Books in Cree

Books in Cree that use standard spelling are pretty rare, but a number of them are out there, and still available for purchase.

Our Dream Library of books in Cree is much, much bigger, though it will take a lifetime to fill. It will include whole collections of books for readers and students of Cree at every stage, such as:

  • baby board books
  • rocking chair books
  • illustrated series of children’s books for use in the classroom and at home
  • read-along books for language learners, that include readings in multiple dialects
  • illustrated (Cree-English) non-fiction for cultural learning
  • original fiction for readers of all ages
  • authentic Cree literature from spoken texts
  • authentic Cree literature written by Cree-speaking writers

For now, we look forward to each new addition as another important step in the revitalization of Cree language and culture.

By creating as many of these books as possible in bilingual Cree-English editions, we hope to make Cree cultural lessons available to both speakers and non-speakers alike. Where existing titles are currently out of print, we hope to encourage reprinting or development of new editions that include parallel bilingual presentation, glossaries, and other resources for language learners. Our ability to fill the shelves of Our Dream Library depends heavily on the generosity of like-minded individuals, institutions and funding agencies (public and private), whom we hope will join us in embracing the value and need for this work. Please contact us for further information if you would like to help.

7 Responses

    1. It can be a long process. Most of the books I’ve worked on began with a fluent speaker interviewing and recording an elder. Then the elder’s words were carefully transcribed in Cree, and translated. This is slow, careful work to make sure every word is written down exactly as it was spoken. Illustrators were then commissioned for some of the stories. Then introduction and (sometimes) a glossary were prepared. Then a proposal (describing the whole finished book) is sent to a publisher to see if they’ll accept the book for publishing, and take it across the finish line. It can be simpler or it can be more complicated, but it always helps when there’s money to pay for (at least) the illustrations and the printing.

      The book publishing industry is changing right now, thanks to self-publishing and print-on-demand services. These may bring down the cost of publishing, but all of the initial care and planning is still needed.

      Do you have ideas for books for children that you would like to develop?

  1. Most of the Interviewing and transriping is done. It’s in the stick or memory stick but am stuck what and where to go now.

    1. Hmm. And you’ve prepared a good translation?
      The next step probably depends on whether it’s a long or short story – for kids or for adults. You need to find a publisher who has other books like this one, or look into self-publishing.

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