There are literally dozens of news stories today reporting the appointment of Plains Cree-speaking poet Louise Halfe to the post of parliamentary poet laureate. As great fans of Louise and the way she captures the magic of nêhiyawêwin in her work, the Cree Literacy Network takes particular delight in her appointment, and sends her our very best wishes, composed on behalf of all of our contributors by Arok Wolvengrey, and honorary founder Jean Okimâsis:
mistahi kimamihcihinān, Louise.
kinanāskomitinān kinēhiyawēwininaw ē-kistēyihtaman ēkwa mīna ē-āpacihtāyan kimasinahikēwinihk.
We are grateful to you for respecting our Cree language and using it in your writings.
ēwako kihcēyihtākwan ayisk ē-kiskinwahamawacik nēhiyawak ēkwa mīna kotakak ayisiyiniwak wīstawāw ka-nōhtē-masinahahkik kā-isi-māmitonēyihtahkik mīna kā-isi-pīkiskwēcik.
That is important because you are teaching Cree people and others as well to want to write their thoughts and their speech.
mistahi kikihcēyimitinān. mistahi kimamihcihinān. ēkāwiya pōyo!
We think very highly of you. You make us really proud. Keep at it!
Here is a small selection of reporting from mainstream news that explains the appointment, and how very well it is deserved.
Saskatoon Star Phoenix
The Globe & Mail
Parliament of Canada
Photo copyright: The Canadian Press.