audio now as well (and understand why Moose Cree friends laugh at my pronunciation of sâkahikan, among other things!)

Congratulations to Geraldine Govender, Susan Cheechoo, Eleanor McLeod, Hilda Jeffries, Kevin Brousseau, Jimena Terraza, Anna Luisa Daigneault, K. David Harrison, Gregory D. S. Anderson, who worked together on this outstanding project.

The group has chosen some minor deviations from Western SRO: omitting length mark on ê, and using spaces (instead of hyphens) for grammatical preverbs, but the spelling is phonologically sound and prepared with great care. Beautiful work!

http://talkingdictionary.swarthmore.edu/moose_cree/?fields=gloss&q=lake

 

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2018: pimihâwipîsim / ᐱᒥᐦᐋᐏᐲᓯᒼ / October

Thanks to Solomon Ratt for allowing the Cree Literacy Network to share his 2018 calendar, complete with his own original illustrations. Following his request, we will post one image at the beginning of each month.

2018Calendar

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kahkiyaw awâsisak sâkihâwak: All Children are Loved

Thanks to Tammy Joan Ratt and her little sweetie for permission to use this FaceBook image. She commented there: “We hurt becuz our family has been hurt. We feel it in our hearts and lives everyday. It is real. We will easily wear orange one day a year to honour all the people that were affected by residential schools, we feel it everyday❤️

Thanks to Tammy Joan Ratt and her little sweetie for permission to use this FaceBook image. She commented there: “We hurt becuz our family has been hurt. We feel it in our hearts and lives everyday. It is real. We will easily wear orange one day a year to honour all the people that were affected by residential schools, we feel it everyday❤️

kahkiyaw awâsisak sâkihâwak.
ᑲᐦᑭᔭᐤ ᐊᐚᓯᓴᐠ ᓵᑭᐦᐋᐘᐠ
All children are loved.

Jason Chamakase provided his interpretation of the popular slogan, “Every Child Matters”: When it comes to the word “matter/s” it is similar to “important.”

ispihtēyihtākwan (iss pih teeh taa kwan) “it is of importance/thought highly of”
ispihtēyihtākosiw (iss pih teeh taa ko soo) “he/she is important/highly thought of”

tahto (tah to) “each/every”
awāsis (a waa sis) “a child”
ispihtēyihtākosiw (iss pih teeh taa ko soo) “matters”

tahto awāsis ispihtēyihtākosiw
ᑕᐦᑐ ᐊᐋᐧᓯᐢ ᐃᐢᐱᐦᑌᔨᐦᑖᑯᓯᐤ
every child matters.

Thanks to Heather Souther for underscoring the reflections of Simon Bird (#CreeSimon):

Good words from Simon Bird who speaks from experience. We need to support families to best support children. This goes for language revitalization, too! Family-based/community-based learning creates places for our languages to live in an authentic way and creates a stronger sense of identity, pride and cohesiveness. Master (mentor)-Apprentice programs can be a big part of this!

From within the school system, Simon Bird writes:

Every child matters?
If you wear an orange shirt in support of residential school survivors please remembers every child that’s with us today.

Remember the kids that are not in school today, that are incarcerated or running from police as we speak. They are who they are because they had no champions at home. These kids that are running straight into a brick wall: death, gangs, drug abuse, sexual abuse, alcohol abuse, incarceration.

Remember these are kids who have no parenting, come from violent families and copy what they see at home. When you wear that orange shirt today remember every child needs a champion before they become the pitiful parents they had.

I know the orange shirts are for residential school survivors. I wear my shirt for the grandchildren and great grandchildren of these survivors.

Remember the pitiful parents today were once children too, kids who come from parents who don’t know how to parent. The kids who become addicts who had kids themselves.

It’s much harder than you realize to champion every child. To say every child matters is easy. To do something about is very hard.

How do you champion 20 kids when one kid throat punches you as a teacher and terrorizes the rest of your students? How do you champion a student (whose been missing from school all week) on the playground when they run around at recess stealing money off of others and throws rocks at you? How do you champion a kid who breaks into your home and taunts you at school because they know they are untouchable? Or when they threaten to break into your home with a gun to teach you a lesson? How do you champion a kid whose parents threaten you if you are doing your job as a teacher?

It’s not easy. It takes an incredible amount of understanding, to truly know we can only champion so many, without burning out trying to help every child. Help as many as much as possible.

If we all did this, no one would be forgotten. As one person don’t try to champion every single person until you become useless and jaded. Help support those you can, honestly and compassionately AND support others whose job it is to be champions. Support the teachers, schools, child family services, mental health workers and yes, the RCMP. These institutions get a bad rap, but the fact remains we have parents who were once kids with no family support.

Support the families so we can support the child.

Posted in Orange Shirt Day (30 Sept) | Leave a comment

Free Online: Cree: Language of the Plains / nēhiyawēwin: paskwāwi-pīkiskwēwin by Jean L. Okimāsis

Wonderful news from Arok Wolvengrey and Cree Literacy Network Honorary Founder Jean Okimâsis. Her classic title is now available online for “open access” – which means everyone is welcome to download a copy for their own use. Thanks to the University of Regina Press for making this happen! 

Cree: Language of the Plains / nēhiyawēwin: paskwāwi-pīkiskwēwin by Jean L. Okimāsis

University of Regina Press is pleased to announce the release of its updated Cree language resource package titled Cree: Language of the Plains / nēhiyawēwin: paskwāwi-pīkiskwēwin by Jean L. Okimāsis. Jean is a leading scholar in the preservation and teaching of the Cree language. At First Nations University of Canada—formerly Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (SIFC), Jean was a driving force behind the establishment of the Department of Indian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, for which she served as the first department head (1985-1988) and for a second term before her retirement from teaching (in 2002). She also contributed greatly to the creation of the first and only full degree programs in First Nations languages—Cree and Saulteaux (Ojibway)— in Canada. Cree: Language of the Plains was originally available from SIFC in many editions and printings through the 1980s and 1990s. Jean’s books and CDs are currently used in Cree language programs throughout western Canada.

Cree: Language of the Plains is a comprehensive introductory educational resource, offering a broad range of learning materials that is easily accessible to all Cree language learners, students and community alike regardless of their location of study. This collection includes an updated and redesigned Cree language textbook, Cree language audio labs, and a Cree language workbook. These materials have been published as open access resources, which allows users to download and share these materials with others in print and digital format for free. The audio labs are also being released as a podcast this fall.

“I am especially pleased that this work has been made available in the open access format, allowing those who wish to learn and/or reclaim nēhiyawēwin (Plains Cree) for themselves,” says Dr. Okimāsis.

These Cree language resources are available to download, to print out, or to read online—free of charge—at: https://ourspace.uregina.ca/handle/10294/8401

For more information on this new publication, please contact open.textbooks@uregina.ca.

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2018: nôcihitowipîsim / ᓅᒋᐦᐃᑐᐏᐲᓯᒼ / September

Thanks to Solomon Ratt for allowing the Cree Literacy Network to share his 2018 calendar, complete with his own original illustrations. Following his request, we will post one image at the beginning of each month.

2018Calendar

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Master-Apprentice Michif Language Program

Heather Souter, co-ordinator of the Master-Apprentice Language Learning Program, right, pictured with Michif-speaking elders and learners at a small training workshop at the Manitoba Métis Federation bingo hall in Brandon in July. Also pictured is Brandon-based Michif language educator Verna DeMontigny, second from left.

Thanks to Heather Souter – and congratulations – as she helps launch this new Master-Apprentice Language Learning Program in Dauphin. Read the full story from the Brandon Sun here:

https://www.brandonsun.com/local/indigenous-language-program-launching-in-dauphin-490421351.html

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A prayer to the four directions: Solomon Ratt (th-dialect, y-dialect)

Four sacred medicines (clockwise) tobacco, sweet grass, cedar and sage. (Erica Daniels/CBC)

th-dialect:

kisîmanitow, kinanâskomitin kotak kîsikâw î-mithiyan

mâci-kîsikanohk isi nimawimôstamowâw mikisiw-ahcahk kita-nâkatawîthimât oskawâsisa ikwa kita-mîthit sîpîthihtamowin. nipakitinâw cistîmâw;

sâwanohk isi nimawimôstamowâw âpakosîs-ahcahk kita-nâkatawîthimât oskâya ikwa kita-mîthit kisîwâtisowin. nipakitinîn paskwâwihkaskwa;

pahkisimonihk isi nimawimôstamowâw paskwâwimostos-ahcahk kita-nâkatawîthimât okîsohpikiwa ikwa kita-mîthit sîpiyawîsiwin. nipakitinîn wîhkaskwa;

kîwîtinohk isi nimawimôstamowâw maskwa-ahcahk kita-nâkatawîthimât kîhtiyaya ikwa kita-mîthit sâkihitowin. nipakitinîn mâsikîsk.

sawîthimik kahkithaw niwâhkômâkanak, hay-hay.

ᑭᓰᒪᓂᑐᐤ, ᑭᓇᓈᐢᑯᒥᑎᐣ ᑯᑕᐠ ᑮᓯᑳᐤ ᐄᒥᐟᐦᐃᔭᐣ

ᒫᒋᑮᓯᑲᓄᕽ ᐃᓯ ᓂᒪᐏᒨᐢᑕᒧᐚᐤ ᒥᑭᓯᐘᐦᒐᕽ ᑭᑕᓈᑲᑕᐑᐟᐦᐃᒫᐟ ᐅᐢᑲᐚᓯᓴ ᐃᑿ ᑭᑕᒦᐟᐦᐃᐟ ᓰᐲᐟᐦᐃᐦᑕᒧᐏᐣ. ᓂᐸᑭᑎᓈᐤ ᒋᐢᑏᒫᐤ;

ᓵᐘᓄᕽ ᐃᓯ ᓂᒪᐏᒨᐢᑕᒧᐚᐤ ᐋᐸᑯᓰᓴᐦᒐᕽ ᑭᑕᓈᑲᑕᐑᐟᐦᐃᒫᐟ ᐅᐢᑳᔭ ᐃᑿ ᑭᑕᒦᐟᐦᐃᐟ ᑭᓰᐚᑎᓱᐏᐣ. ᓂᐸᑭᑎᓃᐣ ᐸᐢᒁᐏᐦᑲᐢᑿ;

ᐸᐦᑭᓯᒧᓂᕽ ᐃᓯ ᓂᒪᐏᒨᐢᑕᒧᐚᐤ ᐸᐢᒁᐏᒧᐢᑐᓴᐦᒐᕽ ᑭᑕᓈᑲᑕᐑᐟᐦᐃᒫᐟ ᐅᑮᓱᐦᐱᑭᐘ ᐃᑿ ᑭᑕᒦᐟᐦᐃᐟ ᓰᐱᔭᐑᓯᐏᐣ. ᓂᐸᑭᑎᓃᐣ ᐑᐦᑲᐢᑿ;

ᑮᐑᑎᓄᕽ ᐃᓯ ᓂᒪᐏᒨᐢᑕᒧᐚᐤ ᒪᐢᑿᐊᐦᒐᕽ ᑭᑕᓈᑲᑕᐑᐟᐦᐃᒫᐟ ᑮᐦᑎᔭᔭ ᐃᑿ ᑭᑕᒦᐟᐦᐃᐟ ᓵᑭᐦᐃᑐᐏᐣ. ᓂᐸᑭᑎᓃᐣ ᒫᓯᑮᐢᐠ.

ᓴᐑᐟᐦᐃᒥᐠ ᑲᐦᑭᐟᐦᐊᐤ ᓂᐚᐦᑰᒫᑲᓇᐠ, ᐊᕀᐦᐊᕀ.

Creator, I thank you for another day.

To the East I pray to the Eagle Spirit to take care of the newborns and to give me patience.
I set down tobacco;
To the South I pray to the Mouse Spirit to take care of the youth and to give me kindness.
I set down sage;
To the West I pray to the Buffalo Spirit to take care of the adults and to give me tolerance.
I set down sweet grass;
To the North I pray to the Bear Spirit to take care of the Elders and to give me love.
I set down cedar.
Bless all my relatives, hay-hay.

[y-dialect:] 

kisêmanitow, kinanâskomitin kotak kîsikâw ê-miyiyan 

sâkâstênohk isi nimawimôstamowâw mikisiw-ahcahk kita-nâkatawêyimât oskawâsisa êkwa kita-miyit sîpêyihtamowin.
nipakitinâw cistêmâw;

sâwanohk
isi nimawimôstamowâw âpakosîs-ahcahk kita-nâkatawêyimât oskâya êkwa kita-miyit kisêwâtisiwin.
nipakitinên paskwâwihkaskwa;

pahkisimotâhk
isi nimawimôstamowâw paskwâwimostos-ahcahk kita-nâkatawêyimât okîsohpikiwa êkwa kita-miyit sîpiyawêsiwin.
nipakitinên wîhkaskwa;

kîwêtinohk
isi nimawimôstamowâw maskwa-ahcahk kita-nâkatawêyimât kêhtê-aya êkwa kita-miyit sâkihitowin.
nipakitinên mâsikîsk.

sawêyimik kahkiyaw niwâhkômâkanak, hay-hay.

ᑭᓭᒪᓂᑐᐤ, ᑭᓇᓈᐢᑯᒥᑎᐣ ᑯᑕᐠ ᑮᓯᑳᐤ ᐁᒥᔨᔭᐣ

ᓵᑳᐢᑌᓄᕽ ᐃᓯ ᓂᒪᐏᒨᐢᑕᒧᐚᐤ ᒥᑭᓯᐘᐦᒐᕽ ᑭᑕᓈᑲᑕᐍᔨᒫᐟ ᐅᐢᑲᐚᓯᓴ ᐁᑿ ᑭᑕᒥᔨᐟ ᓰᐯᔨᐦᑕᒧᐏᐣ.
ᓂᐸᑭᑎᓈᐤ ᒋᐢᑌᒫᐤ;

ᓵᐘᓄᕽ ᐃᓯ ᓂᒪᐏᒨᐢᑕᒧᐚᐤ ᐋᐸᑯᓰᓴᐦᒐᕽ ᑭᑕᓈᑲᑕᐍᔨᒫᐟ ᐅᐢᑳᔭ ᐁᑿ ᑭᑕᒥᔨᐟ ᑭᓭᐚᑎᓯᐏᐣ.
ᓂᐸᑭᑎᓀᐣ ᐸᐢᒁᐏᐦᑲᐢᑿ;

ᐸᐦᑭᓯᒧᑖᕽ ᐃᓯ ᓂᒪᐏᒨᐢᑕᒧᐚᐤ ᐸᐢᒁᐏᒧᐢᑐᓴᐦᒐᕽ ᑭᑕᓈᑲᑕᐍᔨᒫᐟ ᐅᑮᓱᐦᐱᑭᐘ ᐁᑿ ᑭᑕᒥᔨᐟ ᓰᐱᔭᐍᓯᐏᐣ.
ᓂᐸᑭᑎᓀᐣ ᐑᐦᑲᐢᑿ;

ᑮᐍᑎᓄᕽ ᐃᓯ ᓂᒪᐏᒨᐢᑕᒧᐚᐤ ᒪᐢᑿᐊᐦᒐᕽ ᑭᑕᓈᑲᑕᐍᔨᒫᐟ ᑫᐦᑌᐊᔭ ᐁᑿ ᑭᑕᒥᔨᐟ ᓵᑭᐦᐃᑐᐏᐣ.
ᓂᐸᑭᑎᓀᐣ ᒫᓯᑮᐢᐠ.

ᓴᐍᔨᒥᐠ ᑲᐦᑭᔭᐤ ᓂᐚᐦᑰᒫᑲᓇᐠ, ᐦᐊᕀᐦᐊᕀ.

Creator, I thank you for another day.

To the East I pray to the Eagle Spirit to take care of the newborns and to give me patience. I set down tobacco;
To the South I pray to the Mouse Spirit to take care of the youth and to give me kindness.
I set down sage;
To the West I pray to the Buffalo Spirit to take care of the adults and to give me tolerance.
I set down sweet grass;
To the North I pray to the Bear Spirit to take care of the Elders and to give me love.
I set down cedar.
Bless all my relatives, hay-hay.

Posted in Audio (th-dialect), Audio (y-dialect), Identity, Prayers, Solomon Ratt | 1 Comment

Canoe Terminology (y-dialect)

Thanks to Elizabeth Zdunich for permission to use this photo of her daughter, with fellow student Stan Bird on Pike Lake, July 2018.

In July 2018, Kevin Lewis led a group of University of Saskatchewan students for a day of paddling at Pike Lake, Saskatchewan. Most were students in his Education Curriculum class, part of the UofS Indigenous Language Certificate program – but some brought their family along for the fun of it.

Christine Ravenis – who has now completed the certificate program – used the adventure as a chance to teach Cree-language canoeing terminology. When she posted to the nêhiyawêwin Word of the Day FaceBook group for vocabulary, I started taking notes!

Christine and Kevin were kind enough to share their photos. My favourite is the one used here, with thanks to Elizabeth Zdunich for permission to share this gorgeous shot of otânisa in the midst of a water lily field with fellow student Stan Bird.

The canoeing terms that follow (with thanks to Solomon Ratt for SRO/editorial help) here were gathered from:

CreeglossSource
apihkân crossbarSolomon Ratt
apoy paddle; shovel, spade
asê-apoyêto paddle using oars while sitting facing backwards, Stan Wilson
asêcimêpaddle backwards Stan Wilson
asipêkihtinbe reflected (as an image in the water) Faries
âsokâmêham go across by canoe
âsokâmêpayiw go across by boat or canoe
âsokâmêyâtakâwwade across shallow water, wade across
âsowaham cross s.t. (e.g. a river, cross over; cross s.t. by canoe
âsowakâmêwcross a body of water, ford a stream, cross a river at a shallow ford; cross the ice by foot
astothiwthe wind dies downSolomon Ratt
atâmipêkdeep water
atâmipêkohkin deep water
atâmohtak under the canoe
awasêwêskam go around s.t. by canoe
ayiwâkipêwbe too deep in the water
ayiwâkipêwbe too deep in the water; the water is too deep
cikâstêpêkisinbe reflected in the water
cîmân canoe
cîminaccompany me in the canoe, Stan Wilson
isicimêw paddle thither; go there by water (e.g. in a boat)
iskopêwbe so deep in water, in liquid, stand just so high in water
kapâdisembark Stan Wilson
kapatênam beach s.t. (e.g. a canoe; take s.t. from the water
kapatêsipayihow get out of a canoe quickly
kapatêwêpaham beach s.t. (e.g. canoe with a batting motion, knock s.t. out of the water
kapâtowin portage; a setting ashore
kapâw go ashore, land, come ashore; get out of a canoe or boat
kaskêwêhtahêw cross a portage carrying s.o. on his/her own back
kaskêwêhtatâw cross a portage carrying s.t. on his/her own back
kaskêwêpahtâw run while crossing the portage
kaskêwêtowatêw cross a portage with goods on his/her own back
kaskêwêw cross over a portage, go across land
kihciniskwahtakright side of canoe
kwahkahosoto push the canoe along by using the paddle in shallow water by pushing against the ground (this one is hard to explain), Stan Wilson
kwatapipayiw tip over (e.g. canoe)
kwatapîw tip over (e.g. canoe)
kwêskapoyêswitch paddling strokes (e.g.from left-to right), Stan Wilson
kwêtapipayiwcapsize
mâham canoe downriver, paddle downstream, row downstream, go downstream (by canoe)
mâhâpokow canoe downstream
mâhâpwêwêw paddle downstream
misi-pâwistikohkmisi-pâwistikohk (Grand Rapids, MB; literally: at the big rapids)
mistiko-cîmanwooden boat Stan Wilson
mitimêyâhtawêw climb on the gunwale
nakatahwêw leave s.o. behind by canoe, boat, car
nâmiwanaham canoe with the wind to his/her rear
nanimaham canoe against the wind
nâpihkwânbig ship Stan Wilson
nataham canoe upstream, paddle upstream
nihtâwicimêw use a boat and paddles well
nîkânihkfrontSolomon Ratt
nimitawaham canoe to the open water; canoe to the prairie, open country
nîpâhow canoe in the dark
nistamokâmto be in front (paddler) of the canoe, Stan Wilson
nitôsim my boat, my canoe
nitôt my boat, my canoe
nôwîwohthere's a leak Stan Wilson
ohcistinit leaks; the canoe is taking in water (via a puncture), Stan Wilson
ohtêpayiwboil (e.g. water), bubble; fizz, foam (e.g. water in falls or rapids)
onikâhp portage
onikêw portage in a canoe; carry s.t. across his/her own shoulder
ôsi boat; canoe
oskotamoyellow pond-lily, water lily; Nuphar Variegatum; also, waskwatamoh, waskatimiwnehiyawewin.ca
otâhkback endSolomon Ratt
otapoyihkêw paddle maker
otê isi-wêpahasend it over here; as explained by Vital Corrigal, "You're in the front end of a canoe, telling the one in the rear which direction you want the canoe to go. The one in the rear is the directional controler, whether paddling or using outboard motor." Dolores/Rusty
pâhkwâsinbe shallow, be the bottom of water
pâhkwâwbe dry; be shallow water, be almost dried up
papâmicimêw canoe about, move about on the water by vehicle
papâmiskâw paddle about, canoe about; swim around (e.g. an animal)
pâwistikpâwistik (rapids, waterfall; Brandon, MB
pâwistikociwanpâwistikociwan (flow with rapids)
pâwistikowanpâwistikowan (be a series of rapids)
pêcicimêw paddle hither
pêtahiskwêwêw bring a woman by canoe, bring his wife by canoe
pîhtotakinside of the canoe
pikihkâtâmend the canoe using tree sapMartin Samson Hunter
pimâstimousing a sail, Stan Wilson
pimâstimouse a sail Stan Wilson
pimicimêw canoe along, paddle along; swim (e.g. animal, not human)
pimîhkwângunwaleSolomon Ratt
pimiskâkan paddle, oar, fin
pimiskâw swim by; paddle by in a canoe, boat; paddle, row
pîwitampîwitam (shoot rapids)
pôsiget into the boat, Stan Wilson
pôskohtin get a hole through it (e.g. a canoe; burst (as a tire), burst from wearing out)
sîkahâhtamsplash or pours water on s.t.
sîkahâhtâsowsplash or pours water on him/herself; be baptized
sîkahâhtawêwsprinkle s.o., splash s.o., pour water onto s.o.; baptize s.o.
sipwêcimêw leave by boat, canoe away, paddle away
tahkwahapaddle from the rearSolomon Ratt
tâwâyihkin the middleSolomon Ratt
tâwihtak in the center of the boards or floor; center of a canoe or boat
timîwbe deep water, be very deep (e.g. water) e.g. water
tômikanostinwater is as smooth as pimiy Stan Wilson
wâkinâw canoe rib
wâkinâwakcanoe ribsSolomon Ratt
wânwâstikwêham go round a bend in canoe, canoe around a bend
wapâciwanâhkwapâciwanâhk (Patuanak, SK; Dene community; literally: at the narrow rapids, from wapâciwanâw, 'the rapids are narrow.'Kevin Lewis
waskatimiwpond lily, yellow water lily
waskwatamohpond lily, yellow water lily; water lily rootKevin Lewis
waskway-cîmanbirch bark canoe Stan Wilson
waskway-ôsi birch bark canoe
wâwikan"backone" Solomon Ratt

 

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