Wise words in any language, but beautifully spoken here in Cree by Helen Chief of Island Lake, Saskatchewan, who very kindly agreed to let me post her video here, along with the translation of her cousin Celina Jones, and with word-for-word transcription in Cree (to help learners read along) by Solomon Ratt. The video was recorded in White Swan, Washington, and posted on Youtube by Rebecca Centeno in June of 2013.
|My name is Helen Chief. I come from Island Lake in Saskatchewan, Canada
|[… in your language, cause that’s how you started it…]
|kisiwîtinîwiskwîw niya nitisîyihkâson.
|My name is Kind Wind Woman.
|ôtê ohci nâtakâm ôtê ê-ohtôhtêyân.êkotê nîstanân kahkiyaw kîkway ê-pimi-mâkwahihkawiyâhk anohc ôma kâ-kîsikâk.
|I come from way up north. And we are affected and having a hard time here, today.
|êkwa, kikâwînaw, kitaskînaw ê-kakwâtakihtât tahto-kîsikâw.
|Our Mother, Mother Earth is having a hard time every day.
|nanâtohk ê-isi-mônâtihkâtiht mîna ê-pimi-manisamoht wîscakâsa nika-pim-ayitwân
|Being dug into in every way possible, even her hair is being cut, I will say.
|êwka ôki mihcêt ôki otatoskêhâkanak kâ-mônatihkâtâcik ôta kikâwînawa
|There are so many of these workers that dig here on our Mother.
|ê-misowanâcihtâcik kahkiyaw kîkwaynipiy, mîna pisiskîsa, mîna kahkiyaw kîkway kâ-pimohpikik ôta waskitaskamik.
|They are ruining everything,the water, the little animals, and all of everything that grows on our land.
|maskihkiy, maskihkiya, êkwak-anihi ê-misowanâtahki.
|The medicine, all of the medicines, they are ruined.
|mîna ôma kâ-itohtamak ôma âyi kâ-itohtamahk kiyânaw.
|And also, the air that we breathe,
|kî-yôhtinâwak kâ-kî-yôtinâhastât kahkiyaw kîkway mîna ê-wî-misowanâcihtât ôma.
|The wind that used to blow on everything is ruined.
|môniyâwiyiniw nika-itwân kitaskînaw.
|Those non-native people, are going to kill our land.
|tânitî êkwa kicawâsimisinawak, kôsisiminawak,kôcâpâninawak êkâ cîskwa ôki ôta kâ-pimi-nôkosicik,tânitî ikwa ta-pimi-wâh-wîkicik?
|Where do our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and the ones unborn yet,where are they going to live?
What are they going to use?
|mîna nanâtohk ôhi masinahikana ôtê pîcinâwiw kâ-kî-masinahahkik,kâ-pâh-pîkonahkik.
|And also, all these papers (Treaties), that were made, they broke them.
|êkosi mîna, kitawâsisimisinawak ôko kahkiyaw kîkway ê-pimi-misowanâcîhikocik.
|So then, our children are being killed by many things.
|êwakw-anima kahkiyaw kîkway ka-pimi-nakinamahk, ka-pimi-wîcihâyahkok.
|That is what we have to stop and try to help them.
|mîna ôhôta wâsakâsimowina nanâtohk isihcikêwina êwakoni kâwi ka-pim-ôtinamahk.
|And also the Round Dances and all the Ceremonies, those are what we have to go back to.
|êkwa kipîkiskwêwininaw ôma ka-pim-âpacitâyahk.
|And our languages, we have to start using.
|cikêmâ êwakw-ânima kâ-kî-miyikosiyahk kiyânaw.
|Those are what were given to us.
|êwakw-ânima êkwa kâ-wî-ohci-kiskinwahamâkiyahk kitawâsimisinawak ôtê pêci-nîkân ka-pim-âpacihtâcik.
|Those are now what we have to teach our children, in the future, to be able to use.
|âh, êkosi mâka. êkosi, hây.
|Ekosi Hiy Hiy.