Medicine Dog makes the CBC News

Mansil Fiddler at the CBC Regina studio. (Heidi Atter/CBC)

Mansil Fiddler is still hard at work promoting Indigenous language reclamation one song at a time. He recently phoned to tell me about this recent CBC news interview – and remind me to check on updates to his list of Champions (which includes Wayne Jackson’s “Tonight’s the Night” in Cree). Seems to me there’s room for a lot more Cree on his list!

Read the whole CBC article here:

Search for Medicine Dog on YouTube and hit Subscribe to follow his many adventures sharing Cree. Check “Playlists” to see his latest champions. And don’t be shy: send him an entry!


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Rhonda Head sings O Canada with the Toronto Symphony (n-dialect)

Rhonda Head is a classically trained singer from Opaskwayak Cree Nation in Manitoba. Her recording in Cree was one of 12 versions of O Canada recorded with the TSO in honour of Canada 150.

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Frog Lake Memories: CBC 1994

Twenty-four years since this CBC video was made, the same issues remain to be addressed. A link to this video appeared recently on FaceBook thanks to Mary Cardinal Colins and Peter Desjarlais. It reflects on the distinct role of the Cree people at Frog Lake as they fought the starvation policies of Sir John A MacDonald and his department of Indian Affairs. The mass execution that followed is the largest in Canadian history, yet still virtually unknown to most Canadians. Here’s the original CBC link:

I’d like to hear more about the Cree-language interviews that were recorded by Blair Stonechild and others. Perhaps Brenda (Gardipy) Ahenakew can help us track them down!

Additional stories/photos of this event:

An infamous anniversary: 130 years since Canada’s Largest Mass Hanging 27 November 1885

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Louis Says: Cree Language Episodes Online at APTN

If you’re not already a fan of the APTN animated kids’ series Louis Says, you’re probably about to become one. Solomon Ratt recently shared this APTN link which includes full Cree-language episodes of the series. The idea of the show (in English) is Randy finding help to understand the Cree words that Louis teaches him (sometimes with hilarious results). When the show is translated into Cree (th-dialect), the producers chose Denesułine as the mystery language.

Listen carefully to see whose voices you recognize, including Solomon Ratt and Cynthia Cook (who does a fantastic kohkom!)

In addition to full episodes, the APTN site includes the viewing schedule and printables suitable for young language learners.


Posted in Audio (th-dialect), Video | 2 Comments

Four Sacred Smudges & Protocol

Thanks to Ramona Washburn sharing this great poster identifying the four sacred medicines used for smudging.

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âsônamakêwin: Passing on Teachings (Wayne Jackson, y-dialect)

âsônamawâtânik kitawâsimisinawak êkwa kitôskayôminawak kinêhiyawêwinaw. kinêhiyawêwinaw kimaskihkêminaw, tâpiskôc ê-nâtawihikoyahk.

ᐋᓲᓇᒪᐚᑖᓂᐠ  ᑭᑕᐚᓯᒥᓯᓇᐘᐠ  ᐁᑿ ᑭᑑᐢᑲᔫᒥᓇᐘᐠ ᑭᓀᐦᐃᔭᐍᐏᓇᐤ᙮  ᑭᓀᐦᐃᔭᐍᐏᓇᐤ  ᑭᒪᐢᑭᐦᑫᒥᓇᐤ, ᑖᐱᐢᑰᐨ  ᐁᓈᑕᐏᐦᐃᑯᔭᕽ᙮

Let us all pass our nêhiyaw language on to our children and our youth. Nêhiyawewin is our medicine: it heals us all.

What better way to honour National Indigenous People’s Day than helping traditional wisdom make its way to the next generations? Thanks to Hal Cameron for permission to use his image here, and to Wayne Jackson for providing text and audio.

  • âsônamawêw (Verb, VTA)  s/he passes (it/him) on to s.o.
  • âsônamâtowin (Noun, NI-1)  passing things on
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Indigenous People’s Day 2018 – Solomon Ratt

mitho-ithiniw-kîsikanisik  /  ᒥᖪᐃᖨᓂᐤᑮᓯᑲᓂᓯᐠ

mino-ininiw-kîsikanisik  /  ᒥᓄᐃᓂᓂᐤᑮᓯᑲᓂᓯᐠ

miyo-iyiniw-kîsikanisik  /  ᒥᔪ ᐃᔨᓂᐤ ᑮᓯᑲᓂᓯᐠ

Happy Indigenous People’s Day!

Indigenous People’s Day falls on the Summer Solstice. We don’t have a word that means “solstice” but kâ-mâwaci-kino-kîsikâk means ‘longest day of the year’. It’s also the time the sun starts moving south on the horizon as it rises and sets: sâwanaham pîsim.

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The Tipi that Mosôm Built – MESC

Thanks to Maskwacis Education Schools Commission for sharing this great video, created by grade 4 and 5 students from Montana School- Meskanahk Ka Nipa Wit. Their amazing mini-movie is titled “This Is The Tipi Mosom Built”. It was directed by teacher Alison Peoples and features voiceovers by the class using the Cree vocabulary listed below. Nice work, grades 4 and 5!


Posted in Learn New Words, Video | 3 Comments

Blue Quills Indigenous Education Workshop: July 2018

Thanks to Tina Wellman at Blue Quills for forwarding news of their upcoming workshop, “Nourishing the nêhiyaw and dënesułiné in the Child” July 12-13, 2018.

Further information is available from Jennifer Ramsay, whose contact information is shown on the poster below, or in this downloadable registration form.

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Two Great New Books from Blue Quills

Thanks to Tina Wellman at University nuhelotįne thaiyotsį nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills for sending us sample copies of two great new resources they’ve just published themselves. Both books include lots of really useful vocabulary for letter-writing, visiting an office, job advertising, place names and much more.

  • kâ-nêhiyawêhk atoskêwikamikohk (Speaking Cree at the office)
  • Denesųłiné t’a yats’eti lak’e (Speaking Denesųłiné at the office)

Congratulations to all of the hard-working contributors to both of these volumes!

The books were sold out for a while, but are back in stock (at $12.95 each), and available for order from:

Tina reminds everyone to check their website, too, at

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