Raffi’s Baby Beluga, translated by Ellen Cook (n-dialect)

What a treat to find this video of the K-2 awâsisak from Winnipeg’s Isaac Brock Cree Bilingual Program, proudly belting out Raffi’s “Baby Beluga” translated into Cree by classroom câpân Ellen Cook, and led by classroom teacher Colleen Omand. Even Raffi says they’re great (in the CTV link), and it’s one of his best-known songs.

Big thanks to Ellen Cook for sharing her text with us (scroll down so you can sing along!)

Click here for the story from Winnipeg School Division

And click here for the CTV news story (including Raffi himself: somebody clearly understands the importance of fun and music in teaching).

Most important of all: watch the class’s award-winning video, and admire all those Cree-speakers in training! (I’m so glad we’ve got the words to share here: this song is an instant ear worm. If only I looked and sounded as cute as those kids!)

Raffi: Baby Beluga
Translated into Cree (n-dialect) by Ellen Cook

wapamêkosis kâ-pimâtakât
mitoni wânaw ê-itâtakât
kîsikohk êkwa nipîhk
wâpamêkosis aspin

Chorus:
wâpamêkosis, oh wâpamêkosis
kîsowâkamin
kikâwî-apiw
ê-minwênihtaman

wânaw itê ka-kapâsimocik
ki-ka-kôkîn mîna kimêtawân
mamahkâhan kihcikamihk
nipîy ê-sâsopâcikêyân

wâpamêkosis, oh wâpamêkosis
nikamostawinân
ê-nihtâ-nikamoyan
kiminohtâkosin

tipiskâw kikawisimon
ê-kîsokwâmi-hi-yan
tipiskâwipîsim, acâhkosak
wâsowak ê-nipâyan

wâpamêkosis, oh wâpamêkosis
pê-wâpan âsay,
kotak kîsikâw
wîpac ka-waniskân

wâpamêkosis kâ-pimâtakât mitoni wânaw ê-itâtakât
kîsikohk êkwa nipîhk
wâpamêkosis aspin
wâpamêkosis aspin

Baby Beluga (Raffi)

Baby beluga in the deep blue sea
Swim so wild and you swim so free
Heaven above and the sea below
And a little white whale on the go

Baby beluga, baby beluga
Is the water warm
Is your mama home with you, so happy

Way down yonder where the dolphins play
Where you dive and splash all day
Waves roll in and the waves roll out
See the water squirtin’ out of your spout

Baby beluga, oh, baby beluga
Sing your little song
Sing for all your friends, we like to hear you

When it’s dark, you’re home and fed
Curl up, snug in your water bed
Moon is shining and the stars are out
Good night, little whale, good night

Baby…

Posted in Songs in Cree, Uncategorized, Video | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

kâniyâsihk Spring Hide-tanning Camp, 2021

Thanks to Kevin Lewis for sharing his photos of this spring’s Hide Tanning Camp at Kaniyasihk Culture Camps (it’s fun to see some familiar faces). Here’s what he had to say about it (thanks so much, Kevin!)

Important Covid note: Although they are photographed here without masks, it’s important to acknowledge the great care Kevin and the whole camp consistently took regarding Covid-19. These photos were taken on the last day of an 11-day camp, long enough to be considered an isolation period in itself. The camp location is also isolated by nature effectively eliminating casual visitors. Before and during the camp, all participants were required to comply with national and provincial precautions. All staff are vaccinated, and consistently distanced as much as possible throughout. Tests were done by some staff mid-week and all came back negative. Elders also provided prayers and medicines for staff and campers, along with disinfecting, cleaning as much as a hide tanning camp will allow. Weather was perfect and allowed us to be outside 70% of the time. People slept in their bubbles. Under difficult circumstances (for all of humanity these days) the camp took exceptional measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

asay mîna kotak pahkêkinohkêwin nikîsihtânân ôtê kâniyâsihk Culture Camps ôma kâ-miyoskamihk. mistahi atoskêwin mâka mitoni miywâsin ka-ahkamêyimok. miyo-wîcihitowin, miyo-wâyâwin, kâkîsimôwin nitâpacihitânân êkwa ka-nanâskomâyâhkohk kêhtê-ayak kâ-ahkam-kiskinwahamâkoyâhkok tahto-kîsikâw.

ᐊᓴᐩ ᒦᓇ ᑯᑕᐠ ᐸᐦᑫᑭᓄᐦᑫᐏᐣ ᓂᑮᓯᐦᑖᓈᐣ ᐆᑌ ᑳᓂᔮᓯᕽ Culture Camps ᐆᒪ ᑳ ᒥᔪᐢᑲᒥᕽ᙮ ᒥᐢᑕᐦᐃ ᐊᑐᐢᑫᐏᐣ ᒫᑲ ᒥᑐᓂ ᒥᔼᓯᐣ ᑲ ᐊᐦᑲᒣᔨᒧᐠ᙮ ᒥᔪ ᐑᒋᐦᐃᑐᐏᐣ, ᒥᔪ ᐚᔮᐏᐣ, ᑳᑮᓯᒨᐏᐣ ᓂᑖᐸᒋᐦᐃᑖᓈᐣ ᐁᑿ ᑲ ᓇᓈᐢᑯᒫᔮᐦᑯᕽ ᑫᐦᑌ ᐊᔭᐠ ᑳ ᐊᐦᑲᒼ ᑭᐢᑭᓌᐦᐊᒫᑯᔮᐦᑯᐠ ᑕᐦᑐ ᑮᓯᑳᐤ᙮

We completed another Hide Tanning Camp at kâniyâsihk Culture Camps this spring. It is a lot of work, but it is good to keep moving forward. In good relations, good health, and prayer is what we used and also to be thankful for the Elders teachings and support as they teach us and pray for us on a daily basis.

(All this and they even made a video!)

Posted in Cree Cultural Literacy | Tagged | Leave a comment

Peepeekisis âtayôhkêwina: Sacred Stories of Peepeekisis Cree Nation

Peepeekisis âtayôhkêwina: Sacred Stories of Peepeekisis Cree Nation is coming out this week (in English and Plains Cree) via Your Nickel’s Worth Press. This is another exciting reward for those working hard to reclaim and revitalize the Cree language.

A couple of weeks ago, I was treated to a pre-release show-and-tell via Zoom (thanks to Solomon Ratt and Jesse Archibald-Barber). I learned that the late Eleanor Brass (who passed away in 1992), had published a collection of stories from Peepeekisis in 1979, under the title, Medicine Boy And Other Cree Tales. In that book, the stories were presented entirely in English, with original artwork by Henry Nanooch.

Forty-some years later, thanks to remarkable support and vision from Brass’s surviving family, this brand new book honours Eleanor Brass’s memory by bringing fresh life to her stories. At the same time, it also brings fresh life to the Cree language, by reclaiming the stories in Plains Cree through the careful translation work of fully fluent speakers, Inez Deiter (a close relation of Brass herself), Darryl Chamakese, and Solomon Ratt. The book is laid out with English and Cree side by side, and is joyfully illustrated by Aleigha Agecoutay (who brings yet another generation of Peepeekisis Cree Nation into the project).

As of today, books can be ordered directly from YNWP, or from Indigo It will also be available soon from Amazon and via McNally Robinson Booksellers.

You can also download this PDF that includes full ordering details: this brochure is ideal for passing on to libraries, schools or other corporate purchasers (to give them a helpful nudge). Bulk or educational purchasers should email the publisher directly: heather@ynwp.ca or orders@ynwp.ca.

I can’t wait to see this one in real life!

Posted in Cree Books, Solomon Ratt | Leave a comment

Congratulations, Belinda Daniels, PhD

tâpwê kihci! kimamihcihinân!

ᑖᐻ ᑭᐦᒋ! ᑭᒪᒥᐦᒋᐦᐃᓈᐣ!

Truly great! You make us proud.

Belinda Daniels, PhD (that’s Dr Belinda Daniels!) completed her interdisciplinary doctoral defense at the University of Saskatchewan yesterday via Zoom, and we are so very pleased for her! Thanks to her supervisor, Dr Debbie Pushor of the College of Education, who was kind enough to capture the moment for the rest of us.

Belinda’s interdisciplinary dissertation is bilingually titled: ē-kakwē nēhiyaw pimātisiyān ōta nīkihk – The Lifelong Journey Home. 

For those who’ve never met her, here’s her bio from UofS: Belinda Daniels is the founder of nēhiyawak Summer Language Experience, and teaches others how to teach Cree as a second language on various First Nations Reserves. Belinda won the Outstanding Canadian Aboriginal Educator Award in 2015 for work in language development, and was one of the 2016 Global Teacher Prize finalist. Belinda is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Saskatchewan and Alberta, and volunteers on several boards such as United Way, Dr. Sterling McDowell Foundation and Indspire.

#nehiyawaklanguageexperience #indigenouslanguagerevitalization

Posted in Book News, Identity | 1 Comment

I was torn: Solomon Ratt (th-dialect)

nikî-tâtopitikawin
kikâwînaw askîhk ohci:
kanâtaskîhk î-kî-wîkiyân.
nikî-tâtopitikawin ikota ohci
ta-nitawi-ayamihcikîyân
ayamihâwi-kiskinwahamâtowinihk.

ᓂᑮ ᑖᑐᐱᑎᑲᐏᐣ
ᑭᑳᐑᓇᐤ ᐊᐢᑮᕽ ᐅᐦᒋ:
ᑲᓈᑕᐢᑮᕽ ᐄ ᑮ ᐑᑭᔮᐣ᙮
ᓂᑮ ᑖᑐᐱᑎᑲᐏᐣ ᐃᑯᑕ ᐅᐦᒋ
ᑕ ᓂᑕᐏ ᐊᔭᒥᐦᒋᑮᔮᐣ
ᐊᔭᒥᐦᐋᐏ ᑭᐢᑭᓌᐦᐊᒫᑐᐏᓂᕽ᙮

I was torn from Our Mother Earth
as I was living on sacred land.
I was torn from there
to go to school
at the Residential School.

Sol’s sent a link to accompany his reflection, about All Saints School in Lac La Ronge, where he was taken year after year. Of his dear father – whose heart broke to send his children there – Sol says: “My dad would try to say ‘All Saints School’ but the best he could do was ‘wâcinskôl.’ He ran away on the first day he was there and never looked back.”

https://www.anglican.ca/tr/histories/all-saints-school-sk/?fbclid=IwAR2jgsVpfVcFRj9-QMsiGg63LEpaS1xu83D2KQDETOZf6gcWenHrA4GxKcY

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

mitoni niya nêhiyaw: Sarah Whitecalf

Have you ever noticed the Cree caption at the top of Cree Literacy Network posts?

miywâsin, kîspin ta-kakwê-nisitohtamêk êkwa mîna a-kakwê-mitoni-wîcihisoyêk anima, ôma nêyihawêwin kîspin kinôhtê-kiskêyihtênâwâw.

There is value indeed in trying to understand the Cree language and also in trying to study it in earnest if you want to learn it.

It’s a quote from The Cree Language Is Our Identity / kinêhiyâwiwininaw nêhiyawêwin: The La Ronge Lectures of Sarah Whitecalf, published in 1993. This book and all of its sister volumes that flowed from the partnership of Freda Ahenakew an H.C. Wolfart are some of the best reasons I know for learning to read in Cree.

Sarah Whitecalf was a great friend and supporter of Dr Freda Ahenakew and the work she did with linguist H.C. Wolfart recording, transcribing and translating the words of Cree Elders, and presenting them in print for future generations with exquisite care. It was my great honour to work with both of them, too, so I can say with some certainty how proud Freda would be to finally see this new volume of Sarah’s texts in print (though it’s taken longer than she would have liked!)

Congratulations to all who worked together to make this happen: H.C. Wolfart, University of Manitoba Press, and Sarah’s son Ted Whitecalf (who wrote the preface and supplied photographs of his late mother).

mitoni niya nêhiyaw / Cree is who I truly am. A life told by Sarah Whitecalf, edited and translated by H.C. Wolfart and Freda Ahenakew, preface by Ted Whitecalf will be available as of 8 April 2021.

Pre-order your copy from their website now

The late Sarah Whitecalf (1919-1991) spoke Cree exclusively, spending most of her life at Nakiwacîhk / Sweetgrass Reserve on the North Saskatchewan River. Her experiences and reactions throw fresh light on the lives lived by Plains Cree women on the Canadian prairies over much of the twentieth century.

#nêhiyaw #Cree #Memoir #IndigenousMemoir #IndigenousStudies #PlainsCree #ReadIndigenous #History #Autobiography #Linguistics #Prairies #NorthSaskatchewan
#NorthSaskatchewanRiver

Posted in Cree Books, Our Elders Speak | Leave a comment

Not a Pretendian: Solomon Ratt (th-dialect)

[Photo: Solomon Ratt with his parents, William and Alice Ratt, 1978]

There’s been a lot of discussion lately about “pretendians” of various kinds. There seems to be consensus that the “real deal” will be able to name their family and home connections, and their claims will be backed up by family or community. Sol composed this introduction to illustrate one model of how a “legit” Cree person might describe their personal lineage. (The same outline works, in Cree or English!)

Coincidentally, he also realized that today, 6 April 2021, would have been his late mother’s 98th birthday, so it’s particularly fitting to share this post with love today. 

Solomon nitisithihkâson. âmaciwîspimowinihk ohci nîtha. William John Ratt (osowathîkis) kî-itâw nohtâwîpan, ohtâwîpana Patrick (oskâtâsk) kî-itimâwa, âmaciwîspimowinihk ohci. Alice Emily Ratt (pahkahk) kî-itâw nikâwîpan, okâwîpana Maggie McKenzie kî-itimâwa, mistahi-sâkahikanihk ohci.

ᓱᓬᐅᒧᐣ ᓂᑎᓯᖨᐦᑳᓱᐣ᙮ ᐋᒪᒋᐑᐢᐱᒧᐏᓂᕽ ᐅᐦᒋ ᓃᖬ᙮ William John Ratt (ᐅᓱᐘᖩᑭᐢ) ᑮ ᐃᑖᐤ ᓄᐦᑖᐑᐸᐣ, ᐅᐦᑖᐑᐸᓇ Patrick (ᐅᐢᑳᑖᐢᐠ) ᑮ ᐃᑎᒫᐘ, ᐋᒪᒋᐑᐢᐱᒧᐏᓂᕽ ᐅᐦᒋ᙮ Alice Emily Ratt (ᐸᐦᑲᕽ) ᑮ ᐃᑖᐤ ᓂᑳᐑᐸᐣ, ᐅᑳᐑᐸᓇ Maggie McKenzie ᑮ ᐃᑎᒫᐘ, ᒥᐢᑕᐦᐃ ᓵᑲᐦᐃᑲᓂᕽ ᐅᐦᒋ᙮

My name is Solomon. I am from Stanley Mission. William John Ratt (osowathîkis) was my late father’s name, his late father’s name was Patrick (oskâtâsk), from Stanley Mission. My late mother’s name was Alice Emily Ratt (pahkahk), her late mother was Maggie McKenzie from Lac La Ronge.

Posted in Audio (th-dialect), Cree Cultural Literacy, Solomon Ratt | 2 Comments

Play and Learn with Playing Cards

pêyakopêhikan(ak): Playing Card(s)

A recent discussion on FaceBook sent me hunting for card-playing terms in Cree. So did Dawnis Kennedy at Manitoba Indigenous Cultural Education Centre with her delight in using games to teach Anishinaabemowin. Even the simplest card game uses basic numbers and counting, turn-taking and cooperation, simple commands and physical response. Not a bad way to work on some basic vocabulary! 

Thanks for collaboration to Simon Bird who reviewed my notes and nudged me to share this little collection of terms, which also includes additions from Arok Wolvengrey, Robin McLeod, and Dr Kevin Brousseau (and even some corrections from Solomon Ratt).
(I hope it goes without saying that we’ll all be grateful to anybody who takes the time to comment with additional terms or corrections!)

For “playing cards,” the itwêwina dictionary gives three different forms:

  1. tênikanak
  2. têhamânak, and
  3. pêyakopêhikanak

In th-dialect, Simon Bird and Robin McLeod both use tîhamânak, but you can turn these y-dialect forms into th-dialect simply by changing the ê to î).

 There are three corresponding verbs (of course!) 

  1. tênikêw s/he deals (cards)
  2. têhamâw s/he plays card
  3. pêyakopêhikêw s/he plays cards

 pêyakopêhikan can be one card, one deck of cards, an Ace, or a card game. (Again: turn these y-dialect forms into th-dialect simply by changing the ê to î.) 

Cards & Playingy-dialectth-dialect
playing card(s)tênikan(ak)tînikan(ak)
playing card(s)têhamân(ak)tîhamân(ak)
playing card(s)pêyakopêhikan(ak)pîyakopîhikan(ak)
deals (cards)tênikêwtînikîw
plays cardstêhamâwtîhamâw
plays cardspêyakopêhikêwpîyakopîhikîw

Four suits:

We might expect the suit names to be literal translations from English into Cree, but in fact, the names of the suits reflect their four simple shapes. As Arok Wolvengrey explains: 

 cîpopêhikan lit., “drawn/written pointed” – a diamond is a pointed shape

pihêwisit lit., “prairie chicken foot” because of the three prongs like chicken toes. Another form for club is pihêwayasit, but it still includes the prairie chicken!

misipîk comes from Cree misi- “big” and the French word (le) pique borrowed as -pîk. misipîk probably first referred just to the Ace of spades and then was transferred to the whole suit.

wâyinopêhikan (th: wâthopîhikan) for “hearts” comes from an element that refers to “turning back around” that is variously pronounced as: wâyonî-/wâyinî-/wâyino-. It refers to a shape drawn to return back on itself. 

Here’s where things get interesting in different dialects. Robin McLeod (th-dialect) uses mâskicôs for “heart” (lit.: “a little bum”). And while this seems a little funny, Kevin Brousseau says this same “little bum” form is used in Innue for “spade.” Kevin also says that in Moose Cree (l-dialect),  the word for “spade” is borrowed from English (rather than French), as ispêt. Simon Bird says ispêt is also the term he grew up with both for the suit, and for the gardening implement (so he would literally call an ispêt an ispêt!)

Suitsy-dialectth-dialect
Heartswâyinopêhikanmâskicôsak
Diamondscîpopêhikancîpopîhikan
Clubspihêwisit pithîwisit
Spadesmisipîk misipîk; ispêt

Face values:

Numbers should be pretty straight forward, but some communities use diminutive forms (according to Arok, and to Robin McLeod) for the face values. Robin grew up using diminutive forms for the lower numbers (one to seven): adding -s on the end, and replacing the t-sound with a c-sound. When diminutive endings are attached to nouns, they usually make things sound smaller, younger or cuter. Sometimes they can imply a pejorative or pitiful meaning instead.

Face Values y-dialectth-dialect
Acepêyakopêhikanpîyakopîhikan
Two (Deuce)nîsonîso (dim: nîsos)
Threenistonisto (dim: niscos)
Fournêwonîwo (dim: niyos)
Fiveniyânanniyânan (dim: niyânos)
Sixnikotwâsiknikotwâsik (dim: nikwacwâsik)
Seventêpakohptîpakohp (dim: cîpakohp)
Eightayinânêwâyinânîw
Ninekêkâ-mitâtahtkîkâmitâhtâht
Tenmitâtahtmitâtâht
Jacksimâkanissimâkanis
Queenokimâskwewiskwîw
Kingokimâwokimâw

Actions and Counting: 

There are likely quite a few more words we could collect with card-game actions and counting, but we’ve provided a “starter set” within the table below (along with the terminology above). You can print out this post to use as a cheat sheet, if you like. But whatever you do: Just don’t cheat at cards!  

Actiony-dialectth-dialect
Dealtênamawêisowîpinik tiyamânak
Shuffleitênikêitînikî
Flip face up (lit., uncover)pâskinpâskin
Flop face down (lit., roll s.t. over)otîhtipinotîhtipin
Cut the cardskîskisokkîskisok tîhamân(ak), kîskisikî
Play s.o. (card) kîskiswêkîskiswî
Put in / Betascikêascikî
Discard (lit., abandon) wêpinikanwîpinikan
Pairpêyakôskânpîyakwayîk
Two pairnîsôskânniswâyîk
Three of a kindnistôskânnistonikîw
Four of a kindnêwônikiwnîyonikîw
Wins big misi-otinikêwmisowîpicikîw
Rakes in the winocipicikî
Straightakihtâsowinakihtâsowin
Full house (lit., s/he whips)pasastêhikêwpasastîhikîw
High card (trump)nitôwinnitôwin
Short on betiskwâcamo (notâscikiw)
Flush (3 hearts) nisto wâyinopêhikan nisto maskicosak
Flush (3 diamonds)nisto cîpopêhikanaknisto cîpopîhikanak
Flush (3 spades)nisto misipîkwaknisto misipîkwak
Flush (3 clubs) nisto pihêwisitaknisto pihîwisitak
Straight (lit., counting) akihtâsowinakihtâsowin
Posted in Language Lessons, Our Contributors | Leave a comment

Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “Take My Hand for a While” sung in Cree by Tammy Lamouche

This post is a little gift for Buffy Sainte-Marie from all of us at the Cree Literacy Network. It’s a little late for her birthday, but it’s still 100% sincere because we think the world of her!

The translation is the work of Solomon Ratt (a th-dialect speaker from northern Saskatchewan). The recording features Alberta Cree singer Tammy Lamouche with guitar and sound engineering by Vanessa Beaudry (Vanessa and Tammy both speak Alberta northern y-dialect). The translation is in the Plains y-dialect that is spoken by Buffy’s Cree relations at Piapot. The photo of Tammy (above) is the work of Daena Crosby. Gathering up all the pieces and making the connections is my contribution. Together, we are tremendously proud to use the Cree language to honour Buffy, and to create another example of Cree language activism in her honour.

Buffy first recorded this exquisite song of love and loss in 1968. When she gave Sol her blessing to translate, he went hunting for a karaoke track. He claims he couldn’t find one,  though some of us think he was just a little shy about singing for Buffy. 😉

Together, we hope Buffy will enjoy this recording, and we hope that maybe others will be inspired to learn it as well, as part of their personal Cree language reclamation.

sâh-sakiniskêninTake my Hand for a While
sâh-sakiniskênin
kîhtwâm wâh-wîhtamawin
wiya ohci ninpîkotêhêh
Take my hand for a while
Explain it to me once again
Just for the sake of my broken heart
itâpi niskîsikohk, nika-nisitohtên
sâkihiwêwin namôya astêw
êtikwê takî-sâkihiyan
kimiskawin ê-wâh-wanîhoyân nitêh
î-sâkaskinîk ta-kî-nîsonitoyahk
Look into my eyes and maybe I will understand
How love I counted on was never there
You see, I thought that you might love me
So you caught me it seems off balance with a heart
So full of love and pretty dreams that two should share
êkosi ê-mwayî-sipwêhtêyan
sâh-sakiniskênin
kîhtwâm wâh-wîhtamawin
wiya ohci ninpîkotêhêh
And so I know but please before you go
Take my hand for a while
Explain it to me once again
Just for the sake of my broken heart
translation by Solomon Ratt (y-dialect) Buffy Saint Marie

 

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

Happy Birthday, kohkom Sophie: National Indigenous People’s Languages Day 2021

iyiniw pīkiskwēwin kīsikāw = Indigenous People’s Language Day

Thanks to Andrea Custer for agreeing (on this National Indigenous People’s Language Day) to share this reflection on her kohkom’s birthday with all of us. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate!

(The photo, taken by Andrea’s sister from HB Photography and used with permission – shows Andrea (far left), ohkoma Sophie Custer (centre front), okāwiya Julianne, otānisa Sky, Alyse ikwa Scarlett (with kitty ears), ikwa okosisa Tyler ikwa Andrew (on kohkom’s knee).


anohc kā-kīsikāk ī-mithwīthītamahk ithiniwi-pīkiskwīwina ōta kānata kā-isithihkātīk ninohtī-wīcihānān Andrea Custer ta-wī-mitho-tipiskamithit ohkoma. “mitho-tipiska kahkithaw kititinān Sophie!” mistahi kīkway ki-mīthinān ta-mithītamahk ohci ikwa kitatamīhīnān.

Today as we celebrate Indigenous Languages here in what is called Canada, we would like to join Andrea Custer in wishing ohkoma (her grandmother) a Happy Birthday. Happy Birthday from all of us, Sophie! You give us so much to celebrate and you make us proud.


anohc nohkom tipiskam, ayinānīmitanaw nīwosāp ikwa itahtopiponīw. mitoni ninanāskomon ithikohk kinwīsk ī-pī-mīthikawasiyāhk nohkom. iyako awa nitīhinān awa okāwīmaw, kwayask mistahi mitho-kīkwātho nipī-mīthikonān

Today is my grandmother’s birthday, she is 84 years old now. I am so grateful for all the time she has been gifted to our family. She is our heart and matriarch who has given us so much.

kā-kī-apisīsisit kī-sipwītahāw ayamihāwi-kiskinwahamātowikamikohk (residential school) isi, nīwo poko ī-kī-tahtopiponīt. ikota ī-kī-kitimākisit kinwīsk. mitoni māna ī-pīkotīhiyān kā-māmitonīthītamān ī-apisīsisit ithikohk ikwa ī-kitimahācik nohkoma. māka kiyāpic kā-kī-kīsi-opikit ī-kī-mitho-ohpikihācik nimosōmipan asici piyakosāp awāsisa. mitho-kīkwātho ī-mīthācik tapiskōc nīhithaw pimātisiwin, maskawātisiwin, sōhkitīhiwin, tāpowakīthihtamowin ikwa nīhithaw pīkiskwīwin.

When she was small, she was taken to residential school, she was only four years old. There she suffered so much for a long time. My heart breaks when I think of her being so small and them treating her so bad. Still, when she was grown, she, with my late grandfather, were able to raise 11 children in a good way. They gave them good things like Cree way of life, strength, faith and Cree Language.

anohc ikwa tahto-kīsikaw ninanāskomāw kisī-manitow wītha ohci. mithotīpiska nohkō, kisākihitin kākikī mīna kākikī.

I am so grateful to Creator today and every day for her. Happy Birthday grandma, I love you always and forever.

Posted in Andrea Custer, Audio (th-dialect), Birthday | Leave a comment