All posts by Charlie Venne

My name is Charlie and I'v had stories in my head since I was a child and this website is an outlet for those stories.

Serve Up Fire Safety In The Kitchen – Morin Lake Fire Department

This is a video entry for the 2020 National Firefighting Competition. For more details, visit https://indigenousfiresafety.ca/2020-… Actors: Jr. Firefighters Jack Halkett and Orlen Halkett. Written and narrated by Deputy Fire Chief Leonard Halkett, Directed and edited by Clarence Morin

Common Cree words from the video entry:

otāstawīhikīw – fire fighter

otāstawīhikīwak – fire fighters

piminawasowikamikos – kitchen

kotawānāpisk – stove

sāsīskihkwān – frying pan

piminawasow – cook

mīciwin – food

pimiy – lard/oil (grease)

nākatāpahta kipiminawasowin – take care of your cooking/look after your cooking

 

Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!TM – https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Staying-safe/Preparedness/Fire-Prevention-Week

thikwaskwan – It is cloudy in Woodland Cree

A young photographer, Jaredan from Pinehouse, recently shot storm clouds in Regina, SK. I just wanted to share the pictures he has taken and add a couple of Cree words to his work.

thikwaskwan – It is cloudy.

Kaskitīwithikwaskwan – There are black clouds.

 

If you want to see more from Jaredan, check out his Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/jaredan.smith.16

COVID-19 – Thoughts and Opinions

This COVID-19 virus has been growing in leaps and bounds in Northern Saskatchewan. It has come close to home and there was even a suspected case yesterday at a local COOP Gas Bar in La Ronge. It turned out to be negative but it put quite the scare on many people in my home community of Hall Lake, which is about 100 KM from La Ronge.

I had actually stopped at the gas bar on May 1st to grab some snacks and refreshments before I took my family home. This suspected case of COVID-19, closed the gas bar on May 6th. It is hard to say when the employee had the symptoms or if the employee was even at the gas bar when I was there.

I kept my fears and anxiety from my family because I had a speech made up where I would tell them that we had to hope for the best and hopefully my wife and I did not get the virus. While we did not wear masks, we are diligent with hand sanitizer and washing our hands. Keeping the distance of 2 metres is followed.

It turns out it a false alarm, I breathed a sigh of relief. I do not know how I would handle it if my daughters or my wife were infected. Of course I would try to stay strong and hope for the best. As a diabetic, the virus would be more harmful to my health and possibly be fatal.

I live a sheltered live, I don’t really go anywhere and stay at home to work on projects on my computer. I have been working on a website for my education department, where all the teachers would have a portal to reach out to their students and their guardians. Before this, I stumbling through lessons and having disciplinary problems I had trouble handling. I am not a disciplinarian. Online teaching might be my forte. While I am not thriving as a classroom teacher, I am getting better at finding ways to teach with all the online resources I didn’t know existed. Mircosoft Teams, G Suite and many others, are there and are being utilized by the LLRIB education department. I am right there with them and I am honoured to be part of a great team.

I have been updating my bands website with news on the COVID-19 and Band elections which are happening this month. It has distracted me from my real work but I hope a compromise can be worked out where I can do both effectively. I am waiting for decisions to be made on that, so I will just leave it.

I will post more later, I will keep you posted. Have a great day.

La Ronge NOW – https://larongenow.com/2020/05/07/air-ronge-co-op-c-store-closed-after-employee-shows-signs-of-covid-19/ 

2000 Likes for First Nation Stories Facebook Page

Wahwā, WOW! I finally reached a coveted milestone of 2000 likes to my Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/firstnationstories/

I appreciate the support of my many followers and visitors. It took almost a year to go from 1000 to 2000, lets make 3000 by the end of the year.

nīso kihci-mitāhatomitanaw – 2000

From the words of Cree Teacher, Simon Bird – kinanāskomitin = I thank you/I am thankful for you/I am grateful for you (#CreeSimonSays).

mīna kihtwām – until next time

cv

Isolation in the Trapline

I remember as a boy, we would be isolated for weeks. Living off the land: fish, ducks and various animals would provide what we needed. We needed supplies from town of course like flour, sugar, toiletries and lard. nimosom would get ready to go to La Ronge Robertson’s Trading post to go see Alec to trade his furs.

He used to ask me what I wanted and I would tell him: “bananas and coke.” He would bring me a one litre of Coca-Cola and a bunch of bananas, but I was the oldest of my siblings, I had to share what I had.

For me, going to the trapline in this dire time is no longer an option. I have not been to any trapline since I was a teenager and I am sure I would have trouble getting by without supplies and I have not shot a gun in years. I still remember how to snare rabbits and and how to fish. Hunting would be a difficult because I probably get lost or scare away the game.

Being isolated would be desirable in these times of the virus scare and I would feel assured of a better chance of survival until it blows over. However, if it were to continue on and on, supplies would become scarce and there would be less options for meals.

I have worked as a web developer for many years and I am in a place where I can work from home to make a living. Living in trapline would mean getting cut off from technology unless I invested on solar power and satellite equipment. Fuel and batteries would need to be purchased at a high cost and I would have to sacrifice much of my comforts to do so. I have a family of four to provide for but my wife is awesome with preparing meat. Our teamwork would be essential. My girls would be completely inept but they would have to learn fast.

Anyway, I am rambling to get some thoughts from my head. Please take care and try to stay safe.

 

cv

Staying with Teaching

I recently made the decision to stay with my teaching job at Sally Ross School. I submitted my letter of intent to continue working at my hometown of Hall Lake. It was a hard choice but I feel it is better for my family and myself.

I had some thoughts of going back to my old job as web developer because it was easier than what I had to go through on a day to day basis with my job as grade 5 and 6 teacher. I have met challenges that I thought were too much to handle. I felt inept and too inexperienced to deal with my students who I though deserved a better teacher. I still believe they do, but they are stuck with me until the end of the school year.

I have had much trouble with classroom management and discipline. I have much support and will try to get the understanding of the parents to try and do better. I hope there is some type of understanding worked out because I want all my students to do well.

As for this website, I will continue on because it is my pride and joy. Whenever I am going through a tough time, I know I can get some appreciation for the time and effort I put into this website from my many followers and visitors. It has got me through, time and again and I do not want to lose the support I have garnered from my visitors. I enjoy writing stories and providing a supplement to any Cree program through my efforts. I have enjoyed and used many resource people, especially Solomon Ratt, Simon Bird and Arden Ogg. There are many others of course but these have been my main sources because they are constantly online to support me (more than they know).

St. Patrick’s Day – okanātisokīsikām

The Cree word is a reference to the “Patron Saint of Ireland.” I got the translation from the Gift of Language and Culture website. It is not a holiday that is celebrated on our reserve, but it is acknowledged, and people enjoy the horror movie about an evil leprechaun.

I remember as a child, I would ask about the leprechaun and I would be told that he had a crock of gold at the end of a rainbow. I would sometimes imagine going on a quest to find the gold so I could be rich. Haha, thankfully, I never did go on such a quest, but the thought was fun.

Woodland Cree Yearly Calendarhttp://giftoflanguageandculture.ca/glcp/calenderfla.htm (will not work on mobile devices).

St. Patrick’s Lifehttp://www.saintpatricksdayparade.com/life_of_saint_patrick.htm

Image by LaShonda1980 from Pixabay

Call for Stories on Trapline Cabins

Artwork by Molly Ratt – Follow the link to see her Facebook page

This is a call for stories on trapline cabins. I want you to share stories of your time in a trapline cabin. All stories are welcome. It would be great to hear about your time in a trapline cabin. You can write about anything you want from how and when it was built, or maybe just the times your family traveled to the cabin during certain seasons. While I would like to publish all stories, there are a few guidelines I would like to inform you about.

  • I cannot offer remuneration or a prize, but I will publish shared stories as deemed appropriate.
  • I will give full credit and a link to your Facebook profile.
  • It needs to be between 150 to 1000 words. I can be flexible on this, in the case of several short stories, I will combine stories into one page on the website.
  • Appropriate language is encouraged
  • Happy stories are encouraged but sad stories will not be refused
  • Deadline is March 27, 2020, but I will add stories before that date over the weekends.
  • No real need to be formal, but I will make minor edits if needed. This is a story telling website, not an English class.
  • Please inbox me your stories and I will reply during evenings and weekends. I am a full-time teacher and I do not go on Facebook during the day. You can also email me the original document to cv2k@hotmail.com Please write subject as “trapline cabin”

Just a note that this is not a contest, it is more of a chance to share your story with us.

A big thank you to Tom Ballantyne for giving me the idea. I hope you decide to share your story with us at some point.