Category Archives: Cree Cultural Literacy

Real Cree Literacy includes much more than language. Posts in this category teach about history, culture, Indigenous Knowledge (science), community, identity and rights.

Gerald Kuehl’s portrait of our Honorary Elder, Bette Spence

Our dearly loved honorary elder Ruth Elizabeth “Bette” Spence was just a kid of 99 when  Gerald Kuehl created this remarkable pencil portrait of her in 2019. It’s part of his “Portraits of the Plains” collection.  (Find more of his … Continue reading

Posted in Identity | 1 Comment

The Rainbow: Read along in Cree

ninanâskomon. I am grateful. It’s really exciting to see another rich layer added to this beautiful book and story from traditional Cree culture that centres on gratitude. The story told by Alberta Cree Elder and WW2 veteran, James “Smokey” Tomkins … Continue reading

Posted in Audio (y-dialect), Cree Cultural Literacy, Dolores Sand | Leave a comment

Puppy Willows (?)

Who knew that pussy willows could change species in translation? According to Solomon Ratt, the Cree word for pussy willows is acimosihkânisak, literally, little pretend puppies. The word includes atim “dog” with its “t” changed to “c” and an “s” … Continue reading

Posted in Learn New Words, Plants and Medicine | Leave a comment

Celebrating Goose Break, 2021

In northern Ontario and Québec, Cree people celebrate the return of the geese with a dedicated week (or more) of family hunting time on the land. They call it “Goose Break”. My friend Jocelyn Cheechoo of Moose Factory calls it … Continue reading

Posted in Cree Cultural Literacy, Identity | 1 Comment

kâniyâsihk Spring Hide-tanning Camp, 2021

Thanks to Kevin Lewis for sharing his photos of this spring’s Hide Tanning Camp at Kaniyasihk Culture Camps (it’s fun to see some familiar faces). Here’s what he had to say about it (thanks so much, Kevin!) Important Covid note: … Continue reading

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Congratulations, Belinda Daniels, PhD

tâpwê kihci! kimamihcihinân! ᑖᐻ ᑭᐦᒋ! ᑭᒪᒥᐦᒋᐦᐃᓈᐣ! Truly great! You make us proud. Belinda Daniels, PhD (that’s Dr Belinda Daniels!) completed her interdisciplinary doctoral defense at the University of Saskatchewan yesterday via Zoom, and we are so very pleased for her! Thanks … Continue reading

Posted in Book News, Identity | 1 Comment

Not a Pretendian: Solomon Ratt (th-dialect)

[Photo: Solomon Ratt with his parents, William and Alice Ratt, 1978] There’s been a lot of discussion lately about “pretendians” of various kinds. There seems to be consensus that the “real deal” will be able to name their family and … Continue reading

Posted in Audio (th-dialect), Cree Cultural Literacy, Solomon Ratt | 3 Comments

Shane L. Koyczan: Inconvenient Skin, translated into Cree by Solomon Ratt (y-dialect)

There are many, many reviews to be found on Google praising this 2019 publication from Theytus Books. The book remains shortlisted for the 2019 CODE Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Young Adult Literature – the awarding of … Continue reading

Posted in Book News, Cree History, Poetry, Solomon Ratt | Leave a comment

âyâs, 2018, 2021: Solomon Ratt (th-dialect)

The Cree word for “sacred story” or “myth” is âtayôhkêwin (in y-dialect), âcathôhkîwin (in th-dialect). Wisahkecahk is the protagonist in many of these stories, which often serve to explain some curious aspect of the natural world, or teach some important … Continue reading

Posted in Audio (th-dialect), Sacred Stories, Solomon Ratt, Storytelling Month (February), Video | Leave a comment

Wisahkecahk Snares the Sun (2021, th-dialect)

The Cree word for “sacred story” or “myth” is âtayôhkêwin (in y-dialect), âcathôhkîwin (in th-dialect). Wisahkecahk is the protagonist in many of these stories, which often serve to explain some curious aspect of the natural world, or teach some important … Continue reading

Posted in Audio (th-dialect), Billy Joe Laboucan, Sacred Stories, Solomon Ratt, Storytelling Month (February), Video, Wisahkecahk | Leave a comment