National Aboriginal History Month Day Twenty-three: nikihci-âniskotâpân

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 Twenty-two, the word is Ancestor:

In the Wolvengrey Dictionary, we find the word

nikihci-âniskotâpân / ᓂᑭᐦᒋ ᐋᓂᐢᑯᑖᐹᐣ

“my great great great grandparent; my great great great grandchild; my ancestor”

It was hard not to think of the ancestors today, sitting with Nadine MacDougall on the banks of the Red River near Lower Fort Garry – where Treaty One was signed, feeling the gentle breeze blowing in the trees, and birds calling all around. It’s awfully hard to see in the photo, but the frame of a sweat lodge (near the left edge, in the bushes), also suggests that the ancestors have been called back in the not-so-distant past.

The final photo included here is borrowed directly from Lower Fort Garry’s official website at That tall, good-looking dude in the hat – portraying the role of the fort’s Chief Factor – is a grandson of the late Freda Ahenakew, and son of one of those handsome Greyeyes dudes posted with the bison a few days ago.

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