Speaking to our relatives: Solomon Ratt (most dialects)

Solomon Ratt, okawiya, ohtâwima êkwa. Sol, his mother and his father.[/caption]

When we spoke to our relatives, their names were never used. Instead, to show respect, we would address our relatives using special “vocative” forms of the kinship terms. (Some families even honour this cultural practice in English by referring to one another (for example) as “Sister,” “Brother,” or “Auntie.”) 

Ordinary kinship terms are perfect when we’re talking about our relatives, e.g. nikâwiy – my mother. But when speaking directly to our relatives, or calling out to them, we use special forms known as “vocatives.” If a form doesn’t have a specific vocative form, then the regular kinship term will do the job. Here’s a set of kinship terms in vocative form (so you can call out to all your relatives with respect!) Don’t forget to read the comments column as well: Sometimes the same term can mean different things depending on who is speaking! 

One thing that’s interesting about kinship terms is that they tend to stay the same from one dialect to another, perhaps because they have been around longer than any dialect divisions. 

You may also notice an important term missing from the list. In traditional Cree society, there was a taboo against speaking to your parent-in-law of the opposite sex. (Some people argue that this would be a good rule in any society.) The best way to show respect for this relative, is to never speak to them directly at all!

The kinship term for this relationship is nimanâcimâkan, literally meaning, “the person with whom I avoid speaking.” This is the correct term for “my in-law of opposite gender.” For a female speaker, “my father-in-law’; for a male speaker, “my mother-in-law.”

Two others that don’t follow the pattern of ordinary vocatives are “ayamihikimâw” used reciprocally between cross uncles and nephews. “ayamihikimâw” actually means ‘minister/priest’ and cross uncles/nephews used that term to convey equivalent respect.

And one final form to mention is câpân – another reciprocal term of affection and respect shared between a great grandparent (of either sex), and his or her great grandchild.  

Three additional forms: 

[talking about them][speaking to them]
nimosômmy grandfathernimosô
nohkom my grandmothernohkô
nohtâwiy my fathernohtâ
nikâwiy my mothernêkâ; nikâ
nohcâwîs my [parallel] unclenohcâwîs*Father’s brother; mother’s sister’s husband; godfather; stepfather
nikâwîs my [parallel] auntnikâwîs*Father’s brother’s wife; mother’s sister; godmother; stepmother
nisis my [cross] unclenisisê Father’s sister’s husband; mother’s brother; father-in-law
nisikos my [cross] aunt nisikosê Father’s sister; mother’s brother’s wide; mother-in-law
nistês my older brothernistêsê
nimis my older sisternimisê
nisîmis my younger siblingnisîmê; also, nisîm
niciwâm my [male parallel] cousin niciwâMost use the brother terms
niciwâmiskwêm my [female parallel] cousin niciwâmiskwêm*Most use the sister terms
nîstâw my [cross] cousin Male speaker: nîstâ nîscâs is more common; Child of mother’s brother, or of father’s sister
nicahkos my [cross] cousinFemale speaker: nicahkosê Child of mother’s brother, or of father’s sister
nikosis my sonnikosê
nitânis my daughternitân
nôsisim my grandchildnôsisê
nitôsim my [parallel] nephewOften: nikosimMale speaker: brother’s son; Female speaker: sister’s son
nitôsimiskwêm my [parallel] niece Often: nitânMales: brother’s daughter;
nitôsimiskwêmmy [parallel] niece Often: nitânFemale speaker: sister’s daughter
nitihkwatim my [cross] nephewnitihkwâ Male speaker: brother’s daughter; daughter-in-law;
nitihkwatim my [cross] nephewnitihkwâ Male speaker sister's son; female speaker brother's son.
nistim my [cross] niecenistim*Male speaker sister's daughter; female speaker brother's daughter.
nistimmy [cross] niecenistim*Female speaker: brother’s daughter, daughter-in-law
ninahâhkisîm my son-in-lawninahâhkisîm*
ninahâkaniskwêm my daughter-in-lawninahâkaniskwêm*
ninâpêm my husband[often] kisêyiniwLiterally, “old man” (Sounds disrespectful in English, not in Cree!)
nitiskwêm my wife[often] nôtokwêsiwLiterally, “old lady” (Sounds disrespectful in English: Not in Cree!)
niwîkimâkan my spouseniwîkimâkan*Reciprocal term that is used by both parties.
nicihcâwâwmy fellow parent-in-lawnicihcâwâw*Reciprocal term that is used by both parties.
nicâpânmy great-grandparent; my great-grandchildnicâpânReciprocal term that is used by both parties.



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International Women’s Day: Solomon Ratt (y-dialect)

ᐃᐢᑵᐘᐠ            iskwêwak:Women:
ᐱᒫᒋᐦᐃᐍᐠ     pimâcihiwêwak – give life;
ᑭᓭᐚᑎᓯᐠ        kisêwâtisiwak – are kind;
ᓵᑭᐦᐃᐍᐘᐠ        sâkihiwêwak – give love;
ᑕᐸᐦᑌᔨᒥᓯᐘᐠ tapahtêyimisiwak – are humble;
ᓲᐦᑭᓯᐘᐠ  sôhkisiwak – are strong;
ᓲᐦᑭᑌᐦᐁᐠ     sôhkitêhêwak – are brave;
ᐋᐦᑲᒣᔨᒧᐠ  âhkamêyimowak – persevere.
ᓰᐱᐦᑭᐠ        sîpihkisiwak – are resilient
ᐃᐢᑵᐘᐠ iskwêwak:         Women:
ᑕᑮᑭᐢᑌᔨᒥᐠ takî-kistêyimihcik should be respected.
  • Thanks, Sol! This is lovely!
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Every time I step on earth: Solomon Ratt

Text and photo: Solomon Ratt

tahtwâw kâ-tahkoskêyân askîhk tâpiskôc ê-mawimoscikêyân.
ᑕᐦᑤᐤ ᑳᑕᐦᑯᐢᑫᔮᐣ ᐊᐢᑮᕽ ᑖᐱᐢᑰᐨ ᐁᒪᐏᒧᐢᒋᑫᔮᐣ᙮
Every time I step on the earth is like saying a traditional prayer.

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Star Vocabulary from Wilfred Buck – SRO, y-dialect

Wilfred Buck’s Tipiskawi Kisik / Night Sky Star Stories must have reached best seller status at McNally Robinson – and at Manitoba First Nations Education Centre where it was produced. It’s really a beauty. Here’s a link that includes a preview of the book and ordering instructions from MFNERC: https://mfnerc.org/product/tipiskawi-kisik-night-sky-star-stories/ It’s also available at McNally Robinson in Winnipeg and in Saskatoon. 

The book also includes some fabulous astronomical vocabulary in Cree that Solomon Ratt gathered up and rendered in SRO and syllabics.

ahcahk ᐊᐦᒐᕽ spirit
ahcahk sîpiyᐊᐦᒐᕽ ᓰᐱᕀriver of spirits or the milky way
acâhkos akohp/atahkakohpᐊᒑᐦᑯᐢ ᐊᑯᐦᑊ/ᐊᑕᐦᑲᑯᐦᑊthe star blanket
acâhkos iyiniwak (Y) ininêwak (N) ithiniwak (TH) ᐊᒑᐦᑯᐢ ᐃᔨᓂᐘᐠ (Y) ᐃᓂᓀᐘᐠ (N) ᐃᖨᓂᐘᐠ (TH) the star people
acâhkos iskwêw ᐊᒑᐦᑯᐢ ᐃᐢᑵᐤ star woman
acâhkosak ᐊᒑᐦᑯᓴᐠ the stars
askiy ᐊᐢᑭᕀ earth
asiniy awâsisᐊᓯᓂᕀ ᐊᐚᓯᐢstone child
asiniyak ᐊᓯᓂᔭᐠ stones, rocks
atâhkosak/acâhkosakᐊᑖᐦᑯᓴᐠ / ᐊᒑᐦᑯᓴᐠstars
atim-acâhkosak ᐊᑎᒪᒑᐦᑯᓴᐠ the dog stars
atim-acâhkosak ᐊᑎᒪᒑᐦᑯᓴᐠ the little dipper
êkâ kâ-âhcîtᐁᑳ ᑳ ᐋᐦᒌᐟthe standing still star, north star
ininêwak (N); iyiniwak (Y); ithiniwak (TH)ᐃᓂᓀᐘᐠ (N); ᐃᔨᓂᐘᐠ (Y); ᐃᖨᓂᐘᐠ (TH)cree
iskwêwak ᐃᐢᑵᐘᐠ woman
kayâs ᑲᔮᐢ long ago
kîwêtin ᑮᐍᑎᐣ polaris
kîsikôwak ᑮᓯᑰᐘᐠ beings of light
kîwêtin ᑮᐍᑎᐣ going home star, north star
kîwêtinohkᑮᐍᑎᓄᕽthe north wind
kohkominâhkîsîs ᑯᐦᑯᒥᓈᐦᑮᓰᐢ grandmother spider
kohkominâhkîsîs êkwa ahcahk sîpiyᑯᐦᑯᒥᓈᐦᑮᓰᐢ ᐁᑿ ᐊᐦᒐᕽ ᓰᐱᕀgrandmother spider and the river of spirits or the milky way
mâhtâtisân ᒫᐦᑖᑎᓵᐣ corona borealis
mihkinâhk ᒥᐦᑭᓈᕽ the turtle
mahkêsiw ᒪᐦᑫᓯᐤ the fox; urodelus
matotisân ᒪᑐᑎᓵᐣ the sweat lodge
matotisân/têpakohp piyêsîsak (pinêsîsak)ᒪᑐᑎᓵᐣ / ᑌᐸᑯᐦᑊ ᐱᔦᓰᓴᐠ (ᐱᓀᓰᓴᐠ)corona borealis
mahihkan ᒪᐦᐃᐦᑲᐣ the wolf; polaris
mêscacâkanis ᒣᐢᒐᒑᑲᓂᐢ the coyote; yildum
misiwê (IPC)ᒥᓯᐍ (IPC)all that is
misti-maskwa ᒥᐢᑎ ᒪᐢᑿ big dipper
misti-maskwa ᒥᐢᑎ ᒪᐢᑿ the great bear
mistâpêw (Big Foot!)ᒥᐢᑖᐯᐤ (Big Foot!)giant; orion
misti-maskwa ᒥᐢᑎ ᒪᐢᑿ the big dipper
motôtison / matotisân asiniyak ᒧᑑᑎᓱᐣ / ᒪᑐᑎᓵᐣ ᐊᓯᓂᔭᐠ pleiades
maskihkiy iskotêw ᒪᐢᑭᐦᑭᕀ ᐃᐢᑯᑌᐤ medicine fire
nitôtêmak ᓂᑑᑌᒪᐠ relatives
nimosôm asiniy ᓂᒧᓲᒼ ᐊᓯᓂᕀ grandfather rock
nîpin piyêsiw (pinêsiw - N)ᓃᐱᐣ ᐱᔦᓯᐤ (ᐱᓀᓯᐤ - N)the star of libra on its right wing
nîpinêsîs mêskanawᓃᐱᓀᓰᐢ ᒣᐢᑲᓇᐤthe geese's path or summer birds' path
niska ᓂᐢᑲ the goose
niska mêskanaw ᓂᐢᑲ ᒣᐢᑲᓇᐤ the geese's path or summer birds' path
nohkom asiniyᓄᐦᑯᒼ ᐊᓯᓂᕀgrandmother rock
ocêk acâhkosak ᐅᒉᐠ ᐊᒑᐦᑯᓴᐠ fisher star; the big dipper
opâskwêyâhk ᐅᐹᐢᑵᔮᕽ The Pas
pakonê-kîsik ᐸᑯᓀ ᑮᓯᐠ the hole in the sky; pleiades
pimâtisiwin ᐱᒫᑎᓯᐏᐣ life
pihpihcêw ᐱᐦᐱᐦᒉᐤ the robin
pipon piyêsiw (pinêsiw) ᐱᐳᐣ ᐱᔦᓯᐤ (ᐱᓀᓯᐤ) draco and little dipper
pipon ᐱᐳᐣ winter
pîsim ᐲᓯᒼ the sun
sîkwan ᓰᑿᐣ spring
sîsîkwan ᓰᓰᑿᐣ the rattle; polaris and cepheus
têpakohp piyêsîsak (pinêsîsak)ᑌᐸᑯᐦᑊ ᐱᔦᓰᓴᐠ (ᐱᓀᓰᓴᐠ)the seven birds; corona borealis
mitihkom ᒥᑎᐦᑯᒼ the louse
tipiskâw kîsik ᑎᐱᐢᑳᐤ ᑮᓯᐠ night sky
wîsahkêcâhk/mistâpêwᐑᓴᐦᑫᒑᕽ / ᒥᐢᑖᐯᐤorion and aldebaran


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Solomon Goes Shopping: y-dialect

This video from Solomon Ratt offers a lot more lessons in language and “shopping culture” than you might expect, and leaves you with unexpected feels. While you’re learning vocabulary and pronunciation, take a moment to acknowledge the parts that *should not* be normal for shopping while Cree!

  • shopping carts,
  • clothing words,
  • colours,
  • choosing purchases,
  • store detectives,
  • being targeted for surveillance
  • resisting racist retail management

The video below has a white background: Scroll way down to find the video launcher to listen and read along!

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Only these are important: Solomon Ratt (y-dialect)

Text and photo by Solomon Ratt

kâ-kisipipayik, nama-nânitaw mistahi kîkwaya.
ôhi piko kihcêyihtâkwana:
wâhkôhtowin, wîcêwahkanihtowin, wîkiwin, êkwa wâniskîwin.

ᑳ ᑭᓯᐱᐸᔨᐠ, ᓇᒪ ᓈᓂᑕᐤ ᒥᐢᑕᐦᐃ ᑮᑿᔭ᙮
ᐆᐦᐃ ᐱᑯ ᑭᐦᒉᔨᐦᑖᑿᓇ:
ᐚᐦᑰᐦᑐᐏᐣ, ᐑᒉᐘᐦᑲᓂᐦᑐᐏᐣ, ᐑᑭᐏᐣ, ᐁᑿ ᐚᓂᐢᑮᐏᐣ᙮

In the end not much matters.
Only these are important:
kinship, friendship, home, and inner peace.

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Dance, sing, tell sacred stories: Solomon Ratt (y-dialect)

nîmihito ᓃᒥᐦᐃᑐ, nikamo ᓂᑲᒧ, âtayôhkê ᐋᑕᔫᐦᑫ; natohta kâ-kâmwâtahk ᓇᑐᐦᑕ ᑳᑳᒫᐧᑕᕽ Dance; sing; tell sacred stories; listen to the silence.

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Wake up my sisters!

Twin sisters Judy and Jody Bear – who need no waking! (Thanks, Judy for permission)

A fabulous little observation about precision in Cree from the FaceBook Nêhiyawêwin (Cree) Word/Phrase of the Day group, thanks to Arok Wolvengrey. It helps to illustrate the importance of context to translate into Cree appropriately.

When somebody asked how to say “Wake up my sisters!” – Arok took a stroll down some of the many possible paths that simple phrase might suggest in Cree. Arok’s short answer: Depends.

First, you have to differentiate between “my older sisters” (nimisak) and “my younger siblings” (nisîmisak) or simply “my siblings” (nîcisânak). [Since Cree doesn’t really have a word for younger sister.] Or perhaps you are using the word “sisters” in terms of solidarity and you really mean “my fellow women” (nîci-iskwêwak).

Second you need to specify if you are telling someone else to “Wake up my sisters!” (koskonik …) or if you are yourself speaking to your sisters/fellow women and saying “Wake up, my sisters!” (pêkohik, …!) (commas are important).

Finally, if someone else is to awaken them, you would also have to be explicit as to how you want them to be awakened. Are they being shaken awake? (koskonik, pêkohik) Are they to be awakened verbally (pêkomik). Perhaps you even want them to awaken themselves (pêkohisok! koskonisok! waniskâhisok, or even âpahkawihisok “bring yourselves to consciousness, awareness”)

But perhaps you are simply telling your older and or younger sisters to wake up/get out of bed in the morning? waniskâk, _______! (inserting the appropriate term from the ones above.

As Arok observes: Cree is a very precise and explicit language. English, sometimes, less so.

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kîkwây kiwihtamâkonaw âcathohkîwina? What do our stories tell us? Solomon Ratt (th-dialect, audio)

* Scroll to the bottom to find Sol’s English version of this diagram

With thanks to Solomon Ratt for sharing in his mother language – Woodlands Cree (th-dialect), in honour of International Mother Language Day, 21 February 2019. You can read along with his video here – or you can use the following text (with or without accompanying audio) to study at your leisure. (Note that the diagram shown above uses y-dialect!) 

kîkwây kiwihtamâkonaw âcathohkîwina? cihcipiscikwân
ᑮᒁᕀ ᑭᐏᐦᑕᒫᑯᓇᐤ ᐋᒐᖪᐦᑮᐏᓇ?

tânisi mâka kayâs î-kî-itâpatahki âcathohkîwina?
ᒋᐦᒋᐱᐢᒋᒁᐣᑖᓂᓯ ᒫᑲ ᑲᔮᐢ ᐄ ᑮ ᐃᑖᐸᑕᐦᑭ ᐋᒐᖪᐦᑮᐏᓇ?
How were sacred stories used long ago?

ispî mâna kâ-kî-pipohk onîkihikomâwak mâna kî-mâh-mâci-acathohkîwak, î-otamihâcik ocawâsimisiwâwa ispî kâ-pihcâ-tipiskâthik. nistam kâ-mispok mâna kâ-kî-mâci-âcathohkânowik.
ᐃᐢᐲ ᒫᓇ ᑳ ᑮ ᐱᐳᕽ ᐅᓃᑭᐦᐃᑯᒫᐘᐠ ᒫᓇ ᑮ ᒫᐦ ᒫᒋ ᐊᒐᖪᐦᑮᐘᐠ, ᐄ ᐅᑕᒥᐦᐋᒋᐠ ᐅᒐᐚᓯᒥᓯᐚᐘ ᐃᐢᐲ ᑳ ᐱᐦᒑ ᑎᐱᐢᑳᖨᐠ᙮ ᓂᐢᑕᒼ ᑳ ᒥᐢᐳᐠ ᒫᓇ ᑳ ᑮ ᒫᒋ ᐋᒐᖪᐦᑳᓄᐏᐠ᙮
When winter set in it was the time for the parents to tell sacred stories to their children, thus occupying their children on long winter nights. They started to tell the sacred stories on the first fall of snow.

nikiskisin kâ-kî-awâsisiwiyân, ikota niwâskahikanisinânihk ninîkihikonânak kî-misi-pônamwak kotawânâpisk, kî-saskahamwak wâsiskocînikanisa, nikî-kîsôsimikonânak ikwa kî-mâc-âcathohkîwak. wîsahkîcâhkwa nîkan kâ-kî-âcimâcik.
ᓂᑭᐢᑭᓯᐣ ᑳ ᑮ ᐊᐚᓯᓯᐏᔮᐣ, ᐃᑯᑕ ᓂᐚᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᓂᓯᓈᓂᕽ ᓂᓃᑭᐦᐃᑯᓈᓇᐠ ᑮ ᒥᓯ ᐴᓇᒷᐠ ᑯᑕᐚᓈᐱᐢᐠ, ᑮ ᓴᐢᑲᐦᐊᒷᐠ ᐚᓯᐢᑯᒌᓂᑲᓂᓴ, ᓂᑮ ᑮᓲᓯᒥᑯᓈᓇᐠ ᐃᑿ ᑮ ᒫᒑᒐᖪᐦᑮᐘᐠ᙮ ᐑᓴᐦᑮᒑᐦᑿ ᓃᑲᐣ ᑳ ᑮ ᐋᒋᒫᒋᐠ᙮
I remember when I was a child: there in our cabin our parents would put lots of wood in the stove, light the candles, bundle us up in warm blankets then started telling the sacred stories. First they told stories about wîsahkîcâhk.

tâpiskôc mâna tîpithahk î-otamîhâwasocik ispî kâ-âcathohkîcik, wîtha mâna î-wawiyasîhtâkwahki anihi âcathohkîwina, ithikohk î-kâh-kakîpâtisit wîsahkîcâhk. namôtha mâka anima iyakohci poko, kî-kiskinwahamâkîmakanwa anihi âcathohkîwina. iyakoni ôho âcathohkîwina î-ohci-kiskinwahamâkîcik tânisi kita-isi-pimâtisicik ôta askîhk kâkikî kâ-pimipathik.
ᑖᐱᐢᑰᐨ ᒫᓇ ᑏᐱᖬᕽ ᐄ ᐅᑕᒦᐦᐋᐘᓱᒋᐠ ᐃᐢᐲ ᑳ ᐋᒐᖪᐦᑮᒋᐠ, ᐑᖬ ᒫᓇ ᐄ ᐘᐏᔭᓰᐦᑖᑿᐦᑭ ᐊᓂᐦᐃ ᐋᒐᖪᐦᑮᐏᓇ, ᐃᖨᑯᕽ ᐄ ᑳᐦ ᑲᑮᐹᑎᓯᐟ ᐑᓴᐦᑮᒑᕽ᙮ ᓇᒨᖬ ᒫᑲ ᐊᓂᒪ ᐃᔭᑯᐦᒋ ᐳᑯ, ᑮ ᑭᐢᑭᓌᐦᐊᒫᑮᒪᑲᓌ ᐊᓂᐦᐃ ᐋᒐᖪᐦᑮᐏᓇ᙮ ᐃᔭᑯᓂ ᐆᐦᐅ ᐋᒐᖪᐦᑮᐏᓇ ᐄ ᐅᐦᒋ ᑭᐢᑭᓌᐦᐊᒫᑮᒋᐠ ᑖᓂᓯ ᑭᑕ ᐃᓯ ᐱᒫᑎᓯᒋᐠ ᐆᑕ ᐊᐢᑮᕽ ᑳᑭᑮ ᑳ ᐱᒥᐸᖨᐠ᙮
It is as if the stories were told to merely occupy the children because the stories were funny and wîsahkîcâhk did many silly things. But that was not their only purpose, the stories were educational. These stories contain lessons on how to survive in our world which is always in flux.

mâmiskôtîtân nistam anima wîsahkîcâhk âcathohkîwin, ‘cihcipiscikwân’ kâ-icikâtîk. ikota âcathohkanihk kikakî-miskînaw kahkithaw kiskinwahamâkîwina wâsakâm-pimâtisiwin ohci:
ᒫᒥᐢᑰᑏᑖᐣ ᓂᐢᑕᒼ ᐊᓂᒪ ᐑᓴᐦᑮᒑᕽ ᐋᒐᖪᐦᑮᐏᐣ, ‘ᒋᐦᒋᐱᐢᒋᒁᓂ ᑳ ᐃᒋᑳᑏᐠ᙮ ᐃᑯᑕ ᐋᒐᖪᐦᑲᓂᕽ ᑭᑲᑮ ᒥᐢᑮᓇᐤ ᑲᐦᑭᖬᐤ ᑭᐢᑭᓌᐦᐊᒫᑮᐏᓇ ᐚᓴᑳᒼ ᐱᒫᑎᓯᐏᐣ ᐅᐦᒋ:
Let’s talk about first story of the wîsahkîcâhk cycle called ‘cihcipiscikwân – Rolling Head.’ In this story we can find all the teachings of the Circle of Life: 

1.niwayak isi-tapasîwak wîsahkîcâhk ikwa osîmisa, ispî kâ-tapasîhâcik cihcipiscikwâna;
ᓂᐘᔭᐠ ᐃᓯ ᑕᐸᓰᐘᐠ ᐑᓴᐦᑮᒑᕽ ᐃᑿ ᐅᓰᒥᓴ, ᐃᐢᐲ ᑳ ᑕᐸᓰᐦᐋᒋᐠ ᒋᐦᒋᐱᐢᒋᒁᓇ;
there are the four cardinal points in the flight of wîsahkîcâhk and his younger brother as they flee from the evil Rolling Head; 

2. iwâpamânawak kahkithaw itwiwihk pisiskiwak kâ-pimohtîcik kâ-pakâsimocik, kâ-pimithâcik, kâ-pimitâcimocik;
ᑭᐚᐸᒫᓇᐘᐠ ᑲᐦᑭᖬᐤ ᐃᑚᐏᕽ ᐱᓯᐢᑭᐘᐠ ᑳ ᐱᒧᐦᑏᒋᐠ ᑳ ᐸᑳᓯᒧᒋᐠ, ᑳ ᐱᒥᖭᒋᐠ, ᑳ ᐱᒥᑖᒋᒧᒋᐠ;
in the various characters who are in the story are represented four mode of mobility: walkers, swimmers, flyer, and crawlers;

3. kâ-ati-isi-pimâtisinâniwik: oskawâsisiwin, oskâyayiwin, kîsohpikihowin, ikwa kisiyayawin;
ᑳ ᐊᑎ ᐃᓯ ᐱᒫᑎᓯᓈᓂᐏᐠ: ᐅᐢᑲᐚᓯᓯᐏᐣ, ᐅᐢᑳᔭᔨᐏᐣ, ᑮᓱᐦᐱᑭᐦᐅᐏᐣ, ᐃᑿ ᑭᓯᔭᔭᐏᐣ;
four stages of life: infancy, adolescence, adulthood, and old age;

4. niyo itwihk kâ-itâniwin: athisitinîwin, pisiskiwin, oskihtîpakiwin, ikwa asinîwin;
ᓂᔪ ᐃᑚᕽ ᑳ ᐃᑖᓂᐏᐣ: ᐊᖨᓯᑎᓃᐏᐣ, ᐱᓯᐢᑭᐏᐣ, ᐅᐢᑭᐦᑏᐸᑭᐏᐣ, ᐃᑿ ᐊᓯᓃᐏᐣ;
four orders of life: human, animal, plant, and mineral;

5. niyo-ayâkîhiwin: askiy, iskotîw, nipiy, thîhthîwin;
ᓂᔪ ᐊᔮᑮᐦᐃᐏᐣ: ᐊᐢᑭᕀ, ᐃᐢᑯᑏᐤ, ᓂᐱᕀ, ᖩᐦᖩᐏᐣ;
four elements: earth, fire, water, and air;

6. niyo kîkwâya ohcitaw poko ta-ihtakohki ta-mitho-pimâtisinânowik: kanawîthimikosiwin, pimâcihiwîwin, ohpikihiwin, ikwa misiwîyâwin;
ᓂᔪ ᑮᒁᔭ ᐅᐦᒋᑕᐤ ᐳᑯ ᑕ ᐃᐦᑕᑯᐦᑭ ᑕ ᒥᖪ ᐱᒫᑎᓯᓈᓄᐏᐠ: ᑲᓇᐑᖨᒥᑯᓯᐏᐣ, ᐱᒫᒋᐦᐃᐑᐏᐣ, ᐅᐦᐱᑭᐦᐃᐏᐣ, ᐃᑿ ᒥᓯᐑᔮᐏᐣ;
four essential requirements for a healthy life: protection, nourishment, growth, and wholeness;

7. niyo isi-ayâwinwa: môsihtâwin, sôhkâtisiwin, mâmitonîthihtamowin, ikwa ahcahkowin.
ᓂᔪ ᐃᓯ ᐊᔮᐏᓌ: ᒨᓯᐦᑖᐏᐣ, ᓲᐦᑳᑎᓯᐏᐣ, ᒫᒥᑐᓃᖨᐦᑕᒧᐏᐣ, ᐃᑿ ᐊᐦᒐᐦᑯᐏᐣ᙮
four aspects of human nature: emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual.

8. ikwa otapasîwiniwâw î-âtotahkwâw tânisi kâ-pî-isi-pimôtîhocik nihithawak: sâkâstînohk ohci, sâwanohk isi, pahkisimotâhk isi, kîwîtinohk isi ikwa kâwi sâkâstînohk takopahtâwak. kapî ôta kikî-ayânaw.
ᐃᑿ ᐅᑕᐸᓰᐏᓂᐚᐤ ᐄ ᐋᑐᑕᐦᒁᐤ ᑖᓂᓯ ᑳ ᐲ ᐃᓯ ᐱᒨᑏᐦᐅᒋᐠ ᓂᐦᐃᖬᐘᐠ: ᓵᑳᐢᑏᓄᕽ ᐅᐦᒋ, ᓵᐘᓄᕽ ᐃᓯ, ᐸᐦᑭᓯᒧᑖᕽ ᐃᓯ, ᑮᐑᑎᓄᕽ ᐃᓯ ᐃᑿ ᑳᐏ ᓵᑳᐢᑏᓄᕽ ᑕᑯᐸᐦᑖᐘᐠ᙮ ᑲᐲ ᐆᑕ ᑭᑮ ᐊᔮᓇᐤ᙮
the flight of the boys is essentially a Cree migration story: from east to the south to the west to the north and back to the east. We were always here!

kîspin îkâ awasimî âcathohkîyahk kika-wanihtânaw ôhi kiskinwahamâkîwina.
ᑮᐢᐱᐣ ᐄᑳ ᐊᐘᓯᒦ ᐋᒐᖪᐦᑮᔭᕽ ᑭᑲ ᐘᓂᐦᑖᓇᐤ ᐆᐦᐃ ᑭᐢᑭᓌᐦᐊᒫᑮᐏᓇ᙮
When we no longer tell our stories we lose all this education.

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Chief Anus: Solomon Ratt (y-dialect)

https://iheartguts.com/products/rectum-lapel-pin Wear a pin to show them who’s boss!

Sol offers this as his contribution to story-telling month for 2019.

One friend commented that the story is hardly new: people have been making the same complaint about bosses for millenia! I hope it makes you laugh!

pêyakwâw kî-kâh-kihkâmitiwak pâh-pahki miyaw. kihkâmitowak awîna kâ-tipêyihtahk miyaw.
“niya nitipêyihtênân miyaw ayisk ê-wâpahtayôskêyâhk,” itwêwak miskîsikwa. “niyanân okimâwak!”
“niya nitipêyihtênân miyaw ayisk ê-pêhtâkanohkêyâhk,” itwêwak mihtawakaya. “niyanân okimâwak!”
“niya nitipêyihtên miyaw ayisk ê-pîkiskwâtamohkêyân,” itwêw mitôn. “niya okimâw!”
“niya nitipêyihtên miyaw ayisk ê-wêpinamân kahkiyaw kîkway kâ-mâyiskâkoyêk,” itwêw mîsâkan. “niya okimâw!”
kahkiyaw pâhpihik! kisîmik! êkwâni kâ-kiposit mîsâkan, ê-kisipikahcêhât miyawa. mêtoni kinwêsk kisipahcêw.
piyisk miskîsikwa misi-pâkacâpiwak. mêtoni êkâ ê-kî-wâpicik.
piyisk mihtawakaya têwêhtawakêwak. mêtoni êkâ ê-kî-pêhtahkik.
piyisk pâkânipayiw mitôn. mêtoni êkâ ê-kî-pîkiskwêt.
mêtoni ê-ati-nanamipayik miyaw.
wahwâ! kitimâkisiwak. piyisk mâmawi-mawimowak.
“hâw, mîsâkan! kiya! kiya okimâw! pôyo-kipociwi!”
êkwâni mâni-mâka wiya êsa mîsâkan okimâw!

ᐯᔭᒁᐤ ᑮ ᑳᐦ ᑭᐦᑳᒥᑎᐘᐠ ᐹᐦ ᐸᐦᑭ ᒥᔭᐤ᙮ ᑭᐦᑳᒥᑐᐘᐠ ᐊᐑᓇ ᑳ ᑎᐯᔨᐦᑕᕽ ᒥᔭᐤ᙮
“ᓂᔭ ᓂᑎᐯᔨᐦᑌᓈᐣ ᒥᔭᐤ ᐊᔨᐢᐠ ᐁ ᐚᐸᐦᑕᔫᐢᑫᔮᕽ,” ᐃᑘᐘᐠ ᒥᐢᑮᓯᑿ᙮ “ᓂᔭᓈᐣ ᐅᑭᒫᐘᐠ!”
“ᓂᔭ ᓂᑎᐯᔨᐦᑌᓈᐣ ᒥᔭᐤ ᐊᔨᐢᐠ ᐁ ᐯᐦᑖᑲᓄᐦᑫᔮᕽ,” ᐃᑘᐘᐠ ᒥᐦᑕᐘᑲᔭ᙮ “ᓂᔭᓈᐣ ᐅᑭᒫᐘᐠ!”
“ᓂᔭ ᓂᑎᐯᔨᐦᑌᐣ ᒥᔭᐤ ᐊᔨᐢᐠ ᐁ ᐲᑭᐢᒁᑕᒧᐦᑫᔮᐣ,” ᐃᑘᐤ ᒥᑑᐣ᙮ “ᓂᔭ ᐅᑭᒫᐤ!”
“ᓂᔭ ᓂᑎᐯᔨᐦᑌᐣ ᒥᔭᐤ ᐊᔨᐢᐠ ᐁ ᐍᐱᓇᒫᐣ ᑲᐦᑭᔭᐤ ᑮᑿᕀ ᑳ ᒫᔨᐢᑳᑯᔦᐠ,” ᐃᑘᐤ ᒦᓵᑲᐣ᙮ “ᓂᔭ ᐅᑭᒫᐤ!”
ᑲᐦᑭᔭᐤ ᐹᐦᐱᐦᐃᐠ! ᑭᓰᒥᐠ! ᐁᒁᓂ ᑳ ᑭᐳᓯᐟ ᒦᓵᑲᐣ, ᐁ ᑭᓯᐱᑲᐦᒉᐦᐋᐟ ᒥᔭᐘ᙮ ᒣᑐᓂ ᑭᓊᐢᐠ ᑭᓯᐸᐦᒉᐤ᙮
ᐱᔨᐢᐠ ᒥᐢᑮᓯᑿ ᒥᓯ ᐹᑲᒑᐱᐘᐠ᙮ ᒣᑐᓂ ᐁᑳ ᐁ ᑮ ᐚᐱᒋᐠ᙮
ᐱᔨᐢᐠ ᒥᐦᑕᐘᑲᔭ ᑌᐍᐦᑕᐘᑫᐘᐠ᙮ ᒣᑐᓂ ᐁᑳ ᐁ ᑮ ᐯᐦᑕᐦᑭᐠ᙮
ᐱᔨᐢᐠ ᐹᑳᓂᐸᔨᐤ ᒥᑑᐣ᙮ ᒣᑐᓂ ᐁᑳ ᐁ ᑮ ᐲᑭᐢᑵᐟ᙮
ᒣᑐᓂ ᐁ ᐊᑎ ᓇᓇᒥᐸᔨᐠ ᒥᔭᐤ᙮
ᐘᐦᐚ! ᑭᑎᒫᑭᓯᐘᐠ᙮ ᐱᔨᐢᐠ ᒫᒪᐏ ᒪᐏᒧᐘᐠ᙮
“ᐦᐋᐤ, ᒦᓵᑲᐣ! ᑭᔭ! ᑭᔭ ᐅᑭᒫᐤ! ᐴᔪ ᑭᐳᒋᐏ!”
ᐁᒁᓂ ᒫᓂ ᒫᑲ ᐏᔭ ᐁᓴ ᒦᓵᑲᐣ ᐅᑭᒫᐤ!

One time the body parts were arguing. They were arguing about who ruled the body.
“We rule the body because we make it possible for y’all to see,” say the eyes. “We are the Chiefs!”
“We rule the body because we make it possible for y’all to hear,” say the ears. “We are the Chiefs!”
“I rule the body because I make it possible for y’all to speak,” says the mouth. “I am the Chief!”
“I rule the body because I throw away all the things that make you ill,” say the anus. “I am the Chief!”
They all laugh at him. They make him angry. Then anus shuts his hole, making the body constipated. He made it constipated for a long time!
Eventually the eyes swell up. They were unable to see!
Eventually the ears start to ache. They were unable to hear!
Eventually the mouth starts to swell up. He was unable to speak.
The body starts to shake!
Wah! They were in a pitiful state. Eventually they pleaded together!
“Okay Anus! You! You are the chief! Quit being constipated.”
For sure then, it is the anus who is the Chief!

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