Barry Ahenakew on Governance, NCCIE

With our focus on reading and writing in Cree, we usually avoid sharing audio and video without a corresponding transcript. But this YouTube video from The National Centre for Collaboration in Indigenous Education is exceptional in content and in presentation.

The subject of the interview, dated April 23, 2020, is Ahtahkakoop First Nation Elder and story keeper Barry Ahenakew, who says miywâsin ta-nitohtahkik ayisiyiniwak : “It’s good for people to listen”. We share it here with permission from NCCIE and from Barry. We also accompany it with a downloadable PDF translation/transcript, prepared by Solomon Ratt, that was used for closed-captioning.

The production work that went into this hour-long interview is nothing short of astounding. At a fairly modest ratio of 4:1, the translation transcript would have taken at least 4 hours. I can’t imagine how many hours this took in all, factoring in the phrase-by-phrase synchronization that inserted closed captions into the video.

The time commitment speaks to the value of the content: an extraordinarily rare uninterrupted hour of highly fluent Cree language and cultural understanding. The language modelling is invaluable; so is the content may be even more so.

As a first time visitor to the NCCIE collection, I’m eager to see what I might find next! (Thank you for permission to Dr. Jennifer S. Dockstator, National Project Director, NCCIE).

The thirteen pages of this transcript are too long to include here in whole, but you’re welcome to download the PDF of Solomon Ratt’s translation (with thanks again to NCCIE for permission to share).

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