Brousseau’s newest print title, An Illustrated Dictionary of Flora and Fauna: Southern East Cree, includes beautifully detailed illustrations by well known natural science illustrator Jeffrey Domm. Brousseau’s typically meticulous preparation sets a high bar for future dictionary collections of plants and animals in Cree, but it also provides a strong point of departure. What better reference could there be – for those working to recover Cree plant and animal names – than a fully documented and detailed collection from a vibrant neighbouring dialect? Publication funding was provided (generously) by ACCI, located in Oujé-Bougoumou, Quebec. ACCI is “Eeyou Istchee’s award-winning Indigenous museum, cultural institution, and showcase of the history of the James Bay Crees.” (Eeyou Istchee or ᐄᔨᔫ ᐊᔅᒌ is equivalent to English “The People’s Land” in the Cree dialect of that region (Southern East Cree). In addition to beautiful real life facilities designed by Douglas Cardinal, ACCI also offers a virtual reality tour for anyone, anywhere to enjoy.
In his own announcement of the dictionary, Brousseau also set a high bar for researching future projects:
The research for this dictionary started 13 years ago and was systematic and meticulous, involving the participation of 70 elders from 13 communities, many of who have since passed away. Chances are someone in your family participated!
The words presented in this particular publication are those from the southern East Cree dialect, both coastal and inland varieties. It contains a Cree-English section with over 2,450 entries (many of which will not be found in other dictionaries) and an English-Cree section with over 600 entries. Numerous entries include cross-references to variant and synonymous forms as well as etymologies and cultural notes. Words are spelled in a way that respects the slow and careful pronunciation of the elders who participated. It also contains 238 beautiful illustrations of plants and animals presented in 82 pages.
The book is only available from ACCI, with credit card orders accepted by phone:
(418) 745-2444 Ext.2105.
((What works best (for the moment) is to email your order first to allow time for costing out postage, then phone in with your credit card.))
- An Illustrated Dictionary of Flora and Fauna: Southern East Cree: $30 (plus shipping and handling).
- Cards (sold as a two-deck set): $25 (plus shipping and handling).
- The set includes two decks: one of plants, fish and critters, the other of birds and animals.
- The book and cards haven’t made it yet into ACCI’s Online Store page, but you’ll find them there one day soon. Check the link for updates – or just visit the store because it’s a treat in itself!