There’s been a lot of discussion lately about “pretendians” of various kinds. There seems to be consensus that the “real deal” will be able to name their family and home connections, and their claims will be backed up by family or community. Sol composed this introduction to illustrate one model of how a “legit” Cree person might describe their personal lineage. (The same outline works, in Cree or English!)
Coincidentally, he also realized that today, 6 April 2021, would have been his late mother’s 98th birthday, so it’s particularly fitting to share this post with love today.
Solomon nitisithihkâson. âmaciwîspimowinihk ohci nîtha. William John Ratt (osowathîkis) kî-itâw nohtâwîpan, ohtâwîpana Patrick (oskâtâsk) kî-itimâwa, âmaciwîspimowinihk ohci. Alice Emily Ratt (pahkahk) kî-itâw nikâwîpan, okâwîpana Maggie McKenzie kî-itimâwa, mistahi-sâkahikanihk ohci.
ᓱᓬᐅᒧᐣ ᓂᑎᓯᖨᐦᑳᓱᐣ᙮ ᐋᒪᒋᐑᐢᐱᒧᐏᓂᕽ ᐅᐦᒋ ᓃᖬ᙮ William John Ratt (ᐅᓱᐘᖩᑭᐢ) ᑮ ᐃᑖᐤ ᓄᐦᑖᐑᐸᐣ, ᐅᐦᑖᐑᐸᓇ Patrick (ᐅᐢᑳᑖᐢᐠ) ᑮ ᐃᑎᒫᐘ, ᐋᒪᒋᐑᐢᐱᒧᐏᓂᕽ ᐅᐦᒋ᙮ Alice Emily Ratt (ᐸᐦᑲᕽ) ᑮ ᐃᑖᐤ ᓂᑳᐑᐸᐣ, ᐅᑳᐑᐸᓇ Maggie McKenzie ᑮ ᐃᑎᒫᐘ, ᒥᐢᑕᐦᐃ ᓵᑲᐦᐃᑲᓂᕽ ᐅᐦᒋ᙮
My name is Solomon. I am from Stanley Mission. William John Ratt (osowathîkis) was my late father’s name, his late father’s name was Patrick (oskâtâsk), from Stanley Mission. My late mother’s name was Alice Emily Ratt (pahkahk), her late mother was Maggie McKenzie from Lac La Ronge.
Wachiye Solomon Ratt. I am Cree from James Bay, home of the Mushkegowuk Territory Cree people.
I enjoy reading your work, and I understand it even though your dialect is ‘th’, I enjoy the songs and stories you have shared.
I hope you won’t mind I have utilized your work for my Cree language class and my students enjoy them very much. I sourced you for the work. It is important to always do this when work is borrowed to show respect and acknowledge the owner.
Thanks so much for writing, Wachakosh Awashish. We are always pleased to hear that our work has reached someone who really knows how to put it to good use. Our very best to you and to your students. ay-hay!
I was expecting Solomon Ratt’s reply.