National Aboriginal History Month Day Eighteen: okimâw / okimâhkân

Urban Native Magazine and Regina Aboriginal Professionals Association have launched a photograph challenge (for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) in honour of National Aboriginal History Month. They’re using the Twitter hashtag #NAHM2015PhotoADay.

Here at the Cree Literacy Network, we’ve decided to play along, by gathering the images suggested – but (with help from Solomon Ratt) captioning them in Cree.

For Day Eighteen, the word is Chief:

There are two words for “chief” in Cree:

  • okimâw ᐅᑭᒫᐤ NA chief, leader, head person, man of high position; king; boss; one’s superior
  • okimâhkân ᐅᑭᒫᐦᑳᐣ NA chief; elected or appointed chief; reserve chief; band council leader; pretend leader

The photo I’ve chosen is used with permission of our friend Ray Cardinal, who knew this very special chief as Dad. I won’t go into all the details of what made Harold Cardinal such an outstanding leader, or how badly we need more like him, especially in 2015 and beyond, but I’m also including covers of a couple of his books that were the first to begin demanding a better relationship between Canada and its First Nations people.

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