Saskatchewan mystery writer Gail Bowen has written many strong, Cree characters into her Joanne Kilbourn Mystery Series over the years, but a prayer in Plains Cree in What’s Left Behind (2016, page 59) certainly takes things to the next level as far as Cree language literacy in the mainstream is concerned!
Thanks to Cree Literacy Network board member Elaine Greyeyes, we were able to contact Gail for permission to reproduce the prayer here in SRO and syllabics. The table that follows transliterates the prayer from the book text into SRO and syllabics (with thanks for proofing help from Solomon Ratt). A photo of the prayer from the book follows.
|Our father, bless us this day||nôhtawinân sawêyiminân ôma kâ-kîsikak||ᓅᐦᑕᐏᓈᐣ ᓴᐍᔨᒥᓈᐣ ᐆᒪ ᑳ ᑮᓯᑲᐠ|
|For your breath is life||ayis kiyêhêwin pimâtisiwin||ᐊᔨᐢ ᑭᔦᐦᐁᐏᐣ ᐱᒫᑎᓯᐏᐣ|
|and bless us here together||sawêyiminân mîna ôta mamawi kâ-ayâyâhk||ᓴᐍᔨᒥᓈᐣ ᒦᓇ ᐆᑕ ᒪᒪᐏ ᑳ ᐊᔮᔮᕽ|
|Give us strength and wisdom||miyinân maskawisîwin mîna iyinîsiwin||ᒥᔨᓈᐣ ᒪᐢᑲᐏᓰᐏᐣ ᒦᓇ ᐃᔨᓃᓯᐏᐣ|
|To listen and to hear||ta-natohtamâhk mîna ta-nahêhtam â hk||ᑕ ᓇᑐᐦᑕᒫᕽ ᒦᓇ ᑕ ᓇᐦᐁᐦᑕᒫᕽ|
|Not to follow enviousness||namôya ayiwâhkêyimowin ta-pimitisâhamâhk||ᓇᒨᔭ ᐊᔨᐚᐦᑫᔨᒧᐏᐣ ᑕ ᐱᒥᑎᓵᐦᐊᒫᕽ|
|Give us again to see||miyinân âsay mîna ta-wâpahatamâhk||ᒥᔨᓈᐣ ᐋᓴᕀ ᒦᓇ ᑕ ᐚᐸᐦᐊᑕᒫᕽ|
|Sunrise and sunset||sâkâstêw mîna pahkisimon||ᓵᑳᐢᑌᐤ ᒦᓇ ᐸᐦᑭᓯᒧᐣ|
|Thank you, we are all most thankful||hay-hay, kinanâskomitinân||ᐦᐊᕀ ᐦᐊᕀ , ᑭᓇᓈᐢᑯᒥᑎᓈᐣ|
|Hoping that will happen||pitanê êkosi ta-ihkihk||ᐱᑕᓀ ᐁᑯᓯ ᑕ ᐃᐦᑭᕽ|