Covid Safety Reminder: Solomon Ratt (y-dialect)


kikiskamohkan âkohkwênikanêkin: kihcêyim kiwîci-ayisiyiniw kâ-itohtêyan ayisiyinînahk.

ᑭᑭᐢᑲᒧᐦᑲᐣ ᐋᑯᐦᑵᓂᑲᓀᑭᐣ: ᑭᐦᒉᔨᒼ ᑭᐑᒋ ᐊᔨᓯᔨᓂᐤ ᑳ ᐃᑐᐦᑌᔭᐣ ᐊᔨᓯᔨᓃᓇᕽ᙮

Wear mouth covering: be considerate of people when you go out where people are. 

(Since the jury is still out on a suitable word for mouth-and-nose covering mask, Sol has gone with the verb for covering.) We all know the principle! Stay safe! 

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Hot off the Press: Pocket Plains Cree for Kids and Parents (Solomon Ratt: y-dialect)

The latest language preservation publication from Patricia Ningewance Nadeau’s Mazinaate Inc will soon be a must-have all across the prairies. I was proud to pick up mine straight from the publisher last night. 

Pocket Plains Cree for Kids and Parents: A Phrasebook for Nearly All Occasions, is full of useful phrases and vocabulary for parents and children talking, learning, feeling and playing together at home, on the land, at the powwow, or out in the big wide world. Filled with Plains Cree content provided by Solomon Ratt, you know it’s gonna be great! 

Not yet listed on the Mazinaate website, the book sells for $20 plus postage.

To order:
Send an Email with your name and postal address to:

They will be in touch. 

This new title is modelled closely after the popular Pocket Ojibwe for Kids and Parentswritten by Winnipeg’s Trevor Greyeyes and Maeengan Linklater, and translated into Ojibwe by Patricia Ningewance Nadeau. 


(Even more great news from Pat: The adult version Pocket Cree translated by Dorothy Thunder will be coming out by Christmas. Watch for it!) 

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Overcoming Erasure: Wayne Jackson (y-dialect)

kêkâc ê-kî-wanihtâyahk kinêhiyawinaw mâka sohkâtisiwin ê-kî-miyikôsiyahk. kâwi ka-pasakônênaw anima kêkâc kâ-kî-kâsêhâhkik.

ᑫᑳᐨ ᐁ ᑮ ᐘᓂᐦᑖᔭᕽ ᑭᓀᐦᐃᔭᐏᓇᐤ ᒫᑲ ᓱᐦᑳᑎᓯᐏᐣ ᐁ ᑮ ᒥᔨᑰᓯᔭᕽ᙮ ᑳᐏ ᑲ ᐸᓴᑰᓀᓇᐤ ᐊᓂᒪ ᑫᑳᐨ ᑳ ᑮ ᑳᓭᐦᐋᐦᑭᐠ᙮

A powerful observation for National Indigenous People’s Day 2020. Thanks, Wayne! 

Posted in Audio (y-dialect), National Indigenous People's Day, Wayne (Goodspirit) Jackson | Leave a comment

National Indigenous People’s Day 2020 (Solomon Ratt, th-dialect)

kâwitha nakata ithiniwâtisiwin:
kapî ka-wîcîwikon;
kapî ka-wîcihikon.

tîpithahk acithaw nakata wanîwitowin:

kipihtowîwinihk ka-pihtawâwak kitâniskô-wâhkômâkaninawak


ᑳᐏᖬ ᓇᑲᑕ ᐃᖨᓂᐚᑎᓯᐏᐣ:
ᑲᐲ ᑲ ᐑᒌᐏᑯᐣ;
ᑲᐲ ᑲ ᐑᒋᐦᐃᑯᐣ᙮

ᑏᐱᖬᕽ ᐊᒋᖬᐤ ᓇᑲᑕ ᐘᓃᐏᑐᐏᐣ:

ᑭᐱᐦᑐᐑᐏᓂᕽ ᑲ ᐱᐦᑕᐚᐘᐠ ᑭᑖᓂᐢᑰ ᐚᐦᑰᒫᑲᓂᓇᐘᐠ
ᐄ ᐋᒐᖫᑳᑎᑯᔭᐦᒁᐤ᙮


Don’t leave First Nations traditions behind:
They will always accompany you;
They will always help you.

Just for a bit leave the noisy confusion behind:
Be quiet!

In the silence you will hear Our ancestors
Telling us sacred stories.

It is quiet and peaceful.

Click for past posts in honour of National Indigenous People’s Day:

Posted in Audio (th-dialect), National Indigenous People's Day, Solomon Ratt | Leave a comment

Cree Dictionary of Mathematical Terms – Free Download

Sincere thanks to Arzu Sardarli who has given us permission on behalf of his team to share their award-winning Cree Dictionary of Mathematical Terms for Elementary School as a free downloadable PDF. This first-of-its-kind mathematical dictionary is especially valuable to teachers (and students!) working in an immersion environment.

English mathematical terminology was gathered from various math curriculum documents, explained and/or paraphrased in English, and then rendered in Cree by master speakers: 

  • Elder Jerry Saddleback (Northern Plains y-dialect speaker from Maskwacîs, Alberta)
  • Willie Ermine (Plains Cree y-dialect speaker from Sturgeon Lake First Nation, Saskatchewan)
  • Ida Swan (Woods Cree th-dialect speaker from Pelican Narrows, Saskatchewan).

Solomon Ratt (who is both a master speaker and master speller) provided essential SRO editorial assistance. 

Since all available print copies were immediately distributed to Cree classrooms, we are very proud to host this PDF link to help expand its reach.

Click here to download your own copy: Cree Dictionary of Mathematics Terms for Elementary Classes

Thanks to Arzu for also posting the RCE Award presentation on YouTube, including his description of how the dictionary came about:

Posted in Book News, Dictionaries and Grammars, Mathematics | 1 Comment

Education for Sustainable Development Award to Cree Dictionary of Mathematical Terms

Congratulations to Willie Ermine, Arzu Sardarli, Ida Swan and so many others involved in publishing this much-needed Mathematical Dictionary for Cree classrooms. That includes Solomon Ratt who took on the job of editing all of the terminology into reliable SRO spelling.

The book has now been recognized with the 2020 Lyle Benko Future Generations Award.

While all available print copies were immediately distributed to Cree classrooms, I was very fortunate to receive a copy for my own library. Perhaps at some point the team might consent to share this resource online in PDF form (we at CLN would certainly be proud to host it!)

Posted in Book News, Dictionaries and Grammars | 2 Comments

A Little Prayer of Gratitude: Solomon Ratt (th-dialect)

Photo credit: Solomon Ratt

kotak kîsikâw î-mîthikawiyân;
î-mithwâyâcik nicawâsimisak ikwa nôsisimak;
î-kî-âstîpiyân kayâs;
î-wâpahtamân kâ-mithonâkwahk askiy
ikwa î-pihtawakwâw pithîsîsak î-nikamocik.

ᑯᑕᐠ ᑮᓯᑳᐤ ᐄ ᒦᖨᑲᐏᔮᐣ;
ᐄ ᒥᙽᔮᔮᐣ;
ᐄ ᒥᙽᔮᒋᐠ ᓂᒐᐚᓯᒥᓴᐠ ᐃᑿ ᓅᓯᓯᒪᐠ;
ᐄ ᑮ ᐋᐢᑏᐱᔮᐣ ᑲᔮᐢ;
ᐄ ᐚᐸᐦᑕᒫᐣ ᑳ ᒥᖪᓈᑿᕽ ᐊᐢᑭᕀ
ᐃᑿ ᐄ ᐱᐦᑕᐘᒁᐤ ᐱᖩᓰᓴᐠ ᐄ ᓂᑲᒧᒋᐠ᙮

I am grateful:
to be given another day;
that I am healthy;
that my children and grandchildren are healthy;
that I sobered up long ago;
to see the beauty in the world
and hear the singing birds.

Posted in Audio (th-dialect), Prayers, Solomon Ratt | Leave a comment

Congratulations 2020 Grads! (audio)

Kids (of all ages) graduating this year have borne a special burden through pandemic and quarantine, home schools and unexpected distance learning. Now, as we enter the traditional season of graduation and celebration, we see our neighbours to the south convulsed in societal upheaval that (truth be told) is just as long overdue, and just as badly needed here in Canada.

We are especially proud of these 2020 graduates – at every level of education – as they reach this milestone in their collective lives. We have tremendous hope that, having survived these unique 2020 challenges, they will go on to persist, and succeed, and lead, and live well, no matter what. No matter where they’re from in the Cree language continuum, we all wish each of them long, happy years of miyo-pimâtisiwin, mîtho-pimâtisiwin, mîno-pimâtisiwin, mîlo-pimâtisiwin

The Cree Literacy Network is just a small part of a big community that embraces them all to wish them well. To help spread the good wishes, we have gathered words of congratulations from a variety of Cree teachers (each with audio), to help parents, grandparents and teachers to join us in acknowledging their achievements. Perhaps these wishes will also help you, the graduates, to congratulate one another on all you’ve made it through together, and wish each other future success. 

kahkiyaw kâ-kîsihtâyêk kikiskinwahamâkosiwiniwâwa, kimamihcihtâsonâwâw.

ᑲᐦᑭᔭᐤ ᑳ ᑮᓯᐦᑖᔦᐠ ᑭᑭᐢᑭᓌᐦᐊᒫᑯᓯᐏᓂᐚᐘ, ᑭᒪᒥᐦᒋᐦᑖᓱᓈᐚᐤ᙮

All you who are graduating, congratulations. 
literally: “All of you who are finishing your schooling, you make everyone (in the community) proud!” (Solomon Ratt) 

mistahi kikihcêyimitinân ê-yahkohtêyêk.

ᒥᐢᑕᐦᐃ ᑭᑭᐦᒉᔨᒥᑎᓈᐣ ᐁ ᔭᐦᑯᐦᑌᔦᐠ᙮

“We think very highly of you upon your graduation.”
Literally: ‘We respect you a lot as you move forward / graduate.’  (Jean Okimâsis) 

mamihcihiso;  ahkamêyimo!

ᒪᒥᐦᒋᐦᐃᓱ;  ᐊᐦᑲᒣᔨᒧ!

Be proud of yourself; Persevere! (to one person) 

mamihcihisok;  ahkamêyimok!

ᒪᒥᐦᒋᐦᐃᓱᐠ;  ᐊᐦᑲᒣᔨᒧᐠ!

Be proud of yourself; Persevere!  (to more than one person) (Dolores Sand)

ka-wî-miyopayinâwâw ôtê niyâk!

ᑲ ᐑ ᒥᔪᐸᔨᓈᐚᐤ ᐆᑌ ᓂᔮᐠ!

May things go well for you in the future. (Wayne Jackson)

kimahmihcihāwak kahkiyaw kiwahkomākanak.

ᑭᒪᐦᒥᐦᒋᐦᐋᐘᐠ ᑲᐦᑭᔭᐤ ᑭᐘᐦᑯᒫᑲᓇᐠ᙮

You make all your relations proud. (Simon Bird) 

tâpwê kihci! kimamihcihinân!

ᑖᐻ ᑭᐦᒋ! ᑭᒪᒥᐦᒋᐦᐃᓈᐣ!

Truly great! You make us proud. (Solomon Ratt) 

Finally, one from a môniyaw struggler (to help encourage other strugglers!)

kipakosêyimitinân miyo-pimâtisiwin. (y-dialect) 

ᑭᐸᑯᓭᔨᒥᑎᓈᐣ ᒥᔪ ᐱᒫᑎᓯᐏᐣ᙮

We wish a good life for all of you. 

kipakosîthimitinân mitho-pimâtisiwin. (th-dialect) 

ᑭᐸᑯᓰᖨᒥᑎᓈᐣ ᒥᖪ ᐱᒫᑎᓯᐏᐣ᙮

We wish a good life for all of you. 


Posted in Audio (th-dialect), Audio (y-dialect), Community News, Dolores Sand, Simon Bird (#CreeSimonSays), Solomon Ratt, Wayne (Goodspirit) Jackson | 2 Comments

Black Lives Matter (with audio)

th-dialect form (for those who aren’t already on their way to protest!)
kaskitîwithiniwak opimâtisiwiniwâw î-ispîthihtâkwanithik

We choose kaskitêwiyiniwak, made up of kaskitê– meaning “black” (or “brown” in context), and iyiniwak (meaning people/living beings). The literal translation of opimâtisiwiniwâw is “all of their lives.”

Of course, there are always other ways of expressing the same idea. For our meme, we chose the word ispîhtêyihtam, “s/he regards s.t. so; s/he holds s.t. in such regard.”

Thank you to Elder Barry Ahenakew for letting us know he prefers the word akihtêw “it counts, it is counted.” With this verb, we could rewrite the slogan as:

kaskitêwiyiniwak opimâtisiwiniwâw âh-akihtêyiw
kaskitêwiyiniwak opimâtisiwiniwâwa âh-akihtêyiwa

Thanks to Chelsea Vowel for her FaceBook reflections on “kaskitêwiyiniwak” as well. They are worth preserving here:

 I especially love that it affirms the Indigeneity of Black people, however fractured those ties to homelands are as a result of the transatlantic slave trade, and ongoing colonialism. It’s a term of solidarity instead of being reductive only to colour of flesh, while highlighting that Blackness is a focal point of the racism that Black people experience. I think there is also a lot of room to have deeper discussions with Black people about a Cree term to refer to them that is more descriptive of how they see themselves outside of European racial categories.


Posted in Audio (y-dialect), Printable, Solomon Ratt, Wayne (Goodspirit) Jackson | 1 Comment

University of Saskatchewan Graduate Honour Song (y-dialect)

Walking Buffalo Singers, Rollin Baldhead, Theoren Bear, Quentin Dreaver and Doug Morin in a still from USask Video.

Thanks to Winona Wheeler for sharing this YouTube post from Media Production at University of Saskatchewan ( in honour of 2020 graduates, and congratulations to each one of them: We are all proud of your accomplishments and wish you great success.

Winona writes:

Thank you Joseph Naytowhow and Rachel Fiddler for reviving this song written by late Tyrone Tootoosis in honour of our students. Thank you also to Joan Greyeyes for seeing the need and commissioning Tyrone to create this song, and to the Walking Buffalo Singers.

Higher education

A Treaty right & promise of education

An institution of higher learning

Let us give a War Cry [to Celebrate and Rejoice]

pasikô-âcihowin ôma
Our individual and collective journeys in seeking independence

kihci-kiskinohamāsowin Higher Education ē-kī-asotamākawiyāhk A Treaty Right & Promise to Education kihci-kiskinwahamâtowikamik An Institution of Higher Learning sākowātētān Let us give a War Cry to Celebrate and Rejoice pasikô-âcihowin ôma Our Individual and Collective Journeys in Seeking Independence

Posted in Audio (y-dialect), Songs in Cree, Video | Leave a comment