International Mother Language Day, 2021

okâwimâwi-pîkiskwêwin kîsikâw misiwêskamik

ᐅᑳᐏᒫᐏ ᐲᑭᐢᑵᐏᐣ ᑮᓯᑳᐤ ᒥᓯᐍᐢᑲᒥᐠ:

International Mother Language Day

This photo is an old one, from October 2010. It’s a Greyeyes/Ahenakew family treasure, shared here with pride. It’s also an image that captures for me and many of my Cree Literacy Network colleagues the idea of mother language, personified in the late Dr Freda Ahenakew, whom we love and miss. Freda is the little figure wrapped in pink and beige, seated right at the heart of this small subset of otawâsisak, ôsimisa, and ocâpânak (her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren), on the porch of her own log cabin at Muskeg Lake Cree Nation.

Today we offer this photo in tribute to all those for whom the Cree language – in any of its variants or dialects – is a birthright.

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