In Memoriam: Darren Okemaysim – Blessings (y-dialect)

A proud day for Darren Okemaysim (right) and for nêhiyawêwin in March 2018 as Darren visited parliament to translate for Robert Falcon Ouellette (left).

There is sad news today of the passing of Darren Okemaysim at the age of 53. miyo-pimohtêho, nitôtêm: Travel well, my friend. May the ancestors greet you with joy.  (Find the official obituary here.

We were blessed to have Darren with us as long as we did, and to witness how much he continued to offer to the Cree language. To honour him, we’d like to share this parable of life’s blessings, popular for years on the internet, to which Darren added Cree point of view. 

nâpêw kâ-kî-itwêt “mâmawôhtâwîmâw, pîkiskwâsin,” kihêw pêhtâkosiw ê-mâtot.
mâka ana nâpêw mwâc ohci-pêhtawêw.

êkosi têpwâtêw, “mâmawôhtâwîmâw pîkiskwâsin,” êkwa kaskitêwinâkwan kîsikohk êkwa kâ-kitôwak pêhtâkosiwak.
mâka môy ohci-pêhtam ana nâpêw.

papâmi-ây-îtâpiw êkwa itêw, “mâmawôhtâwîmâw mahti pê-wâpamin,” êkwa acâhkos kî-wâ-wâskotêpayiw.
mâka môy ohci-nâkatohkêw.

êkwa ana nâpêw têpwêw, “mâmawôhtâwîmâw mahti wâpahtihin mâmâhtâwi-kîkwây,” êkwa nîhtâwikîwin kâ-miyit.
mâka môy ohci-kiskêyihtam ana nâpêw.

êkosi, kî-ati-mâci-mâtow ana nâpêw ê-kitimâkîhtâkwahk, “sâminin mâmawôhtâwîmâw êkwa wâpahtihin ôta ê-ayâyan,” êkosi ani mâmawôhtâwîmâw pê-sâminêw ana nâpêwa.
mâka ana nâpêw sipwêyâmohkêw kamâmak kâ-pê-twêhot.

kiskêyihcikêwin kâ-kiskinohamâkawiyân: êkây pacipayi kîkwây mâmawôhtâwîmâw kâ-kiskinohamâsk môy ka-wâpahtihikawin kâ-isi-nitawêyihtaman.

ᓈᐯᐤ ᑳ ᑮ ᐃᑘᐟ “ᒫᒪᐕᐦᑖᐑᒫᐤ, ᐲᑭᐢᒁᓯᐣ,” ᑭᐦᐁᐤ ᐯᐦᑖᑯᓯᐤ ᐁ ᒫᑐᐟ᙮
ᒫᑲ ᐊᓇ ᓈᐯᐤ ᒹᐨ ᐅᐦᒋ ᐯᐦᑕᐍᐤ᙮

ᐁᑯᓯ ᑌᑇᑌᐤ, “ᒫᒪᐕᐦᑖᐑᒫᐤ ᐲᑭᐢᒁᓯᐣ,” ᐁᑿ ᑲᐢᑭᑌᐏᓈᑿᐣ ᑮᓯᑯᕽ ᐁᑿ ᑳ ᑭᑑᐘᐠ ᐯᐦᑖᑯᓯᐘᐠ᙮
ᒫᑲ ᒨᕀ ᐅᐦᒋ ᐯᐦᑕᒼ ᐊᓇ ᓈᐯᐤ᙮

ᐸᐹᒥ ᐋᔩᑖᐱᐤ ᐁᑿ ᐃᑌᐤ, “ᒫᒪᐕᐦᑖᐑᒫᐤ ᒪᐦᑎ ᐯ ᐚᐸᒥᐣ,” ᐁᑿ ᐊᒑᐦᑯᐢ ᑮ ᐚ ᐚᐢᑯᑌᐸᔨᐤ᙮
ᒫᑲ ᒨᕀ ᐅᐦᒋ ᓈᑲᑐᐦᑫᐤ᙮

ᐁᑿ ᐊᓇ ᓈᐯᐤ ᑌᐻᐤ, “ᒫᒪᐕᐦᑖᐑᒫᐤ ᒪᐦᑎ ᐚᐸᐦᑎᐦᐃᐣ ᒫᒫᐦᑖᐏ ᑮᒁᕀ,” ᐁᑿ ᓃᐦᑖᐏᑮᐏᐣ ᑳ ᒥᔨᐟ᙮
ᒫᑲ ᒨᕀ ᐅᐦᒋ ᑭᐢᑫᔨᐦᑕᒼ ᐊᓇ ᓈᐯᐤ᙮

ᐁᑯᓯ, ᑮ ᐊᑎ ᒫᒋ ᒫᑐᐤ ᐊᓇ ᓈᐯᐤ ᐁ ᑭᑎᒫᑮᐦᑖᑿᕽ, “ᓵᒥᓂᐣ ᒫᒪᐕᐦᑖᐑᒫᐤ ᐁᑿ ᐚᐸᐦᑎᐦᐃᐣ ᐆᑕ ᐁ ᐊᔮᔭᐣ,” ᐁᑯᓯ ᐊᓂ ᒫᒪᐕᐦᑖᐑᒫᐤ ᐯ ᓵᒥᓀᐤ ᐊᓇ ᓈᐯᐘ᙮
ᒫᑲ ᐊᓇ ᓈᐯᐤ ᓯᐻᔮᒧᐦᑫᐤ ᑲᒫᒪᐠ ᑳ ᐯ ᑘᐦᐅᐟ᙮

ᑭᐢᑫᔨᐦᒋᑫᐏᐣ ᑳ ᑭᐢᑭᓄᐦᐊᒫᑲᐏᔮᐣ: ᐁᑳᕀ ᐸᒋᐸᔨ ᑮᒁᕀ ᒫᒪᐕᐦᑖᐑᒫᐤ ᑳ ᑭᐢᑭᓄᐦᐊᒫᐢᐠ ᒨᕀ ᑲ ᐚᐸᐦᑎᐦᐃᑲᐏᐣ ᑳ ᐃᓯ ᓂᑕᐍᔨᐦᑕᒪᐣ᙮

The man said, “Creator, speak to me,” and an eagle cried.
But the man did not hear.

So the man yelled, “Creator speak to me!” And the thunder rolled across the sky.
But the man did not listen.

The man looked around and said, “Creator let me see you,” and a star shone brightly.
But the man did not notice.

The man shouted, “Creator show me a miracle,” and a life was born.
But the man did not know.

So the man cried out in despair: “Touch me Creator and let me know that you are here!” Whereupon Creator reached down and touched the man.
But the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.

Moral of the story: Don’t miss out on a blessing because it isn’t packaged the way you expect. 

To find Darren’s other offerings to the Cree Literacy Network, follow this link: https://creeliteracy.org/category/contributors/darren-okemaysim-y-dialect/

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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