Harry Raine, a Maskwacis Cree elder of the Louis Bull Tribe, brought the Cree language to Juno beach in Normandy to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of D-day 6 June 2019, and the Battle of Normandy. In honour of the fallen, he read “Binyon’s Verse” – translated into Plains Cree. Transcript and video follow, for those who’d like to read along. (Video used with thanks to his daughter, Alaine Raine, for her permission.)
A genuine Cree lullaby from a genuine kôhkom, sung very gently to the tune of “Skip to my Lou.” Thank you to Belinda Vandenbroeck – a Winnipeg maskêkôskwêw! This one is perfect for real babies, or for little ones loving their baby dolls.
I’m not sure who is responsible for the Plains Cree translation, but it follows SRO spelling with great care (so every word can be looked up in the dictionary), and sets an exemplary standard for government translation projects. To whoever did this awesome work: hay-hay! We’re awfully proud of you!
(I thought about replicating the Cree document here in whole – then recognized the irony of stealing a document about intellectual property rights! I’ll add it here if and when I receive permission, so the document can be used with our click-in-text lookup tool!)
Thanks to Crystal Anderson for permission to use her photo of two of my favourite Cree speakers in training!
Here’s a little mealtime vocabulary to practise while you’re at the table (or while you’re practicing for the table). Thanks to Solomon Ratt for audio, and to Andrea Custer for useful additions (with audio).
A CBC news report from 29 May 2019 includes – for the first time ever – parallel summaries of its judgment in English, Dene and Plains Cree. The judgment was made by Justice Roger Lafrenière, chair of the court’s Aboriginal Law Bar Liaison Committee, who said the translation follows the Supreme Court’s directive to issue rulings in plain language, but goes one step further.
While others may celebrate the specifics of the ruling, I went hunting for the Cree in written form that the article promises, and found the pdf that includes English, Dene and Cree, along with the Cree and Dene audio files.
This is inter-connectedness: If you follow the good road then all sacred teachings will accompany you: Patience, kindness, tolerance, love, strength, resilience, gratitude, cleanliness, happiness, respect, faith, obedience, sharing, protection, hope, humility.
Canoes: Christine Ravenis, Ben Godden and Kevin Bear
Live from Midway Lake, Saskatchewan, fresh from this very weekend’s Cree-focused immersion camping trip, Solomon Ratt teaches his companions his own version of “Row, Row, Row.” You might like to slow it down a bit to sing with kids, so they don’t capsize at the pâwistik! (Thanks to Christine Ravenis for sharing her video!)
Solomon Ratt stands witness from First Nations University
“Before the Battle of Cut Knife, Poundmaker led his band members to Fort Battleford to both reaffirm their relationship with the Crown and press for fair treatment. But neither government officials nor the RCMP would emerge from the fort”.
We hope the mainstream media is filled today with stories acknowledging the great historic wrong that was done to Chief Poundmaker and many of his Cree allies following the 1885 Resistance. For us, it’s an opportunity to stand witness.
Thank you to Winona Wheeler for permission to share some of the images she shared today acknowledging the work of her late husband, Tyrone Tootoosis, Sr.
Here are some links to stories relating to events past and present to help us all remember.