“Out in the Wild:” Cree Literacy Adventures, May 2024

Between travel, conferences and celebrations, it’s been a busy month for all of our Cree Literacy Network colleagues. I hope you’ll excuse me for being a little proud of our collective adventures and mutual support in action. As Jean Okimāsis says, kimâmawinikonaw nêhiyawêwin: The Cree language brings us together.

  1. Jean Okimāsis was formally acknowledged just last night with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the YWCA Regina’s Women of Distinction Gala. Here is a link to the video tribute (prepared in advance). In the photo (above), Jean and Arok (centre) are flanked by adopted sisters Dolores Greyeyes Sand (left), and Brenda Ahenakew (right).
  2. Meanwhile, in Oslo, Solomon Ratt gave terrific readings and storytelling in Cree and English (that some got to see via Zoom in Canada and beyond). See for yourself via this YouTube link of Day One (Sol shows up at about 3 hours 48 minutes).
  3. Earlier in May, Dorothy Thunder spoke at the “Keeping Our Languages Alive” Conference, hosted at Dakota Dunes in Saskatoon, and I got to tag along on the road trip from Edmonton.
  4. From the 7th to the 10th of May, I was also happy to be in Edmonton for the annual meeting of the 21st Century Tools for Indigenous Languages group (Arok and Jean attended via Zoom from Regina).

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