miyo-okâwîmâwi-kîsikanisik: Happy Mother’s Day

The late Freda Ahenakew and daughters, February 2011. Photo: Arden Ogg

Always grateful to this woman for mothering me – and to her eight daughters for their high-quality sistering! Happy Mothers day to each of them, and to mothers everywhere.

There’s an old story about Freda, that when a friend of hers passed away at Muskeg in the 60s leaving 15 children, Freda (who had 10 children of her own at the time) made room in her home to take them all in together.

Happy Mother’s Day! Add the plural (k) if you’re speaking to more than one mother.

  • miyo-okâwîmâwi-kîsikanisi(k)   (y-dialect)
  • mino-okâwîmâwi-kîsikanisi(k)   (n-dialect)
  • mitho-okâwîmâwi-kîsikanisi(k)   (th-dialect)

Some speakers read these greetings like imperatives (ordering people around). They prefer forms like the following (adding the plural (âwâw) for if you’re speaking to more than one mother).

  • ka-wî-miyo-okâwîmâwi-kîsikanisin(âwâw)
  • ka-wî-mino-okâwîmâwi-kîsikanisin(âwâw)
  • ka-wî-mitho-okâwîmâwi-kîsikanisin(âwâw)

A slightly-extended family photo: Freda Ahenakew with her own 12 children, plus two adoptees: Arok Wolvengrey (top left) and Arden Ogg (bottom right).

About Arden Ogg

Arden Ogg is Director of the Cree Literacy Network, launched in 2010 with the goal of creating Cree language literacy materials suitable for use by learners of all ages.
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