Know What You Throw: Solomon Ratt (th-dialect)

Read along with this Say it First video. Say it First books are designed for children, and translated in a whole range of Indigenous languages. This translation into Woodlands Cree (th-dialect), and audio were prepared by Solomon Ratt, but if you follow the link (above) you will find another five translations: Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, Ojibwe, Plains Cree and Swampy Cree. 

Story summary: Know What You Throw: Jennifer and Ian can’t take it anymore, their forest is getting loaded with litter and it is starting to stink. Listen in as Jennifer teaches Ian how to help keep Mother Earth healthy so she can take care of us. Reduce, reuse, recycle and compost.

A joint Prince’s Charities Canada, First Nations University of Canada project supported by Department of Canadian Heritage
Created by Mike Parkhill (SayITFirst)
Produced & Directed by Steve Jesse (Corporate Films Canada)

View all Say it First videos at:

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Gardening Vocabulary (y-dialect)

Thanks to Audrey Logan for permission to use this 2011 FaceBook photo from the Wanipigow Garden and Trail Project (that’s master gardener Audrey in the hat on the far right).

In Winnipeg, the May long weekend is when the bedding plants are finally considered safe from frost: seems like a good time for gardening terms! Thanks to Solomon Ratt for corresponding audio: listen as you read the list! 

âhtaskicikanᐋᐦᑕᐢᑭᒋᑲᐣtransplant, transplanted vegetable
apoyᐊᐳᕀa shovel, 1. paddle 2. shovel, spade
apoyahikâkanisᐊᐳᔭᐦᐃᑳᑲᓂᐢhoe; shovel
ayahamᐊᔭᐦᐊᒼcover s.t. with earth; hoe s.t, hill s.t.
ayahikâkanᐊᔭᐦᐃᑳᑲᐣhoe, hiller, tool for covering potatoes with earth
ayahikâtêwᐊᔭᐦᐃᑳᑌᐤbe hilled, be covered with earth; be hoed [e.g. a garden]
ayahikêstamawêwᐊᔭᐦᐃᑫᐢᑕᒪᐍᐤhoe [it/him] for s.o.
ayahikêwᐊᔭᐦᐃᑫᐤhoe things, cover things with earth, hill things
ayahwêwᐊᔭᐦᐍᐤhoe s.o.; cover s.o. with earth
cîhcîpicikêwᒌᐦᒌᐱᒋᑫᐤrake, scratch
iyinitôskâtâskᐃᔨᓂᑑᐢᑳᑖᐢᐠwild carrot
iyiniwacisᐃᔨᓂᐘᒋᐢbean, green bean
kaskipicikanᑲᐢᑭᐱᒋᑲᐣ1. A small hand rake [garden tool].
kihci-okiniyᑭᐦᒋ ᐅᑭᓂᕀtomato
kiscikânisᑭᐢᒋᑳᓂᐢgarden; vegetable, potato
kiscikêsiwᑭᐢᒋᑫᓯᐤplant seeds; have a small garden
kistikâcikanᑭᐢᑎᑳᒋᑲᐣseed, plant for transplanting
kistikânᑭᐢᑎᑳᐣgrain. Also grain field. field, arable land; farm; garden
kistikân-âpacihcikanᑭᐢᑎᑳᓈᐸᒋᐦᒋᑲᐣgarden tool
kistikâtamᑭᐢᑎᑳᑕᒼplant s.t, sow s.t.
kistikatamawawᑭᐢᑎᑲᑕᒪᐘᐤbe planted for him.
kistikatawᑭᐢᑎᑲᑕᐤbe planted [animate], as grain.
kistikâtêwᑭᐢᑎᑳᑌᐤ1. plant him [animate], as grain. 2. be planted [meaning a field]. be planted
kistikêwᑭᐢᑎᑫᐤplant or sows it, farm; plant things, seed things; harvest
macikwanâsᒪᒋᑿᓈᐢrubbish or weeds, garbage, rubbish; weed
mahcâminisᒪᐦᒑᒥᓂᐢkernel of corn
mahtâminᒪᐦᑖᒥᐣa cob of corn, corn, ear of corn, cob of corn; kernel of corn
mahtâminaskᒪᐦᑖᒥᓇᐢᐠcorn husk
mahtâmini-kistikânᒪᐦᑖᒥᓂ ᑭᐢᑎᑳᐣcorn field
mâmawaskitêwaᒫᒪᐘᐢᑭᑌᐘstand in a cluster [e.g. plants]
manipitamᒪᓂᐱᑕᒼobtain s.t. by pulling; pull s.t. out [e.g. tooth], pull s.t. loose, pull s.t. free, tear s.t. off; pick s.t. [i.e. a plant]
maskimocisᒪᐢᑭᒧᒋᐢbean; literally: "little bag"
mâwasakopicikêwᒫᐘᓴᑯᐱᒋᑫᐤrake things up
mâwasakopitamᒫᐘᓴᑯᐱᑕᒼrake s.t. in a heap, rake s.t. up
mâwasakopitêwᒫᐘᓴᑯᐱᑌᐤrake s.o. in a heap
mawisokopitewᒪᐏᓱᑯᐱᑌᐤrake them into a heap. Animate, as wheat.
mêscipitêwᒣᐢᒋᐱᑌᐤpull them out. Animate. As carrots from a garden, pull s.o. out entirely [e.g. carrots]
mistikoskâtâskᒥᐢᑎᑯᐢᑳᑖᐢᐠdried up carrot, carrot that has gone wooden with age
mônahaskwêwᒨᓇᐦᐊᐢᑵᐤharvest; root
mônahikâkanᒨᓇᐦᐃᑳᑲᐣspade, shovel
mônahikêwᒨᓇᐦᐃᑫᐤharvest; dig, dig things
nihtâwikihcikanᓂᐦᑖᐏᑭᐦᒋᑲᐣfield, garden
nihtâwikihcikanisᓂᐦᑖᐏᑭᐦᒋᑲᓂᐢsmall field, small garden
nihtâwikihcikêwᓂᐦᑖᐏᑭᐦᒋᑫᐤfarm, make a garden
okiniyᐅᑭᓂᕀa tomato. Also the term used for a rose bush berry, rose-bush berry, rose hip; thorn berry; tomato
okistikâniwᐅᑭᐢᑎᑳᓂᐤhave a wheat field or garden, have a field or garden
onihtâwikihcikaniwᐅᓂᐦᑖᐏᑭᐦᒋᑲᓂᐤhave a field, garden
opakatinikêwᐅᐸᑲᑎᓂᑫᐤone who plants grain, a garden
oskahtâminᐅᐢᑲᐦᑖᒥᐣyoung kernel [of corn] or stone [of fruit]
paskopicikêwᐸᐢᑯᐱᒋᑫᐤbe plucking fowl or weeds from the garden
paskopitaᐸᐢᑯᐱᑕweed it.
paskopitamᐸᐢᑯᐱᑕᒼweed it, pluck s.t. [weeds]
pêpêskôminaᐯᐯᐢᑰᒥᓇpepper beans
pimâcihtâwᐱᒫᒋᐦᑖᐤmake it live. keep s.t. alive [e.g. a plant]
pîsi-kiscikânisᐲᓯ ᑭᐢᒋᑳᓂᐢvegetable; seed
pîsi-kiscikânisi-mêskanâsᐲᓯ ᑭᐢᒋᑳᓂᓯ ᒣᐢᑲᓈᐢgarden row
pîwi-kiscikânisᐲᐏ ᑭᐢᒋᑳᓂᐢvegetable
pîwi-kistikânᐲᐏ ᑭᐢᑎᑳᐣvegetable garden
pohciwêpahamᐳᐦᒋᐍᐸᐦᐊᒼsweep it in with an object. shovel s.t. in
pohciwêpahwêwᐳᐦᒋᐍᐸᐦᐍᐤshovel s.o. in
sikopicikanᓯᑯᐱᒋᑲᐣharrows for tilling the soil.
sikwatisikanᓯᑿᑎᓯᑲᐣa disc for tilling the ground.
wîpâcikinᐑᐹᒋᑭᐣgrow out of place, grow wild, grow as a weed
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Exonerating Poundmaker: The role of late Tyrone Tootoosis, Sr (y-dialect, audio)

Image result for tyrone tootoosis

Photo thanks: Dave Yanko, Virtual Saskatchewan.

The late Tyrone Tootoosis was the great-great-grandson of Yellow Mudblanket (osâwasiskîwakohp), who was a brother of Poundmaker (pîhtokahânapiwiyin). The exoneration of Poundmaker (scheduled for 23 May 2019) was a goal that Tyrone would have loved to see.

Tyrone’s legacy is enormous, but his performances as Poundmaker in two television miniseries (Big Bear (1998), and Chiefs (2002)), form a significant part. I recently stumbled on an article that describes how he came to be cast in that role – and why his performance was so significant. (Read Dave Yanko’s undated Virtual Saskatchewan article here:

We’re all lucky that Tyrone left us this small audio sample recreating the words of his own most famous ancestor. We don’t know the precise details that surrounded its creation. The voice is Tyrone’s, the photographs are from his personal collection. The text in Cree is also most likely Tyrone’s own. They are most likely translated back into Cree from the only words recorded at the time: the English words of the court translator. We’ve transcribed the Cree text (in SRO and syllabics, below the video) so you can listen and read along. 

[Thanks to Elder Barry Ahenakew for correcting the Cree for Yellow Mudblanket to  osâwasiskîwakohp,  which refers to a buffalo covered with yellow-coloured mud after rolling around in it. (The form I initially used, osâwakohp ‘Yellow Blanket’ is the SRO version of “O‑sa‑wa‑coup” used in Norma Sluman’s fictional biography). Barry’s own family tree crosses that of Poundmaker and Yellow Mudblanket through one of their sisters.]

pêyakwan kiyawâw kâ-kîsi-nôtinikêyêk ôta waciy ispîhk kâ-mâyahkamikahk. mâka kîhtwâm piko âsay mîna ka-nôtinikêyêk, ka-sôhki-nôtinikêyêk, ka-nôtinisoyêk, ôma, mastaw mâmitonêyihcikan; êkâya, êkâya tapahtêyimisoyêk. It’s the same for you all, when you were finished fighting here at the hill [Cutknife] during the Resistance. But already once again you have to fight, you’ll have to fight hard, you’ll have to fight with yourselves, [because of] this new way of thinking: Don’t, don’t think little of yourselves.
môy âyis misawâc êwako tâpwêwin. âta êtikwê, âta misawâc ka-wêhcasin sôskwâc êkâ nânitaw kê-tôtamihk, isko mwâc aya, êkây ka-naskwâhk. Because this at any rate is not the truth. Although I guess, it will be easy just to not do anything, to keep the peace and not retaliate.
k-êtwêhk, “niya, ay-isi-pêyakoyân, namôya nânitaw nika-kî-itôtên.” êkosi kâ-isi-mâmitonêyihtahkik ayisiyiniwak, êkwa kâ-isi-waskawîcik, koskostâtikwan. It is said: “Me, I’m all by myself, I cannot do anything.” That’s how the people think, and how they spend their lives, in fear.
kikiskêyihtênânaw anima âcimowin: ana nâpêw ê-kisâtapit sisonê mêskanâhk osâm kinwês. kî-ohpikiniyiw. namôya kîhtwâm kî-miskamow mêskanaw. namôya wîhkâc ka-kî-wanikiskisinânaw tânisi ôta ê-pê-ispayik. mâka, namôya mîna kika-kî-wâyinînânaw. namôya mîna pimicâyihk mêskanâhk ka-kî-ay-apinânaw. We know that story: that man who stays sitting by the trail too long. It becomes overgrown. One can no longer find the trail. We can never forget how it came to pass here. But, we can also not go back. Nor can we sit beside the trail.
kipakitinikowisininaw, kinêhiyaw-pimâtisiwininaw kiskinohtêmakan. mâka namôya ka-kî-sâsakitapiyahk, kwayaskâpawistamahk. namôya mîna ka-kî-môniyâhkâsoyahk. Our gift, our Cree life, is a guide. We cannot just sit back, we must stand up. Neither can we act like Whitemen.
kimâwimoscikêwininaw kêyâpic miywâsin. âtayôhkanak kêyâpic kiwîcihikonawak. nimistêyihtên, nikiskêyihtên. ninêhiyawi-pakitinikowisiwiwin, anohc kêyâpic nisâkihtân, nitayisiyiniw-nêhiyâwiwin, nêhiyaw. Our ceremonies remain good. The spirits still help us. I respect that, I know that. My Cree gift, I still love that today. My being a Cree person. Nêhiyaw.
namôya nânitaw. namôya nânitaw. namôya nânitaw nikî-itôtên. Not anything. Not anything. I didn’t do anything.
namôya wîhkâc ka-kî-wanikiskisinânaw tânisi ôta ê-pê-ispayik, namôya nânitaw. êkosi kâ-isi-mâmitonêyihtahkik ayisiyiniwak. We can never forget how it came to pass here, not ever. That’s how the people think.
namôya mîna kika-kî-wâyinînânaw. namôya mîna kika-kî-wâyinînânaw. namôya mîna kika-kî-wâyinînânaw. Nor can we go back. Nor can we go back. Nor can we go back.
êkosi kâ-isi-mâmitonêyihtahkik, êkos-~, êkos-~, êkosi kâ-isi-mâmitonêyihtahkik. That’s how they think, that ~, that ~, that’s how they think.

 (Visit the original Cree Literacy Network post to find the text in syllabics, and also,  the way they were presented in Norma Sluman’s 1967 [historical fiction] Poundmaker.) 

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miyo okâwîmâwi-kîsikanisik: Happy Mother’s Day

The late Freda Ahenakew and daughters, February 2011. Photo: Arden Ogg

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The Freshwater Turtle: Hinterland Who’s Who (th-dialect)

Another re-dubbing of Hinterland Who’s Who into Woodlands Cree by Ken Paupanekis: this time the Freshwater Turtle. Click “play” on the video and read along!

pihkahk nipiy ohci miskihkwak (kâpostat-pisiskiw)

kâwitha ka-pakaciwithikon ôma ‘nipiy’ kâ-itwâniwik. kiyâm âta  kâ-pihkahk nipiy miskinâhkwak î-otâpacihikocik ita kâ-nipîwâhcâthik, sîpîsisa, sâkahikana, ikwa sîpiya  ta-pimâtsicik, mâka mîna ohcitaw nitawîthitamwak askiy.

ayahk îsa, iyakonik aniki kinwîsk î-pimâtsicik macipiskisîsak nîkân î-mâci-pimâtisicik pahwahcahk  ita pîsimwa î-wîcihikocik kita-pâskwâwihocik  itâmihk askihk mâka kitimâkan, otâpânâskwa kâ-tâwahokocik, kâ-wanihtâcik ita kâ-itasihkîcik, ikwa pîtos kâ-isiyayâk askiy  nânitaw î-wî-maci-totâkowak iyawis ayinânîw itowahk iyakonik. kakî-wîcihowan kita-asawâpamacik mîskanâhk  ikwa mîna ta-manâcihtâwat ita kitasihkîcik askîhk. iyako mâka poko nistam.

kîspin kinohtî-kiskîthihtîn kiyâpic ôko ohci ka-pihkahk nipiy miskinâhkwak, kiyokî

Freshwater Turtles

Don’t let the word ‘water’ fool you. Even though freshwater turtles rely on wetlands, streams, lakes, and rivers to survive, they all need land as well. 

In fact, these long-living reptiles begin their life on land where the sun incubates their buried eggs.  Sadly, motor vehicle collisions, habitat loss, and climate change threaten nearly all eight species. You can help by watching for them on the road and by conserving their habitat. And that’s just a start. 

To learn more about freshwater turtles, visit

Thank you to Norah Wakula of Power of Babel International Language Versioning, who located the script for us while arranging voice-over for another episode, coming soon. And thanks (as always) to Solomon Ratt for his editorial help. 

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Poundmaker Exoneration Ceremony, May 2019

Poundmaker Cree Nation’s poster about the Exoneration Event: Contact 306-398-4971; web:

Let’s honour him by remembering his name in Cree: pîhtokahânapiwiyin (literally,  “he who sit at the [buffalo] pound”).

Deep respect and congratulations to everyone at Poundmaker Cree Nation who has helped make this happen by petitioning for the exoneration of this epic Cree hero, particularly Headman Milton Tootoosis. Even though the date of the celebration had to be changed to accommodate Ottawa’s schedule, 23 May 2019 will mark one of the most significant events in Cree history.

Poundmaker spoke through an interpreter at his 1885 trial. He is quoted as saying, “Everything I could do was done to stop bloodshed,” “Had I wanted war, I would not be here now. I should be on the prairie. You did not catch me. I gave myself up. You have got me because I wanted justice.”

CBC’s version of the story:

The Globe and Mail described some of the path to exoneration in December 2017:

Looking for a reminder of the story of this remarkable Cree leader? Here’s a link to Hugh Dempsey’s biography from the Canadian Encyclopedia. As it notes, exoneration is equally deserved by Mistahimaskwa (Big Bear) and Kapeyakwaskonam (One Arrow), who were also convicted of treason, despite having not participated in the rebellion. Perhaps now it’s time to speak for them as well. 

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Behind the Blindfold: Lanaya Houle, translated by Solomon Ratt (y-dialect, audio)

Thank you to Lanaya Houle for permitting us to use her photos, and to translate her “Behind the Blindfold” FaceBook post into Cree.

Today is National Awareness Awareness Day for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
anohc misiwêskamik kitaskînâhk ka-kiskisitotawâyahkok kâ-wanihihcik êkwa kâ-nipahihcik iskwêwak êkwa iskwêsisak. 
ᐊᓄᐦᐨ ᒥᓯᐍᐢᑲᒥᐠ ᑭᑕᐢᑮᓈᕽ ᑲ ᑭᐢᑭᓯᑐᑕᐚᔭᐦᑯᐠ ᑳ ᐘᓂᐦᐃᐦᒋᐠ ᐁᑿ ᑳ ᓂᐸᐦᐃᐦᒋᐠ ᐃᐢᑵᐘᐠ ᐁᑿ ᐃᐢᑵᓯᓴᐠ᙮ 
#NationalDayofAwareness #MMIW #MMNWG

Behind the blindfold
The blindfold dehumanizes most murder victims.
Indigenous Women face severe gender based violence in Canada. Hence, “Indigenous women are 12 times more likely to go missing or murdered than any other women in Canada, and 16 times more likely than Caucasian women.” They are mothers, aunties, sisters, daughters and grandmothers. They are human beings. They are our birth givers, keepers of the life.

Wear red today to honour their family, but mostly importantly to give hope to the women that are still missing. Bring our iskwêsisak/iskwêwak back home.

awasêw âhkohkwêpitisowinihk
âhkohkwêpitisiwin âciwinâwak aniki kâ-nipahihcik. iyiniw iskwêwak nawac wiyawâw ka-mâyitôtawâwak ôta Kânata ayisk ê-iskwêwicik. êwako-ohci kâ-isi-masinahikâtêk ôma “iyiniw-iskwêwak nawac mistahi ka-wanihihcik âhpô ka-nipahihcik êyikohk kotakak iskwêwak ôta Kânata, nawac awasimê êyikohk môniyâswêwak.” wiyawâw ôki okâwîmâwak, okâwîsimâwak, osikosimâwak, omisimâwak, osîmisimâwak, otânisimâwak, êkwa ohkomimâwak. ayisîyiniwak aniki. onihtâwikihiwêwak aniki, opimâtisihiwêwak aniki.

mihkosîho anohc ta-kistêyimacik owâhkômâkanimiwâwa, mâka nawac ka-mihkosîhohk ka-pakosêyimoyahkok kahkiyaw iskwêwak kiyâpic kâ-wanihâyahkok. ayisîyiniwak aniki. onihtâwikihiwêwak aniki, opimâtisihiwêwak aniki.

ᐊᓄᐦᐨ ᒥᓯᐍᐢᑲᒥᐠ ᑭᑕᐢᑮᓈᕽ
ᑲ ᑭᐢᑭᓯᑐᑕᐚᔭᐦᑯᐠ ᑳ ᐘᓂᐦᐃᐦᒋᐠ ᐁᑿ ᑳ ᓂᐸᐦᐃᐦᒋᐠ ᐃᐢᑵᐘᐠ ᐁᑿ ᐃᐢᑵᓯᓴᐠ᙮ ᐊᐘᓭᐤ ᐋᐦᑯᐦᑵᐱᑎᓱᐏᓂᕽ: ᐋᐦᑯᐦᑵᐱᑎᓯᐏᐣ ᐋᒋᐏᓈᐘᐠ ᐊᓂᑭ ᑳ ᓂᐸᐦᐃᐦᒋᐠ᙮ ᐃᔨᓂᐤ ᐃᐢᑵᐘᐠ ᓇᐘᐨ ᐏᔭᐚᐤ ᑲ ᒫᔨᑑᑕᐚᐘᐠ ᐆᑕ ᑳᓇᑕ ᐊᔨᐢᐠ ᐁ ᐃᐢᑵᐏᒋᐠ᙮ ᐁᐘᑯ ᐅᐦᒋ ᑳ ᐃᓯ ᒪᓯᓇᐦᐃᑳᑌᐠ ᐆᒪ “ᐃᔨᓂᐏᐢᑵᐘᐠ ᓇᐘᐨ ᒥᐢᑕᐦᐃ ᑲ ᐘᓂᐦᐃᐦᒋᐠ ᐋᐦᐴ ᑲ ᓂᐸᐦᐃᐦᒋᐠ ᐁᔨᑯᕽ ᑯᑕᑲᐠ ᐃᐢᑵᐘᐠ ᐆᑕ ᑳᓇᑕ, ᓇᐘᐨ ᐊᐘᓯᒣ ᐁᔨᑯᕽ ᒨᓂᔮᓷᐘᐠ᙮” ᐏᔭᐚᐤ ᐆᑭ ᐅᑳᐑᒫᐘᐠ, ᐅᑳᐑᓯᒫᐘᐠ, ᐅᓯᑯᓯᒫᐘᐠ, ᐅᒥᓯᒫᐘᐠ, ᐅᓰᒥᓯᒫᐘᐠ, ᐅᑖᓂᓯᒫᐘᐠ, ᐁᑿ ᐅᐦᑯᒥᒫᐘᐠ᙮ ᐊᔨᓰᔨᓂᐘᐠ ᐊᓂᑭ᙮ ᐅᓂᐦᑖᐏᑭᐦᐃᐍᐘᐠ ᐊᓂᑭ, ᐅᐱᒫᑎᓯᐦᐃᐍᐘᐠ ᐊᓂᑭ᙮

ᒥᐦᑯᓰᐦᐅ ᐊᓄᐦᐨ ᑕ ᑭᐢᑌᔨᒪᒋᐠ ᐅᐚᐦᑰᒫᑲᓂᒥᐚᐘ, ᒫᑲ ᓇᐘᐨ ᑲ ᒥᐦᑯᓰᐦᐅᕽ ᑲ ᐸᑯᓭᔨᒧᔭᐦᑯᐠ ᑲᐦᑭᔭᐤ ᐃᐢᑵᐘᐠ ᑭᔮᐱᐨ ᑳ ᐘᓂᐦᐋᔭᐦᑯᐠ᙮ ᐊᔨᓰᔨᓂᐘᐠ ᐊᓂᑭ᙮ ᐅᓂᐦᑖᐏᑭᐦᐃᐍᐘᐠ ᐊᓂᑭ, ᐅᐱᒫᑎᓯᐦᐃᐍᐘᐠ ᐊᓂᑭ᙮

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National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women: 5 May 2019

Thank you, Elaine Kicknosway, for sharing this photo of the scarf won at the Aamjiwnaang First Nation New Years Eve Pow wow. We’re not sure whose work it is, but the imagery is compelling.

To honour the day, and the depth of heartbreak if represents, here is a poem by Chief Billy Joe Laboucan, written in honour of his late daughter Bella. Perhaps one day he’ll share his own reading. Today it seems just wrong to ask. 

sâkihitowin ohcikawiw ohci
sâkihitowin sâkaskinahtâw
sâkihitowinâpoy kâ-kihcihtâwinimanawaya;
sâkihitowin osâmaskihnahtâw

ᓵᑭᐦᐃᑐᐏᐣ ᐅᐦᒋᑲᐏᐤ ᐅᐦᒋ
ᓵᑭᐦᐃᑐᐏᐣ ᓵᑲᐢᑭᓇᐦᑖᐤ
ᓵᑭᐦᐃᑐᐏᓈᐳᕀ ᑳ ᑭᐦᒋᐦᑖᐏᓂᒪᓇᐘᔭ;
ᓵᑭᐦᐃᑐᐏᐣ ᐅᓵᒪᐢᑭᐦᓇᐦᑖᐤ

Love pours from
My eyes.
Love fills
My memories.
Love-tears sooth
My cheeks.
Love overwhelms
My heart.

Thanks also to Elaine Kicknosway for permission to share this beautiful video, made by her son, Theland Kicknosway: “MMIWG2S Song For The Heart.” It is a beautiful song “made to start the day and warm the heart.” 

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The Wolverine: Hinterland Who’s Who (th-dialect)

The haunting melody of Hinterland Who’s Who is as iconic to my childhood as the Friendly Giant, so discovering some of these classics have been overdubbed into Woodlands Cree is a special thrill. The voice is unmistakably that of Cree Literacy Network board member Ken Paupanekis. Click “play” on the video and read along! 

omithahcîs iyako piyak  ôta kânata  î-nahtâ piyakot piskisîs. ita anima kâ-pimahkamikisit mâskoc nânitaw  piyakwâw kihci-mitâtahto-mitanaw mîna niyânano-mitanaw (1,500) kâcimâsiki cipahakânisa ispihcâthiw. omithahcîsak ta-wî-ocinâsowak  omîciwiniwâw  kotaka î-misikihtithit pisiskiwa ohci, ikosi  tâskoc  îkâ kîkwây î-kostahkwâw î-itîthimihcik.  mâka, athisitiniwak ôko kâ-pimâhkamikisicik ahcihiwîwak opaspîwinithiw. anohc kâ-kîsikâk, omithahcîsak ati-wî-mîscihâwak ôtî itihkî mâci-kîsikanohk kânata. ta-wîcihâyâhk poko awa piyak ikwatowahk poko î-ihtât pisiskiw  kita-paspît. ikosi mâka poko nistam.

kîspin kinohtî-kiskîthihtîn kiyâpic awa ohci omithahcîs, kiyokî ôta

Here’s the English original, for comparison: 

The wolverine is one of Canada’s most solitary animals. Its territory can cover more than 1,500 kilometres. Wolverines will defend their food from much larger animals, giving them a reputation of fearlessness.  However, human activities have affected its survival. Today, wolverines are endangered in Eastern Canada. We need to help this iconic animal survive. And that’s just a start.

To learn more about the wolverine, visit

Thank you to Norah Wakula of Power of Babel International Language Versioning, who located the script for us while arranging voice-over for another episode, coming soon. And thanks (as always) to Solomon Ratt for his editorial contribution! 

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Traditional Foods (y- and th-dialects, audio)


Photo thanks to Christine Ravenis

awiyak cî nôhtêhkatêw?   ᐊᐏᔭᐠ ᒌ ᓅᐦᑌᐦᑲᑌᐤ?   
Is anybody ready for traditional foods? 

This list is long (and delicious). 

y-dialect audio: 

th-dialect audio:

iyinito-kinosêwᐃᔨᓂᑐ ᑭᓄᓭᐤithithikinosîwᐃᖨᖨᑭᓄᓰᐤjackfish
namêstêkᓇᒣᐢᑌᐠnamîstîkᓇᒦᐢᑏᐠdried fish; fillet; sucker fillet
môsotêyaniyᒨᓱᑌᔭᓂᕀmôsotîthaniyᒨᓱᑏᖬᓂᐩmoose tongue
môsokotᒨᓱᑯᐟmôsokotᒨᓱᑯᐟMoose nose
omâwᐅᒫᐤomâwᐅᒫᐤMoose tripe
amisk osoyᐊᒥᐢᐠ ᐅᓱᕀamisk osoyᐊᒥᐢᐠ ᐅᓱᕀbeaver tail
ê-kaskâpasot wacaskosᐁ ᑲᐢᑳᐸᓱᐟ ᐘᒐᐢᑯᐢî-kaskâpasot wacaskosᐄ ᑲᐢᑳᐸᓱᐟ ᐘᒐᐢᑯᐢsmoked muskrat
wacaskos osoyᐘᒐᐢᑯᐢ ᐅᓱᕀwacaskos osoyᐘᒐᐢᑯᐢ ᐅᓱᕀmuskrat tail
sîsîp mîcimâpoyᓰᓰᑊ ᒦᒋᒫᐳᕀsîsîp mîcimâpoyᓰᓰᑊ ᒦᒋᒫᐳᕀduck soup
pihêw mîcimâpoyᐱᐦᐁᐤ ᒦᒋᒫᐳᕀpithîw mîcimâpoyᐱᖩᐤ ᒦᒋᒫᐳᕀgrouse stew
pâstêwiyâsᐹᐢᑌᐏᔮᐢpâstîwiyâsᐹᐢᑏᐏᔮᐢdried meat
kahkêwakᑲᐦᑫᐘᐠkaskîwakᑲᐢᑮᐘᐠdried meat
yîwahikanakᔩᐘᐦᐃᑲᓇᐠthîwahikanakᖩᐘᐦᐃᑲᓇᐠpounded dried meat
misâskatôminaᒥᓵᐢᑲᑑᒥᓇmisâskatôminaᒥᓵᐢᑲᑑᒥᓇsaskatoon berries
môsominaᒨᓱᒥᓇmôsominaᒨᓱᒥᓇlow-bush cranberries
maskêkominaᒪᐢᑫᑯᒥᓇmaskîkominaᒪᐢᑮᑯᒥᓇcranberries (from the muskeg)
atihk mispikayaᐊᑎᕽ ᒥᐢᐱᑲᔭatihk mispikayaᐊᑎᕽ ᒥᐢᐱᑲᔭcaribou ribs
mânôminakᒫᓅᒥᓇᐠmânôminakᒫᓅᒥᓇᐠwild rice
wâpos-mîcimâpoyᐚᐳᐢ ᒦᒋᒫᐳᕀwâpos-mîcimâpoyᐚᐳᐢ ᒦᒋᒫᐳᕀrabbit stew
paskwâwimostos mispikayaᐸᐢᒁᐏᒧᐢᑐᐢ ᒥᐢᐱᑲᔭpaskwâwimostos mispikayaᐸᐢᒁᐏᒧᐢᑐᐢ ᒥᐢᐱᑲᔭbuffalo ribs
paskwâwimostos mitêyaniyᐸᐢᒁᐏᒧᐢᑐᐢ ᒥᑌᔭᓂᕀpaskwâwimostos mitîthaniyᐸᐢᒁᐏᒧᐢᑐᐢ ᒥᑏᖬᓂᕀbuffalo tongue
paskwâwimostos mitahtahkwanwaᐸᐢᒁᐏᒧᐢᑐᐢ ᒥᑕᐦᑕᐦᑿᓌpaskwâwimostos mitahtahkwanwaᐸᐢᒁᐏᒧᐢᑐᐢ ᒥᑕᐦᑕᐦᑿᓌbuffalo wings?


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