miyo-okâwimāwi-kîsikanisik: #CreeSimonSays Lil Moshom

nôhkom = my grandmother 
nikâwiy = my mother 
nimâmâ = my mother
nisākihāw = “niss saah Key how” = I love him/her. 
nisākihāw nikāwiy = I love my mother


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

#CreeSimonSays: Teaching Cree on FaceBook

It was a great pleasure to visit with Simon Bird in Winnipeg at the 2018 Lighting the Fire Conference, hosted by Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre – to see his presentation encouraging teachers to join him in teaching Cree on Facebook – and even to show him around a little bit. I’m not the only one who asked to see the slides from his PowerPoint presentation about teaching Cree on FaceBook. I’m pleased to share them here!

The full video recorded during the session is too large to add to this site, but (if you have a FaceBook account) you can watch it by clicking here.

Posted in Literacy and Learning, Simon Bird (#CreeSimonSays) | Leave a comment

Ahaw nôtinikî-pimihâkana, ahaw! Go Jets Go!

A Winnipeg whiteout kicks off Game 4 of the NHL playoffs between the Jets and the Anaheim Ducks.

This same day that we celebrate Fred Sasakamoose’s appointment to the Order of Canada (May 2018), we (in Winnipeg, at least) are also celebrating Game 1 of the NHL Western Conference Finals between the Winnipeg Jets and the Las Vegas Knights. Maybe it’s time for some Cree-language hockey terms!

I asked #CreeSimonSays, and he suggested the following (all dialect neutral and commonly said)


  • wâpiskisîyotân = let’s dress in white
  • wâpiskâw = it is white in colour
  • wâpiskisîho = dress in white
  • wâpiskisîhowak = they are dressed in white
  • kawâpiskâw = it will be white in colour
  • My favourite (also from Simon): kawāpiskipayiw = it will turn white

Since Whiteout is also a metaphor for a blizzard, I found these two words (but isn’t that the name of another team?)

  • pîwani-yôtin, and kostâmikwan


For Jets, I could only find pimihâkan(-ak) = airplane(s).  They say the Predators burnt a small plane as part of their pre-series ritual: A lot of good that did them!

Simon provided:  nōtinikī-piminākana  Fighting planes, (n dialect)


(Thanks to Simon and to Mary Cardinal Collins for help with these!)

  • awâs! for ‘Go!’ (to one person), but if you need to yell at the whole team at once, use awâsitik for ‘Go, All of you!’
  • kisiskâpayiw (vai) = ‘go fast’ (but be really careful with your vowel length: kîsipayiw (vii) = ‘ends, terminates’
  • ahkamêyimoh = keep it up, persist
  • sohkih = go hard
  • kweyaho = hurry .
  • tahkahkih = good on u!
  • ahaw = Let’s go!
  • ahaw mâka = Come on!


For play-by-play, here’s a great example from Clarence “Tsi-boy” Iron at CFNK Radio (89.9 FM, PineHouse) Find more at the CFNK FaceBook Group.

And from Kevin Lewis, the most important play-by-play phrase of all: 

  • kitâskwêw, pihtakwatâw!!!!! = He shoots, he scores!!!

Other hockey terms:

And finally, some other general hockey vocabulary from the online itwêwina dictionary:

  • atihkwasiniy (hockey stone, puck; caribou testicle)
  • sôniskwâtahikêwikamik (arena, hockey rink)
  • sôniskwâtahikêwin (skating; hockey)
  • sôniskwâtahikêw (skate; play hockey; ski)
  • okipahowêw (jailer, prison guard; goalie, goalkeeper, goaltender)
  • ohciyâkêw (win from, over people (with things); score a win)
  • mêtawêwin (game, contest, sport; dialogue)
  • okipahowêw (jailer, prison guard; goalie, goalkeeper, goaltender)
Posted in Mary Cardinal Collins, Simon Bird (#CreeSimonSays) | 2 Comments

Order of Canada 2018: Fred Sasakamoose, C.M.

Fred Saskamoose, C.M., with Governor General Julie Payette, Photo shared by Saskatchewan Office of the Treaty Commissioner

From the 2016 Globe and Mail Profile: “He was barely out of his teens when he took faceoffs against Maurice Richard and played against Gordie Howe, Jean Béliveau and Tim Horton.”

Congratulations to Fred – the very first Indigenous player in the NHL – and to everyone at Atahkahkoop who has been cheering for him all along! Fred played 11 games for the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1953-54 season (I bet he’s cheering the Winnipeg Jets this year, in tonight’s first game of the Western Conference finals!)

Globe and Mail: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/order-of-canada-list-announced-a-guide-to-whos-being-honoured/article37454374/

Fred’s stats from the Hockey Hall of Fame: http://www.legendsofhockey.net/LegendsOfHockey/jsp/SearchPlayer.jsp?player=14221

2016 Globe and Mail Profile: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/fred-sasakamoose/article33409416/



Posted in From the Mainstream, News | 2 Comments

Cree dialogue from NFB Film The Red Dress: Wayne Jackson (y-dialect)

Thanks to Wayne Jackson for permission to share this good work originally posted in the FaceBook group Nêhiyawêwin (Cree) Word of the Day on May 10, 2018. 


The film can be viewed online, or purchased as dvd from the National Film Board.

The NFB synopsis:

Kelly is a non-status Indian, best suited, it seems, to a traditional outdoors lifestyle. His daughter, Theresa, is proud of the ways of her people, but she is also drawn to the world of the white man. The Red Dress tells a story of conflicting loyalties: of the glorious past and the demands of the present day, and of traditional values and family affections.

Here’s what Wayne says:

skwâc namoya nikî-nipân, so I made myself useful. I remember showing this to my nêhiyawêwin classes. It is about 40 years since it was made and I love the nêhiyawêwin that’s spoken by the late Sam Sinclair (from Slave Lake) and the old woman who I’m calling nohkom.

I broke down their dialogue in SRO, it’s a good study for new speakers. The dialogue is already translated to akayâsîmowin. Time has been also stamped for speeding up the parts where nêhiyawêwin is being used.

I love the way ‘macistikwânê‘ is used by both the nohkom and Sam, it can have both negative and positive qualities in a person.

nohkom (0:28)

takî-nitawi-osihacik aniki amiskwayânisak êkwa. (ki)pâpâ ôma kiyipa ta-takohtêt.
You’d better work on those muskrats. Your father will be home soon.
[lit., little beaver pelts]

hêy, hêy, pihtaw ê-macistikwânêyan, namoya ôma êkosi takî-itohtaman.
Hey, what’s the matter? You never listen.
[lit., My, my (exasperated) you don’t listen, you shouldn’t do that.]

Sam (12:17)

I understand that, but pêyahtik cî kâkî-pîkiskwâtitin ôma kâ-nêhiyawêyahk? namoya êwako anima wâpiskiwiyâs kiskinohamâtowikamikohk kâ-kî-kiskinohamâkawiyahk. ôki âtiht ayisiyiniwak kâ-wît-atoskêmakwâw, kipêhtên êtikwê mâna Beaverbones ê-itwêhk? Well êwakonik ayisiyiniwak mitoni pêyahtik pimâtisiwak. namoya pakosêyimêwak awiya…aya ohci okimâkahinihk ka-nîsôkamâkotwâw. nawac ê-macistikwânêtwâw tâpiskôc ôma kiya, mâka nikêcinâhon kîspin ka-wît-atoskêmiyan kâ-nitohtâkwak pêyahtik…wiy..nikêhcinâhon kâkî-nîsôkamawâwak. kinisitohtên?

Let me talk to you quietly – for we are brothers. That is something we never learned in the white man’s school. You know the people I work with. Like old Beaverbones and his people. Well, they live a very traditional life. They don’t want anything from the government. They are stubborn, proud and independent, like you. If you and I work together, I’m sure that they would listen. We could get them a fair deal. Do you understand?

nohkom (20:42)

(ki)kiskisin cî anima maskihkiy kimosôm kâkî-miyisk? ta-âpacihtâyan mîna ta-nisitohtaman anima. mihcêt ôma iyiniwak ê-wanihocik. ê-kakwê-pimitisahwâcik aniki môniyâwa, êwako ohci aniki kâ-wanihocik. êkwa ôma atoskêwin kâ-otinaman, poko anima ta-maskawisiyan ta-wîcihacik. ana wiya oskinîkiw kâ-mâmiskômat, ê-kitimâkisicik, êkosi mîna ê-nitawêyihtahkik ta-wîcihacik. kiya anima ka-wîcihacik nêkân.

You remember grandfather and the old spiritual way. That’s good, but you must accept the old way before you can use it. Many of our people are lost, they try to follow the white man’s ways. In this new job, you must be spiritually strong, to be of any help. That young man in the bar is desperate; like many young people he is searching. You are an elder now. Your grandfather gave you his pipe and medicine bundle. Use them well and help our people.

Theresa (24:44)

niwî-sipwêhtân, kohkom.

I want to run away, kohkom.

nohkom (25:27)

otâkosihk ôta ê-apiyan, ê-wihtamawiyan kimosôm ê-kiskisiyan, konita êcikâna ê-kî-pîkiskwêyan. kitânis êtikwê êkwa ê-wanihat, ayisk kiya ê-macistikwânêyan.
niyâ nikosis, nâs kitôspwâkan, kâkîsimo, êkosi anima poko kitânis ka-isi-kâcitinâw, êkosi nika-nanâskomon.

Yesterday you talked about grandfather and the old ways. You spoke in words, but not from the heart. Yes you have lost your daughter, and it’s your own doing. Go my son, smoke your pipe and talk to your creator. I will talk to him too. I will ask for strength for all of us.

Posted in Audio (y-dialect), Wayne (Goodspirit) Jackson | Leave a comment

Horse Terminology: Solomon Ratt (y-dialect)

Darwin Atcheynum, Atcheynum Native Arts

apply spurs (VAI)tahkatêskâcikêᑕᐦᑲᑌᐢᑳᒋᑫ
back (his/her)ospiskwanᐅᐢᐱᐢᑿᐣ
back-band of a harnesspaskicâwikanêhikanisᐸᐢᑭᒑᐏᑲᓀᐦᐃᑲᓂᐢ
bald-faced horse (white-faced)wâpihkwêwatimᐚᐱᐦᑵᐘᑎᒼ
barrel-race (coined SR)mahkahk-kotiskâwêwinᒪᐦᑲᕽ ᑯᑎᐢᑳᐍᐏᐣ
barrel-race horse (coined SR)mahkahk-kotiskâwêwatimᒪᐦᑲᕽ ᑯᑎᐢᑳᐍᐘᑎᒼ
bay horsewîpastimᐑᐸᐢᑎᒼ
be a blacksmith (VAI)pakamâpiskahikêᐸᑲᒫᐱᐢᑲᐦᐃᑫ
be bridled (VAI)sakikwêpisoᓴᑭᑵᐱᓱ
be cruel to horses (VAI)nôtinastimwêᓅᑎᓇᐢᑎᒭ
be drawn on a travois (VAI)yîkihtawitâpânâskᔩᑭᐦᑕᐏᑖᐹᓈᐢᐠ
be fearful/skittish (VAI)mâkwêyimoᒫᑵᔨᒧ
be harnessed (VAI); be saddled (VAI)wiyahpisoᐏᔭᐦᐱᓱ
be harnessed (VAI); be saddled (VAI)oyahpisoᐅᔭᐦᐱᓱ
be harnessed as three (VAI)nistwahpisoᓂᐢᑢᐦᐱᓱ
be harnessed as two (VAI)nîswahpisoᓃᔁᐦᐱᓱ
be harnessed that way (VAI)itahpisoᐃᑕᐦᐱᓱ
be like young horse (VAI)oskastimowiᐅᐢᑲᐢᑎᒧᐏ
be nervous/skittish (VAI)wasâsiᐘᓵᓯ
be on horse-back (VAI); mount (VAI)têhtapiᑌᐦᑕᐱ
be scared (VAI)sêkisiᓭᑭᓯ
belly band of a harnessnakwatayêhpicikanᓇᑿᑕᔦᐦᐱᒋᑲᐣ
black horse/dark horsekaskitêwastimᑲᐢᑭᑌᐘᐢᑎᒼ
black horse/dark horsekaskitêwatimᑲᐢᑭᑌᐘᑎᒼ
black-eared horsekâh-kaskitêwihtawakayᑳᐦᑲᐢᑭᑌᐏᐦᑕᐘᑲᐩ
blacksmith shopoyahisowikamikᐅᔭᐦᐃᓱᐏᑲᒥᐠ
break s.o. (horse) (VTA)nakayâhᓇᑲᔮᐦ
breech clothâsiyânᐋᓯᔮᐣ
breed s.o. (VTA)wîcêhtahᐑᒉᐦᑕᐦ
bridging of a harnesswaskitowêyâpiyᐘᐢᑭᑐᐍᔮᐱᐩ
bridle reinsmînoskwêpicikanêyâpiyᒦᓄᐢᑵᐱᒋᑲᓀᔮᐱᐩ
bridle reinstâpitonêhpicikanêyâpiyᑖᐱᑐᓀᐦᐱᒋᑲᓀᔮᐱᐩ
bring horses (VAI)pêtastimwêᐯᑕᐢᑎᒭ
brown horsewiyîpatimᐏᔩᐸᑎᒼ
buck (VAI)môhkâwikanêyiᒨᐦᑳᐏᑲᓀᔨ
buck (VAI); gallop (VAI)môhkwâkanêᒨᐦᒁᑲᓀ
buck repeatedly (VAI); gallop repeatedly (VAI)mâmôhkwâkanêᒫᒨᐦᒁᑲᓀ
buck violently (VAI)kakwâyakinikêᑲᒁᔭᑭᓂᑫ
bucking horsemohkôkwâkanêwatimᒧᐦᑰᒁᑲᓀᐘᑎᒼ
buckskin horsewâwâskêsiw-pîwayᐚᐚᐢᑫᓯᐤ ᐲᐘᐩ
cannon boneoskâtikanᐅᐢᑳᑎᑲᐣ
cart pulled by a single horsepêyakwahpicikêw-ayaᐯᔭᑿᐦᐱᒋᑫᐤ ᐊᔭ
castrated horse; geldingayêhkwêwatimᐊᔦᐦᑵᐘᑎᒼ
chestnut horsewânôkawêsᐚᓅᑲᐍᐢ
coronetmisatim ositᒥᓴᑎᒼ ᐅᓯᐟ
crop (VTA)cîhcîkosᒌᐦᒌᑯᐢ
croupcîki osoyᒌᑭ ᐅᓱᐩ
crow hop (coined SR)âhâsiw kâ-ayahcikihkᐋᐦᐋᓯᐤ ᑳᐊᔭᐦᒋᑭᕽ
dance the horse dancemistatimosimoᒥᐢᑕᑎᒧᓯᒧ
dapple grey horsesêpêcakowêsᓭᐯᒐᑯᐍᐢ
dappled horsepâh-patêwatimᐹᐦ ᐸᑌᐘᑎᒼ
dark grey horsewîpapastimᐑᐸᐸᐢᑎᒼ
difficult horse; wild horse; hot tempered horseâyimisîwatimᐋᔨᒥᓰᐘᑎᒼ
dismount (VAI)nîhtakosîᓃᐦᑕᑯᓰ
double trees in a harnessocipicikanâhkosᐅᒋᐱᒋᑲᓈᐦᑯᐢ
draft horse/driving horseotâpahâkanᐅᑖᐸᐦᐋᑲᐣ
draw s.t. on a travois (VAI)yîkihtawitâpêᔩᑭᐦᑕᐏᑖᐯ
drive cart with one horse (VAI)pêyakwahpicikêᐯᔭᑿᐦᐱᒋᑫ
drive into the bush with horse and wagon (VAI)sêskitâpâsoᓭᐢᑭᑖᐹᓱ
drive the horse (VAI)pamihastimwêᐸᒥᐦᐊᐢᑎᒭ
drive the horse (VAI)pamihastimwêᐸᒥᐦᐊᐢᑎᒭ
farrier (coined SR)owâyisitêhikanihkêwᐅᐚᔨᓯᑌᐦᐃᑲᓂᐦᑫᐤ
farrier (coined SR)misatim-oyahisowᒥᓴᑎᒼ ᐅᔭᐦᐃᓱᐤ
feed one’s horse (VAI)asamastimwêᐊᓴᒪᐢᑎᒭ
fetch horses (VAI); go for the horse (VAI)nâtastimwêᓈᑕᐢᑎᒭ
filly (coined SR)nôsêscimosisᓅᓭᐢᒋᒧᓯᐢ
finish harnessing s.o. (VTA)kîsahpitᑮᓴᐦᐱᐟ
follow a trail (VAI)mitihcikêᒥᑎᐦᒋᑫ
forked strap of a horse’s harness passing through the noseband to the girth between the forelegsnakâcikanêhpicikanᓇᑳᒋᑲᓀᐦᐱᒋᑲᐣ
gallop (VAI)môhkâwikanêᒨᐦᑳᐏᑲᓀ
give s.o. a drink (VAI)minahowêᒥᓇᐦᐅᐍ
give s.o. a drink (VTA)minahᒥᓇᐦ
give s.o. a horse (VTA)otêmihᐅᑌᒥᐦ
go around by horse (VAI)wâsakâpayiᐚᓴᑳᐸᔨ
go for horse (VAI); look for horse (VAI)nitawastimwêᓂᑕᐘᐢᑎᒭ
go on a horse raid (VAI); select a horse (VAI); round up horses (VAI)manastimwêᒪᓇᐢᑎᒭ
go past on a horse (VAI)pimitêhtapiᐱᒥᑌᐦᑕᐱ
go, giddyupcah!ᒐᐦ!
good horsetakahkastimᑕᑲᐦᑲᐢᑎᒼ
graze (eat) (VAI-3) (coined SR)mahmîcisowᒪᐦᒦᒋᓱᐤ
grey horsekâh-kaskitêwᑳᐦᑲᐢᑭᑌᐤ
grey horsecîpêhcakowêsᒌᐯᐦᒐᑯᐍᐢ
grey-black horseomomêyêsîsi-pîwayᐅᒧᒣᔦᓰᓯ ᐲᐘᐩ
halter shankapihkêpicikaniyâpiyᐊᐱᐦᑫᐱᒋᑲᓂᔮᐱᐩ
halter shankayapihkêpicikaniyâpiyᐊᔭᐱᐦᑫᐱᒋᑲᓂᔮᐱᐩ
harness a horse (VTA)wiyahpitᐏᔭᐦᐱᐟ
harness a horse singly (VTA)pêyakwahpitᐯᔭᑿᐦᐱᐟ
harness s.o. (VTA)pîmakâmêpitᐲᒪᑳᒣᐱᐟ
harness the horses (VAI)wiyahpicikêᐏᔭᐦᐱᒋᑫ
harness the horses (VAI); hitch up one’s horses (VAI)oyahpitastimwêᐅᔭᐦᐱᑕᐢᑎᒭ
harness the horses (VAI); hitch up one’s horses (VAI)wiyahpitastimwêᐏᔭᐦᐱᑕᐢᑎᒭ
haul by trailer (VAI)âwatâpêᐋᐘᑖᐯ
have a good horse (VAI)takahkastimwêᑕᑲᐦᑲᐢᑎᒭ
have a good team of horses (VAI)takahkahkipicikêᑕᑲᐦᑲᐦᑭᐱᒋᑫ
have a horse (VAI)omistatimomiᐅᒥᐢᑕᑎᒧᒥ
have a lean horse (VAI)kakwâhkatastimwêᑲᒁᐦᑲᑕᐢᑎᒭ
have a young horse (VAI)oskastimwêᐅᐢᑲᐢᑎᒭ
have horse feet (VAI)misatimositêᒥᓴᑎᒧᓯᑌ
have s.o. (horse) for riding (VAI)otêhtapîwatimomiᐅᑌᐦᑕᐲᐘᑎᒧᒥ
have s.o. as a horse (VAI)otêmiᐅᑌᒥ
have/own many horses (VAI)mihcêtastimwêᒥᐦᒉᑕᐢᑎᒭ
have/own many horses (VAI)mihcêtwastimwêᒥᐦᒉᑢᐢᑎᒭ
heart (horse’s)misatim otêhᒥᓴᑎᒼ ᐅᑌᐦ
horse barnmisatimokamikᒥᓴᑎᒧᑲᒥᐠ
horse collartâpiskâkanᑖᐱᐢᑳᑲᐣ
horse dancemisatimosimowinᒥᓴᑎᒧᓯᒧᐏᐣ
horse hoofmistatimwaskasiyᒥᐢᑕᑎᒷᐢᑲᓯᐩ
horse tailmistatimosoyᒥᐢᑕᑎᒧᓱᐩ
horse tailmistatimwâyowᒥᐢᑕᑎᒹᔪᐤ
horse trailermisatimâwatâpanᒥᓴᑎᒫᐘᑖᐸᐣ
horse with coat like an elkwâwâskêsiwipîwayêwᐚᐚᐢᑫᓯᐏᐲᐘᔦᐤ
horse with spot on bellywâpinakatayᐚᐱᓇᑲᑕᐩ
horse with white hind-quarterswâpiskisôkanᐚᐱᐢᑭᓲᑲᐣ
horse-drawn vehiclemistatimotâpânâskᒥᐢᑕᑎᒧᑖᐹᓈᐢᐠ
horse-riding (coined SR)otêhtapiwinᐅᑌᐦᑕᐱᐏᐣ
horsemanship (coined SR)otêhtapîwatimomiwinᐅᑌᐦᑕᐲᐘᑎᒧᒥᐏᐣ
horsewoman (coined SR)otêhtapiw-iskwêwᐅᑌᐦᑕᐱᐤ ᐃᐢᑵᐤ
in the corral; in a paddockmênikanihkᒣᓂᑲᓂᕽ
iron-grey horsenîpênakowêsᓃᐯᓇᑯᐍᐢ
jump on a horse (VAI)têhcipayihoᑌᐦᒋᐸᔨᐦᐅ
lasso s.o. (VTA)tâpakwêwêpinᑖᐸᑵᐍᐱᐣ
lasso s.t. (VTI-1)tâpakwêwêpinaᑖᐸᑵᐍᐱᓇ
lather (perspiration from running) (coined SR)apwêhpâhtâ-pîstêwanᐊᐻᐦᐹᐦᑖ ᐲᐢᑌᐘᐣ
leather straps of a harness; cinch strapocipicikanêyâpiyᐅᒋᐱᒋᑲᓀᔮᐱᐩ
leave with a team of horses (VAI)sipwêtâpâsoᓯᐻᑖᐹᓱ
little horse; colt; foalmisacimosisᒥᓴᒋᒧᓯᐢ
make a corral (VAI)wâsakânihkêᐚᓴᑳᓂᐦᑫ
make a horseshoe (VAI)wâyisitêhikanihkêᐚᔨᓯᑌᐦᐃᑲᓂᐦᑫ
make a saddle (VAI)aspiskocikêᐊᐢᐱᐢᑯᒋᑫ
male horse; stallion; studnâpêstimᓈᐯᐢᑎᒼ
metal traces in a harnessocipicikanâpiskᐅᒋᐱᒋᑲᓈᐱᐢᐠ
moose-coloured horsemôso-pîwayᒨᓱ ᐲᐘᐩ
mouse-coloured horseâpakosîsi-pîwayᐋᐸᑯᓰᓯ ᐲᐘᐩ
my horse (my dog)nitêmᓂᑌᒼ
neck-yoke strapwâskanêyâpiyᐚᐢᑲᓀᔮᐱᐩ
neigh (as a horse)oyôyoᐅᔫᔪ
oats (coined SR)kiscikânisaᑭᐢᒋᑳᓂᓴ
old horsekisêyinîwatimᑭᓭᔨᓃᐘᑎᒼ
old horsekêhtêstimᑫᐦᑌᐢᑎᒼ
old marenôtokwêwânakᓅᑐᑵᐚᓇᐠ
point of shoulderotihtimanaᐅᑎᐦᑎᒪᓇ
pollostikwân okwayâwikanᐅᐢᑎᒁᐣ ᐅᑿᔮᐏᑲᐣ
prepare a saddle (VAI)aspâwikanêskocikêᐊᐢᐹᐏᑲᓀᐢᑯᒋᑫ
put horseshoes on s.o. (VTA)wâyisitêhikanêhᐚᔨᓯᑌᐦᐃᑲᓀᐦ
put s.o. into a saddle (VTA)têhtahᑌᐦᑕᐦ
race along on a horse (VAI)pimitêhcikociskâwêᐱᒥᑌᐦᒋᑯᒋᐢᑳᐍ
race along with s.o. on a horse (VTA)pimitêhcikociskâwêstawᐱᒥᑌᐦᒋᑯᒋᐢᑳᐍᐢᑕᐤ
rear up (VAI)simacîᓯᒪᒌ
rear up (VAI)samacîᓴᒪᒌ
remount (VAI) (coined SR)kâwi-têhtapiᑳᐏ ᑌᐦᑕᐱ
ride about on a horse (VAI)papâmipayiᐸᐹᒥᐸᔨ
ride bare-back (VAI) (coined SR)mosci-têhtapiᒧᐢᒋ ᑌᐦᑕᐱ
ride side-saddle (side-ways) (VAI)pimicipayiᐱᒥᒋᐸᔨ
ride side-saddle (VAI) (coined SR)napatê-têhtapiᓇᐸᑌ ᑌᐦᑕᐱ
ride uphill by horse (VAI)âmaciwêpayiᐋᒪᒋᐍᐸᔨ
riding breechestêhtapîwitâsᑌᐦᑕᐲᐏᑖᐢ
roan horsesîsîkiyawatimᓰᓰᑭᔭᐘᑎᒼ
roan horsewâpohkatimᐚᐳᐦᑲᑎᒼ
s/he is knock-kneed (VAI)napotokanêwᓇᐳᑐᑲᓀᐤ
saddle blanketaspâwikanêhikanᐊᐢᐹᐏᑲᓀᐦᐃᑲᐣ
saddle s.o.’s horse (VAI)oyahpicikêᐅᔭᐦᐱᒋᑫ
saddle s.o.’s horse (VTA)oyahpitamawᐅᔭᐦᐱᑕᒪᐤ
saddle s.o.’s horse (VTA)wiyahpitamawᐏᔭᐦᐱᑕᒪᐤ
saddle; mount; chairtêhtapiwinᑌᐦᑕᐱᐏᐣ
shaggy horsemîhawêwatimᒦᐦᐊᐍᐘᑎᒼ
Shetland ponyaspicinîwacimosᐊᐢᐱᒋᓃᐘᒋᒧᐢ
side-saddle (coined SR)napatê-têhtapiwinᓇᐸᑌ ᑌᐦᑕᐱᐏᐣ
silver-tailed horsewâpanoskakowᐚᐸᓄᐢᑲᑯᐤ
spur s.o.’s belly (VTA)cahkatayênᒐᐦᑲᑕᔦᐣ
stop (VAI)pôyoᐴᔪ
stop s.o (VTA)nakîpitᓇᑮᐱᐟ
stop, whoa! (VAI)nakîᓇᑮ
tack, "horse tools" (coined SR)mistatim-âpacihcikanaᒥᐢᑕᑎᒼ ᐋᐸᒋᐦᒋᑲᓇ
take s.o. about by horse (VTA)papâmipayihᐸᐹᒥᐸᔨᐦ
throat latchokohtâkanᐅᑯᐦᑖᑲᐣ
throw/buck s.o. off (VTA)nîhciwêpinᓃᐦᒋᐍᐱᐣ
tire one’s horses (VAI)nêstoskwastimwêᓀᐢᑐᐢᑿᐢᑎᒭ
trot (VAI)cêcêmipahtâᒉᒉᒥᐸᐦᑖ
trot (VAI)pimipahcâsiᐱᒥᐸᐦᒑᓯ
trot (VAI)nisihkêpayiᓂᓯᐦᑫᐸᔨ
trot (VAI)iyipahtâᐃᔨᐸᐦᑖ
trotting horseiyîpahtâwatimᐃᔩᐸᐦᑖᐘᑎᒼ
type (of horse, etc.); breedtôwihkânᑑᐏᐦᑳᐣ
unbroken (wild) horsepikwâtastimᐱᒁᑕᐢᑎᒼ
white hind-quarters (of a horse)wâpiskisôkanᐚᐱᐢᑭᓲᑲᐣ
white horsewâpastimᐚᐸᐢᑎᒼ
yellow-eared horseosâwâhtawakayᐅᓵᐚᐦᑕᐘᑲᐩ
yellow-mud horseosâwasiskîwi-pîwayᐅᓵᐘᓯᐢᑮᐏ ᐲᐘᐩ
yellow-mud horseosâwasiskîwi-pîwayᐅᓵᐘᓯᐢᑮᐏ ᐲᐘᐩ
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CFWE Radio Edmonton: Conversational Cree – Listen Live

Taken directly from the CFWE Conversational Cree website:

Welcome to Conversational Cree on CFWE 98.5 FM in Edmonton!

Got questions? Wanna learn a specific word in Cree? Phrases? Greetings? Goodbyes? Thank-yous? Shoot a tweet to our Twitter page @ConvoCree or by using #ConvoCree on social media.

Listen Saturday morning at 8 and Wednesday night at 10 for Conversational Cree. Join Courtney Morin, Jim Cardinal and Dustin McGladrey for a fun interactive hour of Cree words, stories and lots of laughs! Made possible by the Department of Canadian Heritage.

This is our one hour program dedicated to nehiyawewin (Cree language) resurgence and revitalization. We want to share the Cree language with everyone by creating the opportunity for non-Cree speaking people to begin to learn.

Cree has many dialects; Swampy Cree (N-dialect), Moose Cree (L-dialect), Wood Cree (TH-dialect), and Atihkamek Cree (R-dialect). Additionally, there is the Plains Cree (Y-dialect) that our Conversational Cree speakers will be focusing on. Nehiyawewin (neh-hee-yow-way-win) is spoken predominantly in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Southern Manitoba.

Across the Cree dialects, there are approximately 120,000 speakers, from the Northwest Territories and Alberta to Labrador.

Click here to listen to a recent broadcast:

Looking for other radio stations with Cree language content? Here are a few to check out!

http://creeliteracy.org/listen-to-spoken-cree/cree-language-radio-listen-live/ ‎


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Northern Lights (#CreeSimonSays)

Thanks to Simon Bird for permission to share his thoughts about the Northern Lights, first posted on Facebook in April 2018.

wâwâhtêwak. Literally, ‘those that go in circles’. This is how I see this word as I translate]

Growing up I would ask nôhkom who wâwâhtêwak were, she would say those were spirits dancing. This is why I say “those that go in circles,” because wâkôtêw means to walk in a curve, not straight. Ever since then I always believed these were spirits dancing.

I heard this same explanation, how they were spirits, from many people as I grew older. People would also say “If you didn’t respect them they could easily come and take you.” Kids would say how you shouldn’t whistle at them and of course some would do just that, they would whistle and all of a sudden wâwâhtêwak seemed to be dancing even closer, harder and brighter. Yes, I remember I whistled too but feeling guilty as I remembered what nôhkom had said, I stopped. I just couldn’t help but remember that word:   manâcihik ‘respect them.’

They were dancing with happiness, nôhkom would say. ê-nîmihitocik. I heard someone say they were celebrating and welcoming loved ones into the spirit world. Some elders would say these were loved ones visiting us on this side. Some people weren’t sure if they were loved ones, but they still agreed they were spirits and should be respected.

From the online itwêwina online dictionary, we find these words related to the aurora borealis:

  • cîpayak kâ-nîmihitocik (Northern Lights, aurora borealis; literally: the ghosts are dancing; when the ghosts are dancing) 
  • kâ-nîmihitocik (Northern Lights, aurora borealis; [literally: they who are dancing]) 
  • wâwâhtêwa (Northern Lights, aurora borealis) 

From the Brousseau Dictionary of Moose Cree (2015):

wâsteskwan ᐙᔅᑌᔅᑾᓐ ‘there are Northern Lights’; also:
wâwâhtew ᐙᐙᐦᑌᐤ
wâštaweyânaskwan ᐙᔥᑕᐌᔮᓇᔅᑾᓐ

From the East (sent by Bill Jancewicz in Labrador):

Over in Quebec/Labrador we say:
ᐛᔅᑐᐅᔅᒄ waastuuskw (Naskapi)
ᐧᐋᔅᑑᔅᑯᓐ waastuuskun (East Cree Southern)
ᐧᐋᔅᑐᐧᐃᔅᑯᓐ waastuwiskun (East Cree Northern) and
uashtuashkuan (Innu).

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2018: sâkipakâwipîsim / ᓵᑭᐸᑳᐏᐲᓯᒼ / May

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.


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Darren Okemaysim visits Parliament with Robert Falcon Ouellette


Thank you to Darren Okemaysim for permission to use this photo of himself with Robert Falcon Ouellette (Member of Parliament for Winnipeg Centre) in the Parliamentary Library in Ottawa on 22 March 2018. This photo acknowledges a really proud moment for nêhiyawêwin: we’re so proud of both of you! I hope this moment is the first of many!

At my request, Darren provided the following comments about his work there.

Nikî-nitawi-itwêstamawâw awa okihci-nîkân-apiw ita Ottawa ispihk kâ-kî-niski-pîsimohk. Kî-mâmiskôtam tânêhki anohc piko êkwa ta-itwêstamâcik kinistam-iyiniwak pihcâyihk ita kihci-nîkân-apiwikamikohk, kâhkiyaw nistam-iyiniwak ta-pêhtâcik wî-âpacihtâtwâwi opîkiskwêwiniwâw. Anohc êkw êkwa ati-kitâpahtamok kwayask êkwa nohtê-wîc-âtoskêmêwak kâhkiyaw nistam-iyiniwak ta-pihtikwatâhkik kipîkiskiskwêwininawa.

ᓂᑮᓂᑕᐏ ᐃᑘᐢᑕᒪᐚᐤ  ᐊᐘ  ᐅᑭᐦᒋ ᓃᑳᐣ ᐊᐱᐤ  ᐃᑕ  ᐅᑕᐘ  ᐃᐢᐱᕽ  ᑳᑮᓂᐢᑭᐲᓯᒧᕽ ᙮  ᑮ ᒫᒥᐢᑰᑕᒼ ᑖᓀᐦᑭ  ᐊᓄᐦᐨ  ᐱᑯ  ᐁᑿ  ᑕᐃᑘᐢᑕᒫᒋᐠ  ᑭᓂᐢᑕᒼ ᐃᔨᓂᐘᐠ  ᐱᐦᒑᔨᕽ  ᐃᑕ  ᑭᐦᒋᓃᑳᐣ ᐊᐱᐏᑲᒥᑯᕽ ,  ᑳᐦᑭᔭᐤ ᓂᐢᑕᒼ  ᐃᔨᓂᐘᐠ  ᑕᐯᐦᑖᒋᐠ  ᐑ ᐋᐸᒋᐦᑖᑤᐏ ᐅᐲᑭᐢᑵᐏᓂᐚᐤ ᙮   ᐊᓄᐦᐨ  ᐁᐠᐤ  ᐁᑿ  ᐊᑎᑭᑖᐸᐦᑕᒧᐠ ᑿᔭᐢᐠ ᐁᑿ  ᓄᐦᑌ ᐑᐨᐋᑐᐢᑫᒣᐘᐠ  ᑳᐦᑭᔭᐤ ᓂᐢᑕᒼ ᐃᔨᓂᐘᐠ  ᑕᐱᐦᑎᑿᑖᐦᑭᐠ  ᑭᐲᑭᐢᑭᐢᑵᐏᓂᓇᐘ ᙮

I went to interpret for MP (Robert Falcon Ouellette) in Ottawa in March. He addressed why it is important today for interpretation of First Peoples’ languages in the House of Commons, for all First Peoples’ to be heard should they choose to speak their language. They are now looking closely at it and are very willing to work in bringing in our First Peoples’ languages.

In 24 March 2018 interview, Robert-Falcon Ouellette talks about addressing the point of privilege that led to this moment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAO5nuQSQFQ&feature=youtu.be

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