Orange Shirt Day 2019

For Yumi and her mother Samara recovering their Cree. For Yumi’s grandmother Jane and câpân Alice, whose Creeness was stolen. And with love and respect for all the others like them, especially those who never came home. 

ᐄ ᐊᑎ ᐳᐚᑕᒫᐣ
ᓂᑮ ᑭᑕᐦᐊᒫᑿᐠ ᐄᑳ ᑕ ᐲᑭᐢᑹᔮᐣ ᓃᐦᐃᖬᐑᐏᐣ
ᓂᐲᑭᐢᑹᐏᐣ ᐃᑕ
ᑳ ᑭᐢᑮᖨᐦᑕᒫᐣ ᐃᑿ ᑳ ᐑᐦᑕᒫᐣ ᓂᑕᐢᑭᕀ
ᓂᓇᐦᐊᐢᑖᓱᐏᐣ
ᓂᑎᖨᓃᓯᐏᐣ
ᑳ ᐃᓯ ᓃᐦᐃᖬᐚᑎᓯᔮᐣ
ᑮ ᓇᑐᓇᒷᐠ – ᒫᑲ ᑮ ᑇᐦᐱᓃᐘᐠ –
ᑕ ᒦᐢᑯᑕᐢᑖᒋᐠ ᓂᑎᑏᖨᒥᓱᐏᐣ
ᑳ ᐃᓯ ᓃᐦᐃᖬᐚᑎᓯᔮᐣ
ᒪᓯᓇᐦᐃᑲᓈᐱᐢᐠ ᑕ ᐱᓯᑿᐢᑏᐠ
ᐃᑕ ᑕ ᐅᐦᐱᑭᐦᑖᓄᐏᐠ ᐅᐢᑭ ᔮᑎᓯᐏᐣ
ᐃᑿ ᐅᐢᑭ ᐃᑕᑭᓱᐏᐣ
ᐃᑕ ᓂᓃᐦᐃᖬᐚᑎᓯᐏᐣ
ᐄ ᒦᐢᑕᐦᐃᑳᑏᐠ ᐃᑿ ᐄ ᑳᓰᐦᐃᑳᑏᐠ
ᐃᑿ ᐊᓂᐦᐃ ᐃᑏᖨᒥᓱᐏᓇ
‘ᐅᑮᐢᑹᐲᐢᐠ,ᐃ ‘ᐅᑭᐦᑎᒥᐤ,ᐃ ᐃᒪᒑᔨᓯᐏᐣ,ᐃ ᐃᑿ ᑲᐦᑭᖬᐤ ᑮᑿᕀ
ᑳ ᐃᓯ ᒪᒋ ᐃᑏᖨᐦᒋᑳᓱᐟ ‘ᐃᖨᓂᐏ
ᐊᓇ ᐅᑭᒫᐏᐏᐣ ᑳ ᐅᖬᐢᑖᐟ
ᐃᑯᑕ ᐱᓯᑿᐢᑏ ᒪᓯᓇᐦᐃᑲᓈᐱᐢᑯᕽ ᑕ ᐅᖬᐢᑖᒋᐠ᙮
ᑮ ᑇᐦᐱᓃᐘᐠ!

Click here for th-dialect audio:

For the y-dialect version of this poem, including syllabics and audio, visit https://creeliteracy.org/2014/01/15/solomon-ratt-2013-on-the-threshold-of-a-dream/

 

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êkwa mîna kêhtêskwêw: Billy Joe Laboucan (y-dialect)

Chief Billy Joe Laboucan’s mother, Josephine Laboucan (nee Sawan), photographed by Douglas Gladue

Billy Joe Laboucan is quick to point out that his late mother (okâwipana) was also a kêhtêskwêw (old woman) full of wisdom. She grew up in the bush, kept hidden from residential school. Billy Joe kindly shared some of her words with us to stand beside those of his father. He says, “I didn’t even have to tell her what was troubling me; she knew… like mothers seem to do…”

Mom said, “nikosis, kāya kikiska kikisowitêhêwin, kamāyiskākon anima.”
My son, don’t wear your angry heart, it will make you sick.”

 

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wīci-kisēyiniwa: Billy Joe Laboucan (y-dialect)

Edward Laboucan, photographed by Douglas Gladue.

Sometimes we like to joke here about the “wisdom of Solomon,” but we’re also grateful to pass on the wisdom of his wīci-kisēyiniwa (fellow old men), like these teachings that Chief Billy Joe Laboucan remembers from ohtāwīpana (his late father), and permitted us to share here: 

My dad would tell us, “pīkiskwātihkok kitawāsimisiwāwak,” as we were growing up, “tānisīsi kīkwāy ta-isi-kiskēyihtamwak?” (Speak to your children: how else will they learn anything?)

His other teaching was, “ka-wīhtamātin: āta ēkā cēskwa nisitohtamani, misawāc otī nīkān ka-ati-nisitohtēn,” (I will tell you: even if you don’t understand now, you will understand in the future.)

My dad was also very patient, and rarely ever got angry at anyone or any situation, no matter how difficult or impossible as it may seem. Of all his teachings, I still struggle with impatience and get angry sometimes over situations that require no anger.

But once in awhile when I am contemplating a situation, I will remember my dad’s words on that very situation, and I think, “ēkosi cikāni nipāpā kā-kī-itwīt… !” (That is what my dad had said…!)

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tâpâhkômiwêwin “adopting others”: Darren Okemaysim (y-dialect)

The Greyeyes family in February 2011, along with two of its many proud adoptees. Back: Arok Wolvengrey, Spencer (Duke) Greyeyes, Elaine Greyeyes, Lawrence (Boss) Greyeyes, Gloria Greyeyes, Hal Greyeyes. Middle: Nancy Greyeyes, Barbara Fourstar, Brenda Ahenakew, Judy Daniels, Dolores Greyeyes Sand, late Kevin Greyeyes. Front: Josephine Greyeyes, Freda Ahenakew, Arden Ogg

I’m not sure what inspired this thought today from Darren Okemaysim, but it made me proud to feel that his words extend to me, and to Arok Wolvengrey, and our respective places in the extended adopted family of the late Freda Ahenakew that we work to honour every day. Thank you, Darren, for allowing me to share this – and for the work of inclusion that you also undertake. (And sorry, especially to Gloria and Barb, that this isn’t a better photo!) 

kâ-nêhiyawêhk ôma kipê-kiskêyihtênânaw iyikohk ê-sôhkêpayik wâhkôhtowin. êkây kîspin kêhcinâ ê-wâhkômâyâhk awiyak kitotinânaw êkwa ê-pê-tâpâhkômâyâhk. êkosi anima wâpahcikâtêw nêhiyânâhk piko itê. 

ᑳ ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐍᕽ ᐆᒪ ᑭᐯ ᑭᐢᑫᔨᐦᑌᓈᓇᐤ ᐃᔨᑯᕽ ᐁ ᓲᐦᑫᐸᔨᐠ ᐚᐦᑰᐦᑐᐏᐣ᙮ ᐁᑳᕀ ᑮᐢᐱᐣ ᑫᐦᒋᓈ ᐁ ᐚᐦᑰᒫᔮᕽ ᐊᐏᔭᐠ ᑭᑐᑎᓈᓇᐤ ᐁᑿ ᐁ ᐯ ᑖᐹᐦᑰᒫᔮᕽ᙮ ᐁᑯᓯ ᐊᓂᒪ ᐚᐸᐦᒋᑳᑌᐤ ᓀᐦᐃᔮᓈᕽ ᐱᑯ ᐃᑌ᙮

As we speak Cree, we know the strength of family. If we are not related, we adopt someone so that we become related. That is seen throughout Cree country.

Here is Darren’s phonetic pronunciation key (maybe some day we’ll convince him to record himself!)
kaa-nay.hi.ya.wayhk…oe-mu…ki.pay-kis.key’h.tey.naa.noe…ee.yi.kohk…ey-soe’h.key.pu.yik…waah.koe.to.win….ey.keye…kees.pin…keh.chi.naa…ey-waah.koe.maa.yaahk…u.wi.yuk…ki.to.ti.naa.noe…ey.gwu…ey-pey-taa.paah.koe.maa.yaahk….ey.ko.si…u.ni.mu…waa.paah.tsik.kaa.tayoo…ney.hi.yaa.naahk.

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nôcokwêsiw kitânawêw: Solomon Ratt (y-dialect)

I’m not sure who prompted this fresh translation into Cree, but it’s lots of fun. Solomon Ratt’s video appears below, and the full text of the song appears below that. Have fun (and be careful what you swallow!)

pêyak nôcokwêsiw
ôcêwa kî-mowêw
tânêhki êtikwê kâ-mowât ôcêwa?
ta-nipiw êtikwê…
ᐯᔭᐠ ᓅᒍᑵᓯᐤ
ᐆᒉᐘ ᑮ ᒧᐍᐤ
ᑖᓀᐦᑭ ᐁᑎᑵ ᑳ ᒧᐚᐟ ᐆᒉᐘ?
ᑕ ᓂᐱᐤ ᐁᑎᑵ…
pêyak nôcokwêsiw
piyêsîsa kî-mowêw,
piyêsîsa kî-mowêw
ta-mowâyit apihkêsa
apihkêsa kî-mowêw
ta-mowâyit ôcêwa,
tânêhki êtikwê kâ-mowât ôcêwa?
ta-nipiw êtikwê…
ᐯᔭᐠ ᓅᒍᑵᓯᐤ
ᐱᔦᓰᓴ ᑮ ᒧᐍᐤ,
ᐱᔦᓰᓴ ᑮ ᒧᐍᐤ
ᑕ ᒧᐚᔨᐟ ᐊᐱᐦᑫᓴ
ᐊᐱᐦᑫᓴ ᑮ ᒧᐍᐤ
ᑕ ᒧᐚᔨᐟ ᐆᒉᐘ,
ᑖᓀᐦᑭ ᐁᑎᑵ ᑳ ᒧᐚᐟ ᐆᒉᐘ?
ᑕ ᓂᐱᐤ ᐁᑎᑵ…
pêyak nôcokwêsiw
atimwa kî-mowêw,
atimwa kî-mowêw
ta-mowâyit minôsa,
minôsa kî-mowêw
ta-mowâyit piyêsîsa,
piyêsîsa kî-mowêw
ta-mowâyit apihkêsa
apihkêsa kî-mowêw
ta-mowâyit ôcêwa,
tânêhki êtikwê kâ-mowât ôcêwa?
ta-nipiw êtikwê…
ᐯᔭᐠ ᓅᒍᑵᓯᐤ
ᐊᑎᒷ ᑮ ᒧᐍᐤ,
ᐊᑎᒷ ᑮ ᒧᐍᐤ
ᑕ ᒧᐚᔨᐟ ᒥᓅᓴ,
ᒥᓅᓴ ᑮ ᒧᐍᐤ
ᑕ ᒧᐚᔨᐟ ᐱᔦᓰᓴ,
ᐱᔦᓰᓴ ᑮ ᒧᐍᐤ
ᑕ ᒧᐚᔨᐟ ᐊᐱᐦᑫᓴ
ᐊᐱᐦᑫᓴ ᑮ ᒧᐍᐤ
ᑕ ᒧᐚᔨᐟ ᐆᒉᐘ,
ᑖᓀᐦᑭ ᐁᑎᑵ ᑳ ᒧᐚᐟ ᐆᒉᐘ?
ᑕ ᓂᐱᐤ ᐁᑎᑵ…
pêyak nôcokwêsiw
maskwa kî-mowêw,
maskwa kî-mowêw
ta-mowâyit atimwa,
atimwa kî-mowêw
ta-mowâyit minôsa,
minôsa kî-mowêw
ta-mowâyit piyêsîsa,
piyêsîsa kî-mowêw
ta-mowâyit apihkêsa
apihkêsa kî-mowêw
ta-mowâyit ôcêwa,
tânêhki êtikwê kâ-mowât ôcêwa?
ta-nipiw êtikwê…
ᐯᔭᐠ ᓅᒍᑵᓯᐤ
ᒪᐢᑿ ᑮ ᒧᐍᐤ,
ᒪᐢᑿ ᑮ ᒧᐍᐤ
ᑕ ᒧᐚᔨᐟ ᐊᑎᒷ,
ᐊᑎᒷ ᑮ ᒧᐍᐤ
ᑕ ᒧᐚᔨᐟ ᒥᓅᓴ,
ᒥᓅᓴ ᑮ ᒧᐍᐤ
ᑕ ᒧᐚᔨᐟ ᐱᔦᓰᓴ,
ᐱᔦᓰᓴ ᑮ ᒧᐍᐤ
ᑕ ᒧᐚᔨᐟ ᐊᐱᐦᑫᓴ
ᐊᐱᐦᑫᓴ ᑮ ᒧᐍᐤ
ᑕ ᒧᐚᔨᐟ ᐆᒉᐘ,
ᑖᓀᐦᑭ ᐁᑎᑵ ᑳ ᒧᐚᐟ ᐆᒉᐘ?
ᑕ ᓂᐱᐤ ᐁᑎᑵ…

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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

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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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