Jerry Whitehead: “Let’s Spread the Words”

The YXE Cree Speaker Society is getting ready right now for its second annual conference, coming up May 13-14, 2024 at the Dakota Dunes Resort, located on traditional Whitecap Dakota Unceded Territory.

For registration and other information, emai: info@yxecreespeakerssociety.ca

Here’s a link to the final Conference Program, listing all speakers and events, that features this gorgeous new work by Jerry Whitehead, titled “Let’s Spread the Words”.

Here’s what the painting says in Cree (y-dialect), thanks to Arok Wolvengrey:

ᐱᒫᒋᐦᐃᑖᑖᐣ ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐍᐏᐣ
pimâcihtâtân nêhiyawêwin
[Let’s] Keep Our [Cree] Language Alive

This new painting was commissioned by YXE Cree Speakers. Jerry Whitehead is a nationally renowned artist from Peter Chapman First Nation. Though he has practiced many different styles throughout his career, he is known for his vibrant depictions of powwows and powwow dancers. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Indian Art from the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax.

He was also commissioned in (around) 1990 to paint illustrations to accompany a Cree story prepared for children by the late Dr Freda Ahenakew. The story itself was recorded and transcribed from the late Glecia Bear, and it is included (without illustrations) in the recently re-published kohkominawak-otacimowiniwawa-our-grandmothers-lives.

Sadly, the illustrated edition has been out of print for quite some time, but copies can still be found in public libraries across the country (and occasionally at used booksellers’). Here are its details: Wanisinwak iskwesisak : awasisasinahikanis = Two little girls lost in the bush : a Cree story for children. 1991. Bear, Glecia, 1910-Ahenakew, Freda, 1932-2011.; Wolfart, H. Christoph.; Whitehead, Jerry.,

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