(Re)concile the bones: Rosanna Deerchild

Rosanna Deerchild presented two powerful pieces today on Facebook, reflecting on the fresh horror of mass graves at Kamloops Residential School. The first is a brief, real-life conversation; the second, a reflection on the first. Solomon Ratt has rendered both in Woodlands Cree (th-dialect) which is the language of Rosanna’s “Momsy” (Edna), and the language of Rosanna’s stolen birthright. Sol also provided audio. We are grateful for permission to share them here, and proud to help amplify Rosanna’s voice.

[Photo: Rosanna and Momsy speaking together at the Winnipeg launch of Rosanna’s Calling Down the Sky November 2017.]

Conversation with Momsy

me: mama, they found 215 children in a grave at a residential school.
momsy: i know.
me: did you see on TV?
momsy: mwhatz. I sawn it in real life.
me and my sister, we sawn them. in the furnace. three small skulls. they didn’t get buried.

î-pîkiskwâtak Momsy

nîtha: mâmâ, kî-miskawîwak 215 awâsisa thikwahaskânihk nîtî ayamihâwi-kiskinwahamâtowikamikohk.
momsy: nikiskîthihtîn.
nîtha: î-kî-wâpahtaman cî cikâstîpathihcikanisihk?
momsy: mwâc, nikî-pî-wâpâhtîn kâ-pî-pimâtisiyân.
nîtha ikwa nîtisân, nikî-wâpamânânak. kihci-kotawânâpiskohk. nisto miscikwânikanisa. môtha kî-ohci-nahinâwak.

(Re)concile the bones

by Rosanna Deerchild

I don’t want to hear your sorry’s
my tears drown out your thoughts
your prayers are not louder than my screams
my grief goes deeper
than your lies
that fill me with good intentions
and educating the indian
until we are nothing but a myth
john a macdonald drank away
with the buffalo
but here is the truth
dug up
in 215 children
disappeared
kanada
your silence
is deafening

(mâh)-mâmawinihtâ oskana

by Rosanna Deerchild

môtha ninôhtî-pîhtîn kikitimâkîthihtamowin
nitohcikawâpoya ka-nistâpâwatam kimâmitonîthihtamowina
kitayamihâwiniwâwa môtha nawac kisîwîwa ithikohk nitîpwîwina
nipîkiskâtisiwin awasimî atâmihk ispathin
ithikohk wîtha kikithâskîwina
kâ-sâkaskinahikoyân kâ-wî-mitho-tôtaman
ikwa ta-kiskinwahamowat ithiniw
isko nîthanân î-kîthâskî-wâcimomikawiyâhk
john a macdonald kâ-kî-minihkwâtahk î-kî-kitâpathihtât
asici paskwâwi-mostoswa
mâka ômîta tâpwîwin
î-mônihikâtîk
ôta 215 awâsisak
kâ-kî-namatîpathicik

kânata
kikipihtowîwiniwâw
kakîpihtîwiskâkwan

#215children

About Arden Ogg

Arden Ogg is Director of the Cree Literacy Network, launched in 2010 with the goal of creating Cree language literacy materials suitable for use by learners of all ages.
This entry was posted in Audio (th-dialect), Poetry, Solomon Ratt. Bookmark the permalink.

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