2020 Calendar: Solomon Ratt, y- and th-dialects – Final Version

2020 Calendar – Finalized and ready to print as of 12 September 2019 (thanks, Sol!)

This post presents the updated calendar two ways:

  1. As a gallery of 12 images you can scroll through (click on each image to see it full size);
  2. As a PDF file to download and print for your own use. Click here to download a copy for yourself: 2020CalendarSR-ACO6
    [Note that the PDF pages are set to print on legal size paper (8.5×14″). We like to ask the printer for 24lb paper, and for spiral binding across the top.]

If you scroll down (past the calendar image gallery), you can also find the audio files that Sol presented as pronunciation guides to support calendar users. Continue reading

Posted in Audio (th-dialect), Audio (y-dialect), Calendar, Printable | Leave a comment

2020 Calendar: Solomon Ratt, y- and th-dialects

This post presents the updated calendar two ways:

  1. As a gallery of 12 images you can scroll through (click on each image to see it full size);
  2. As a PDF file to download and print for your own use. Click here to download a copy for yourself: 2020CalendarSR-ACO6
    [Note that the PDF pages are set to print on legal size paper (8.5×14″). We like to ask the printer for 24lb paper, and for spiral binding across the top.]

If you scroll down (past the calendar image gallery), you can also find the audio files that Sol presented as pronunciation guides to support calendar users. Continue reading

Posted in Audio (th-dialect), Audio (y-dialect), Calendar, Printable | Leave a comment

Live, Love, Laugh!

Thanks to Arok Wolvengrey for these new printables to greet the fall (and thanks to Chris Ravenis for use of her photo). I think we might add a fourth line that reads, “Share widely” (If you don’t have access to a colour printer, the black-and-white version should print well for anybody.)   

Click audio bar to listen; click here to download pdf.

Click here to download as PDF: LLL-BW

The gallery was not found!
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Kokum Rap: Maria Campbell, Rita Bouvier, Maxine Roy, Louise Halfe with Zoey Roy

Left-to-right: Maria Campbell, Louise Halfe, Rita Bouvier, Maxine Roy; seated, Zoey Roy

This fabulous video has had nearly 8,000 YouTube views since it was first posted earlier this month. These kokums are going viral (and we can all help)! 

The rap features power-poets and power-kokums: Maria Campbell, Rita Bouvier, Maxine Roy and Louise Halfe, working along with Zoey Roy to create a great reminder of self-acceptance to the younger generation who – by the laws of Cree cultural tradition – are all their grandchildren. 

Special thanks to LaRonge Cree teacher Christine McKenzie, and to Arok Wolvengrey and Jean Okimâsis for providing us text so we can all read along and pretend to be the big iskwêw! And thanks, of course, to these wonderful grandmothers for allowing us to share their words this way. 

Kokum Rap 

môy niyanân nikostênân,
môy niyanân nisêkisinân;
môy niyanân nikostênân,
môy niyanân nisêkisinân.

We can swing our hips and roll our joints
We can grease our knees and flip our hair
We can pucker our lips and make you kîskwêw
Kokums aren’t afraid of being the big iskwêw

môy niyanân nikostênân,
môy niyanân nisêkisinân;
môy niyanân nikostênân,
môy niyanân nisêkisinân.

kayâs mâna nimôcikihtânân
Hank Williams nikî-môskomikonân
The moon just went behind the clouds
I’m so lonesome I could cry

When we rock ’n rolled with Elvis
We owned ourselves,
ê-kî-tipêyimisoyâhk. ê-kî-tipêyimisoyâhk!
nitohta, iskwêwak!
ê-kî-tipêyimisoyâhk, we owned ourselves.

môy niyanân nikostênân,
môy niyanân nisêkisinân;
môy niyanân nikostênân,
môy niyanân nisêkisinân.

We never scream “shut the music off”
Because we hear your message
And we like your beat
And now you dance to the beat of the drum
(waniskâ, pê-wâpan ôma)

môy niyanân nikostênân,
môy niyanân nisêkisinân;
môy niyanân nikostênân,
môy niyanân nisêkisinân.

nôhkomak, nimosômak, kahkiyaw niwâhkômâkanak,
pasikôk, kwêyâhok, kwêyâhok, kwêyâhok!

On with the music, and pick up the beat
Dance! nîmihitok, on your feet!
On with the music, and pick up the beat
Dance! nîmihitok, on your feet!

môy niyanân nikostênân,
môy niyanân nisêkisinân;
môy niyanân nikostênân,
môy niyanân nisêkisinân.

Cree-English Translation guide

Kokum – grandmother* 
môy niyanân nikostênân – we are not afraid (of it)
môy niyanân nisêkisinân – we are not scared
kîskwêw – crazy
iskwêw – woman
kayâs mâna nimôcikihtânân – we used to have fun
Hank Williams nikî-môskomikonân – Hank Williams made us cry
ê-kî-tipêyimisoyâhk – we owned ourselves
nitohta, iskwêwak – listen, women
waniskâ, pê-wâpan ôma – arise, it’s coming dawn
nôhkomak, nimosômak – my grandmothers, my grandfathers
kahkiyaw niwâhkômâkanak – all of my relatives
pasikôk, kwêyâhok – stand up, be ready
nîmihitok – dance

*Kokum is the English version/spelling of the Cree word for grandmother that was chosen by the writers. The Cree word kôhkom (as we spell it in SRO) literally means “your grandmother,” but when it’s borrowed into English, it can mean anybody’s grandmother. 

Posted in Audio (y-dialect), Identity, Video | 1 Comment

Google Earth Celebrates Indigenous Languages – Including Cree

United Nations Day of Indigenous Peoples – 9 August 2019 – launched a worldwide tribute to Indigenous Languages through Google Earth and its story-telling tool, Voyager. The project, titled “Celebrating Indigenous Languages” encourages users to “Meet Indigenous Speakers and Learn How they’re Keeping their Languages Alive.” And while you listen to audio examples of each language (including four samples of Cree), you can also play with the mapping tool, zooming in and out to see satellite views of the land in the area each speaker calls home. Just click on the Explore button to begin your tour. 

While the news splash was brief, this beautiful tool, created by Raleigh Seamster and her colleagues at Google Earth Outreach, is built to last and to grow with additional languages and language communities added. Raleigh writes about the project (and gives the Cree Literacy Network a fabulous shout-out) in a post on the Google blog “The Keyword” (thanks, Raleigh!) 

As you tour around the world, be sure to stop and listen for the similarities and differences among four distinct Cree language communities (you can also read along in SRO and syllabics). Thanks to these Cree Literacy Network contributors who made it happen: 

Dolores Sand (y-dialect, Muskeg Lake, Saskatchewan)

Wayne Jackson (northern y-dialect, Goodfish Lake, Alberta)

Minnie McKenzie (th-dialect, LaRonge, Saskatchewan)

Ken Paupanekis (n-dialect, Norway House, Manitoba) 

There were some great news stories, too: 

Rachel Crowspreadingwings reported for City News (Winnipeg):

https://winnipeg.citynews.ca/video/2019/08/10/united-nations-and-google-earth-team-up-to-save-languages/

Peter Akman of CTV National News interviewed UVic anthropologist Brian Thom (an Indigenous Mapping connection). Their video feed shows a cursor clicking on the Cree locations (with the photos just off screen!) 

https://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/new-google-earth-project-aims-to-preserve-indigenous-languages-1.4543852

Rhiannon Johnson of CBC National News interviewed Dolores Sand:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/google-earth-indigenous-languages-1.5240672

 
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kâhkâkiw: The Common Raven (th-dialect)

The raven’s call may be familiar to many, but Cree Literacy followers will immediately recognize the call of our favourite th-dialect speaker, Solomon Ratt, in this newly dubbed narration. (Read the CBC news announcement here.

Congratulations to Hinterland Who’s Who for taking this welcome step, and thanks to Norah Wakula from Power of Babel who arranged the voicing. 

Woods Cree (SRO)Woods Cree (Syllabics)English
kâhkâkiwᑲᐦᑳᑭᐤThe Common Raven
kâhkâkiwak aniki kâ-mâwaci-mihcîticik pithîsîsak.ᑲᐦᑳᑭᐘᐠ ᐊᓂᑭ ᑳ ᒫᐘᒋ ᒥᐦᒌᑎᒋᐠ ᐱᖩᓰᓴᐠ᙮Common Ravens are some of the world’s most cosmopolitan birds.
kakî-miskawâwak misiwîskamihk Canada kapî-askiy kâ-ispathik, î-pimahkamikisicik ôtînâhk mîna pikwâcaskîhk.ᑲᑮ ᒥᐢᑲᐚᐘᐠ ᒥᓯᐑᐢᑲᒥᕽ Canada ᑲᐲ ᐊᐢᑭᕀ ᑳ ᐃᐢᐸᖨᐠ, ᐄ ᐱᒪᐦᑲᒥᑭᓯᒋᐠ ᐆᑏᓈᕽ ᒦᓇ ᐱᒁᒐᐢᑮᕽ᙮They can be found throughout most of Canada year-round, thriving in developed areas and in wild spaces.
kâhkâkiwak aniki kakihtâwîthihtamwak ikwa nanâtohk isi- kitowak ta-pîkiskwâtitocik.ᑲᐦᑳᑭᐘᐠ ᐊᓂᑭ ᑲᑭᐦᑖᐑᖨᐦᑕᒷᐠ ᐃᑿ ᓇᓈᑐᕽ ᐃᓯ- ᑭᑐᐘᐠ ᑕ ᐲᑭᐢᒁᑎᑐᒋᐠ᙮Ravens are very intelligent and use many vocalizations to communicate.
ôko otôtîmâskiwi-pithîsîsak wâh-wîcihitowak mîna mîtawîskiwak.ᐆᑯ ᐅᑑᑏᒫᐢᑭᐏ ᐱᖩᓰᓴᐠ ᐚᐦ ᐑᒋᐦᐃᑐᐘᐠ ᒦᓇ ᒦᑕᐑᐢᑭᐘᐠ᙮These social birds cooperate with each other, and even find time to play!
kâhkâkiwak mithoskamwak ohpikihtâsowina, pîhkinikîwak kâ- mîcisocik.ᑲᐦᑳᑭᐘᐠ ᒥᖪᐢᑲᒷᐠ ᐅᐦᐱᑭᐦᑖᓱᐏᓇ, ᐲᐦᑭᓂᑮᐘᐠ ᑳ- ᒦᒋᓱᒋᐠ᙮Ravens are essential to many ecosystems, keeping them clean by scavenging.
awasimî kinohtî-kiskîthihtînâwâw, natona HWW.caᐊᐘᓯᒦ ᑭᓄᐦᑏ ᑭᐢᑮᖨᐦᑏᓈᐚᐤ, ᓇᑐᓇ HWW.caTo learn more, visit HWW.ca
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Towards a Cree Listening Library: Francis Saysewehum and Sylvia McAdam (Saysewehum)

Francis McAdam Saysewehum, wearing his Treaty 6 medal, and advocating always for honouring the treaties and Cree natural law.

Today we join our prayers for the health of  Elder Francis Saysewehum with those of his daughter Sylvia McAdam Saysewehum and her many friends and followers.

Sylvia, who is known around the world as a founder of Idle No More, credits her parents as her greatest teachers of Cree language, culture and natural law, so it’s an honour to have her permission to archive and share the FaceBook recordings she has made of them. Perhaps this small collection from spring of 2019 can form the beginning of a “Cree Listening Library” where recordings of good speakers can be assembled for viewing online, eventually catalogued and summarized in English, and ultimately, transcribed in SRO. We’ll be adding more as we’re able. 

VideoURLSpeakerPlaceofBirth
RecByRecDateRecLength
Francis discusses the expression "mîna kihtwam" https://youtu.be/_WYvSKoie7YFrancis McAdam SaysewahumWhitefish LakeSylvia McAdam SaysewahumJune 21, 20195:04
Francis talks about Big Bear https://youtu.be/29Rb8wpGA44Francis McAdam SaysewahumWhitefish LakeSylvia McAdam SaysewahumMay 26, 201910:13
Francis talks about animals https://youtu.be/sQCBQTz0LrUFrancis McAdam SaysewahumWhitefish LakeSylvia McAdam SaysewahumJune 21, 201912:08
Francis talks about the little people https://youtu.be/KJOIBETXDGIFrancis McAdam SaysewahumWhitefish LakeSylvia McAdam SaysewahumMay 26, 20193:27
Francis talks about Frizzle Bear https://youtu.be/leuhZdpcSY0Francis McAdam SaysewahumWhitefish LakeSylvia McAdam SaysewahumJune 21, 201917:17

Here’s an earlier post of video Sylvia shared in 2017, summarized for us by Pearleen Kanewepasikot: https://creeliteracy.org/2017/08/30/francis-mcadam-saysewahum-heart-lodge/

 

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Teaching Fractions: Barry Ahenakew

Math concepts in Cree are particularly important for immersion classrooms, but they’re not often addressed in language textbooks. Thanks to Elder Barry L. Ahenakew for sharing this lesson on fractions.

Other numbers can be turned into fractional denominators by adding the suffix -os (presumably we could also express “one quarter” as “one fourth” and so on): 

  • mitâtahtomitanawâw = 100 : mitâtahtomitanawâwos = one hundredth (1/100) 
  • nêwo = 4 : nêwos = one fourth (1/4)

To write whole numbers-plus-fractions, use mîna. 

  • pêyak mîna âpihtaw = 1-1/2 
  • nîso mîna niyânan nikotwâsikos = 2-5/6 

Odds and evens: More important math concepts, Barry says people seem to have lost these terms. In the sweat lodge, for example, the number of stones is always nanahi, never kâhtap, though the actual number differs depending on the ceremony. 

  • kâhtap = odd number
  • nanahi = even number 

 

 

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Wâhkôhtowin: A Cree Way of Living (Andrea Smith, The Tyee)

Andrea Smith is nominated for a portfolio of work for The Tyee, including a story on a ‘life-changing’ bison harvest. Her Tyee practicum was supported by Journalists for Human Rights. 

In a portfolio of four pieces, journalist Andrea Smith does some beautiful writing about the Cree idea of wâhkôhtowin. The Tyee – in which the pieces were published – defines itself as “a widely read and respected platform for the forward-thinking, fact-based conversation” that Canadians “desperately need to have.” wâhkôhtowin may be old news for Cree people, but it’s definitely a concept that Canadians in general could stand to learn.

The articles, published in early 2019, were written as part of Andrea’s internship with The Tyee as a part of Journalists for Human Rights’ Emerging Indigenous Reporter program were later nominated as a finalist for the JHR/APTN Emerging Indigenous Journalist Award sponsored by the Canadian Association of Journalists. The Tyee report announcing the nomination is also included as a link below:

Wâhkôhtowin: A Cree Way Of Living

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National Indigenous Peoples Day 2019

th-dialectn-dialecty-dialect
mitho-ithiniw-kîsikanisik

mino-ininiw-kîsikanisikmiyo-iyiniw-kîsikanisik
ᒥᖪ ᐃðᐦᐃᓂᐤ ᑮᓯᑲᓂᓯᐠᒥᓄ ᐃᓂᓂᐤ ᑮᓯᑲᓂᓯᐠᒥᔪ ᐃᔨᓂᐤ ᑮᓯᑲᓂᓯᐠ

A collection of the traditional Cree terms for Cree groups and their neighbours – though through 21st century enlightenment – and decolonization – we try to honour our neighbours by using the names they prefer for themselves! 

SROSyllabicEnglish
nēhiyawak ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐘᐠCree people (y-dialect speakers)
ininiwak ᐃᓂᓂᐘᐠCree people (n-dialect speakers) 
nîhithiwakᓃᐦᐃtᐦᐃᐘᐠCree people (th-dialect speakers)
asiniskāniwak ᐊᓯᓂᐢᑳᓂᐘᐠRock Cree
maskīkoniwak ᒪᐢᑮᑯᓂᐘᐠPeople of the muskeg, often known as Swampy Cree
nahkawiyiniwakᓇᐦᑲᐏᔨᓂᐘᐠSaulteaux people
anishināpiyiniwak ᐊᓂᓯᓈᐱᔨᓂᐘᐠAnishnaabe/Ojibwe people
wêcîpwayânakᐅᒌᐳᐚᓂᐘᐠDene people
pwātak ᑇᑕᐠSioux people (Nakoda, Dakota, Lakota)
asinīpwātak ᐊᓯᓃᑅᑕᐠStoney Nakoda people
kaskitêwayasitak ᑲᐢᑲᑏᐏᔭᓯᑕᐠBlackfoot people
ayiskîmîwakᐊᔨᐢᑮᒦᐘᐠInuit people
âpihtawikosisânak ᐋᐱᐦᑕᐤᑯᓯᓵᓇᐠMétis people

(Thanks, Sol, for the image and audio. My favourite part is the eagle’s syllabic tattoo: ᓴᓬᐊᒧ. Thanks also to Simon Bird for his collection of traditional Cree ethnonyms!) 

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