nôhkô, nimosô: Solomon Ratt (th-dialect)

It’s good to welcome Solomon Ratt back from his adventures in Norway – where he composed this poem to echo the historical trope of Indigenous travellers reflecting on their home across the sea. (That’s his own Norwegian campfire in the photo, too!) 

This poem will soon have an additional place, as part of a collaboration with Bee Bird, the City of Regina’s 2024 Indigenous Artist in Residence, as part of a project titled “Urban Indigeneity”. We’ll be looking forward to hearing more! 

nôhkô, nimosô,
pî-wîtapimik cîki kotawânihk
kika-âcimostâtinâwâw.
kayâs aspin kâ-kî-sipwîhtahikawiyân kitaskînahk ohci
nikî-miskâson môniyânâhk
ikwa mîna nîhithawânâhk,
nama wîhkâc nikî-nahisinin
nîswâyihk î-kakwî-pimohtîyân.
kitaskinaw kâkikî ikota ohci nisâh-sipwîhtân
mâka nama wîhkâc ninakatîn… nitîhk.
nimosô, nôhkô,
nimacostîhwâw cistîmâw kotawânihk
î-pakosîthimoyân kita-wîcihiyîk
kita-nîhithawâtisiyân.

ᓅᐦᑰ, ᓂᒧᓲ,
ᐲ ᐑᑕᐱᒥᐠ ᒌᑭ ᑯᑕᐚᓂᕽ
ᑭᑲ ᐋᒋᒧᐢᑖᑎᓈᐚᐤ᙮
ᑲᔮᐢ ᐊᐢᐱᐣ ᑳ ᑮ ᓯᐿᐦᑕᐦᐃᑲᐏᔮᐣ ᑭᑕᐢᑮᓇᕽ ᐅᐦᒋ
ᓂᑮ ᒥᐢᑳᓱᐣ ᒨᓂᔮᓈᕽ
ᐃᑿ ᒦᓇ ᓃᐦᐃᖬᐚᓈᕽ,
ᓇᒪ ᐑᐦᑳᐨ ᓂᑮ ᓇᐦᐃᓯᓂᐣ
ᓃᔃᔨᕽ ᐄ ᑲᑹ ᐱᒧᐦᑏᔮᐣ᙮
ᑭᑕᐢᑭᓇᐤ ᑳᑭᑮ ᐃᑯᑕ ᐅᐦᒋ ᓂᓵᐦ ᓯᐿᐦᑖᐣ
ᒫᑲ ᓇᒪ ᐑᐦᑳᐨ ᓂᓇᑲᑏᐣ… ᓂᑏᕽ᙮
ᓂᒧᓲ, ᓅᐦᑰ,
ᓂᒪᒍᐢᑏᐦᐚᐤ ᒋᐢᑏᒫᐤ ᑯᑕᐚᓂᕽ
ᐄ ᐸᑯᓰᖨᒧᔮᐣ ᑭᑕ ᐑᒋᐦᐃᔩᐠ
ᑭᑕ ᓃᐦᐃᖬᐚᑎᓯᔮᐣ᙮

Grandmother, grandfather,
Come sit with me near the campfire.
I will tell you a story.
It’s been a long time since I was taken away from our land.
I found myself in the land of the settlers
And in our own land
Never fitting in,
Trying to walk in two areas.
I always go away from our land
But I never leave it behind…in my heart.
Grandfather, grandmother,
I put tobacco into the campfire
Wishing you to help me
Live in the Cree way.

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