This video, created at First Nations University in 2018 is just a lot of fun, as it presents Cree vocabulary from Neal McLeod’s 100 Days of Cree from University of Regina Press. It showcases some novel vocabulary – because making up new terminology for new ideas is a really important function for a 21st-century language. Well done, kahkiyaw awiyak (everyone): mahti kâ-wîcêwikowisin!
Tan’ si nitotem. Kitatamiskatin ote Onihcikiskwapowin ohci niya. (
Saddle Lake). I teach Cree Grades 7 – 12 here at Ashmont School. When I teach my students the Cree vocabulary words I also include the derivations which is also etymology. I breakdown the words and indicate where they come from. For example: kiseyniw – kise comes from the verb kisewatisiw which means someone who is caring, gentle, kind, compassionate, -yniw comes from iyiniw which is a native person.
Some words have the history embedded in the language; for example: The cree name for St. Paul, Ab. is Manawanis, ‘mana’ comes from manawe which means to pick eggs. A hundred years ago St. Paul was a Metis community and the aboriginal people used to pick duck eggs.
Also, some words have our cultural traditions embedded in the language; for example: ‘nitisiyhkason’ , ‘nitisiy’ means ‘my belly button’ and our tradition is that ‘we save the belly button and put it in a clean place and not in the gardbage because our Elders say that child will love digging in the garbage.