Birthday Haikus for the late Freda Ahenakew

On what would have been her 92nd birthday, Arok Wolvengrey and Solomon Ratt both composed haikus in honour of the late Freda Ahenakew. Meanwhile, at Muskeg Lake, her large extended family and many friends will gather later for a feast at the gym, then watch a sneak peak of the documentary that Freda’s granddaughter Tristin has been working on for the last two years. Since I can’t be there this time to join the celebration, I’ll use this post to honour her legacy with poetry in Cree language, and to send love and best wishes to everyone who gathers there to celebrate her living legacy.

From Arok Wolvengrey, a morning haiku, “for nikâwipan” read here by Solomon Ratt:

“takahkihtâkwan,”
nititêyihtên mâna
nêhiyawêwin.

“ᑕᑲᐦᑭᐦᑖᑿᐣ,”
ᓂᑎᑌᔨᐦᑌᐣ ᒫᓇ
ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐍᐏᐣ᙮

“It sounds good to me,”
I always think to myself,
the Cree language.

From Solomon Ratt, in honour of the late Freda Ahenakew on the occasion of her birthday, another:

âhkamîthimotân:
kipîkiskwîwin nipâw
waspâwihtântân.

ᐋᐦᑲᒦᖨᒧᑖᐣ:
ᑭᐲᑭᐢᑹᐏᐣ ᓂᐹᐤ
ᐘᐢᐹᐏᐦᑖᐣᑖᐣ᙮

Let us persevere:
Your language is a-sleeping,
Let us wake it up.

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