Stay home: Learn Cree 3. My Body

While we’re all in isolation, we’re going to try to post one video a day from Sol’s existing teaching library. Like Sasquatch himself, Solomon Ratt has experience with self isolation. Who better to help out with online Cree lessons for remote learning?  

Today we’ve got two videos about the body. The first is from Sol’s friend Grace Ithiniw Iskwêw, the second from Sol himself.

Grace is a speaker of Woodland Cree (th-dialect) from Barren Lands FN: Brochet, Manitoba. She is a mother of six, a Cree teacher with Brandon School Division, and she’s working on her MA at Brandon University. Her family continues to live off the land up north, along Reindeer Lake.  Her students – currently her captive audience – are her children. You can find more of her videos on Youtube.

Sol’s video gives us a longer list of body parts, and gives each one them in two forms.

  • First (on the left) he gives the “unpossessed form” – the word you use for “a nose” or “an eye.” These forms – like English words – are for body parts that don’t belong to anybody. Most of them start with m-. 
  • Next (on the right) he gives the “possessed form” – “my nose” or “your eye” – because in Cree, body parts normally belong to somebody. (We might jokingly say that body parts are attached to their owners. Or vice versa. I’m certainly attached to mine!) 

(About Sol’s shirt: https://creeliteracy.org/2020/03/17/awas-go-away-most-dialects/)

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