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.

Time Off From First Nation Stories Website

I have decided to take some time off from this wonderful website until February break from February 17-21, 2020.  At which time, I can hopefully post stories and Cree blogs for my followers.

I need to spend more time with my teaching career, which has brought me much stress but has also brought me a sense of accomplishment.  I made a career change pretty late in my life and I have felt the painful transition all too well.

I want to do the best for my students and want them to know that I will do the best I can for them through my actions (if I tell them point blank, they would ask me for something, lol). I need to be a better role model and show them that dreams can come true and that they can accomplish anything they put their minds and efforts to. To many of my followers, this is a gimme, but to me, it is still new. I have forgotten how tough it is, to be a kid at that age.

I have spent too much time on this website. I always have it on the back of my mind. I think of stories or blogs I could write and ways of complimenting them with Cree audio and text. It is a good concept and I am glad it has garnered much followers and visitors. When I see a post by Simon Bird or Solomon Ratt, I get inspired to do something similar, to encourage our Cree language. It may still happen, but I don’t always have to act on it. Props to them and many others, for promoting our great language.

I need to give my teaching career my all. I need to stop worrying about going back to my quiet office at the band office and give this great opportunity the best I can. There are many supports at the school to take advantage of and for that, I am grateful. The support I have received is often overlooked by my wandering mind. I want to give my students the best I can offer. I have until June to do so. If I cannot accomplish what I want to do, then I can look elsewhere for employment. The students deserve better than that.





Year End 2019

The year started off with the choice of staying a Web Developer with LLRIB or apply for a teaching job in Hall Lake, my old home reserve. At that point in my life, I had worked as a web developer for nearly 14 years. I decided to give teaching a try after discussing it with my family.

It was nice to be back home in Hall Lake. I knew most of the people from 14 years before, but I did not know who the children were. I worked for Recreation in the 1990s and many of the kids I worked with, had their own kids. I could see many similarities in the children and could sometimes easily guess who their parents or grandparents were.

The familiar faces were all adults now, and I now had to learn new names, something I was never good at. I am glad to say, that I am getting close to fully reacquainting with all the people from my hometown.

This website would continue to be updated because it is my personal website and I finance and maintain it on my dime and time. I enjoy sharing my knowledge and displaying my tech skills. It has been a big year for the website in terms of visitor and viewer growth. Financially, not so much. The last time I received any remuneration, was June 2019: One-hundred dollars. I stand to make another $100 this month. It is all from the ads you see on the website. So, the website, while it brings pleasure and expression of my knowledge and abilities, it is not making me rich.

While the website would continue, the stability of my employment at the time, was about to be very disrupted. I would go from sitting quietly in my office, pressing buttons and collaborating with leaders and directors, to managing a classroom full of 10- and 11-year-old’s, who ask me: “When is it lunch?”

It has been very challenging. Much of my time is spent trying to manage my classroom, but it has gotten easier. The students have warmed up to me and seem to enjoy my short lectures. It is such a joy when a student has a “EUREKA!” moment. I will be explaining and explaining and suddenly, their eyes will light up when they understand. They go quickly go back to their desk all eager to complete their work. It can be awesome. Not once, has a computer or website given me such a feeling of accomplishment.

I will continue teaching until the end of June 2020, at Sally Ross School, and then, who knows. I will see how it goes.

It is winter – īpipohk

I did this video for my Facebook page last year. It came with no translation, but I decided to include it this year. The original comments show varying interpretations and they sound better than mine.

aski māna mithonākwan kā pipohk
kōna māna mithonākoso
īthikohk māna īwāpiskāk aski
āskō māna macikīsikāw
kā tōsāmi mispok, īyati āthimahk pimohtīhowin
nanisīhkāc kāpahkisihk kōna, kwayask mithonākoso
ikwānoma kwayask kitāti māmispok
nākatāpimisok nitōtīmak

The earth looks nice when it is winter
The snow looks beautiful
The earth is so white
Sometimes, the weather is bad
When it snows too much, travel is difficult
When the snow falls gently, it is very beautiful
Now it is going to start snowing more

Take care of yourselves, my friends


New Years Day in Woodland Cree

I overheard this term when I was a little from both my maternal and paternal grandparents (literally ‘kissing day’).

Happy New Years from First Nation Stories! I appreciate all the support from the fine people that visit this website, and Facebook Page ⇒ 

Boxing Day – mītawīwikīsikāw

Boxing Day – mītawīwikīsikāw

I got this from the Gift of Language and Culture website –

“A day for fun and games”

For many of us up North, we usually go sliding on Christmas Day, but Boxing Day is just as good as any.

Happy Holidays everyone!


mitho-makosīkīsikanisik – Have a Good Christmas


To two or more people


To one person



This post was inspired by Solomon Ratt

Plains Cree – Y dialect  by Simon Bird on the #CreeSimonSays YouTube channel


First Christmas in our New House – Hall Lake 1982

When my parents got the house in Hall Lake, we got our first family Christmas tree ourselves. We made our own decorations. My mother looked stressed out at the time because it was the first house that our family ever had. Until then, we had been living at my maternal grandparent’s house until I was about 8 years old. We lived in a cabin at Pesiw Lake but this was the first time we had a real house.

My mom – nimāmā, wanted to get to get a tree for Christmas like we did at my grandmother and grandfathers house. My dad – nipāpā, had been out line-cutting and would not be back until after Christmas. It was up to my mom to get the tree.

We got our tree but, we did not have many decorations. My mom received some leftover décor from my grandparents, so she cut up some of them and taped the golden strips onto our angel, which was just a cardboard cutout. She made the angel look beautiful. She was happy to see our delighted expressions as she held it up.

My siblings and I joined in to make a chain out of coloured construction paper and made ornaments out of paper cutouts. We did have tinsel and that added a sparkling look to our dismally bald tree.

nimāmā always did the best she could for us. She knew we were used to the big Christmas feasts we had at 101 Reserve and she tried her best to bring cheer to us. We were seemingly isolated from all the family we knew, and she had to do what she could.

The Christmas presents were already purchased while we were in La Ronge at kōmpanihk – The Bay. They were wrapped and not too well hidden. I tried peeking at what was inside them, but I couldn’t do it without ripping the paper. I tried telling by the weight of the present and by the feel of it. I couldn’t even guess what it was.

On a side note, I posted a question on what “kōmpanihk” means on La Ronge Cree Language Group and my friend James Eninew gave me the answer. It means “At the company” in Creenglish (Cree and English mixed together). Thank you James. 


nikāwiy – my mother

nimāmā – my mother (the way most of us say it in La Ronge)

nohtāwiy – my father

nipāpā – my father (the way most of us say it in La Ronge)

mistik – tree

mistikwak – trees


La Ronge Cree Language Group – Facebook Group


Inanimate Colours in Woodland Cree

Inanimate, describing the colour of a non-living thing. For example: The book is blue – masinahikan sīpihkwāw or sīpihkwāw masinahikan

For Animate Colours go here ⇒

black – kaskitīwāw

blue – sīpihkwāw

brown – wīskwastīwinākwan

green – askihtakwāw

grey – wāpitīwinākwan/kaskāpahtīwinākwan

orange – atōspīwinākwan

pink – wāpikwanīwinākwan

purple – sīpihkomiskwāw

red – mithkwāw / miskwāw

white – wāpiskāw

yellow – osāwāw



Animate Colours in Woodland Cree

Animate, describing the colour of a living thing. For example: The wolf is white – mahihkan wāpiskisiw or wāpiskisiw mahihkan 

For Inanimate Colours go here ⇒

black – kaskitīsiw

blue – sīpihkosiw

brown – wīskwastīwinākosiw

green – askihtakosiw

grey – wāpitīwinākosiw / kaskāpahtīwinākosiw

orange – atōspīwinākosiw

pink – wāpikwanīwinākosīw

purple – sīpihkomiskosiw

red – mithkosiw / miskosiw

white – wāpiskisiw

yellow – osāwisiw



Testing a New Microphone for My Cree Recordings

I decided to purchase what I thought would be an upgrade for my audio recording device. Below is a comparison of both audio devices.

First, is my old mic that I have been using for most of the year 2019, the  SF-666. My settings for the device are shown below when I used my Audacity app:

Click to see larger image.

I used an excerpt from one of my stories, Blue Dress:

In a dream, Kristina is holding a birch bark basket, standing at the landing of a beautiful river, much like the one close to her school but with no roads or houses on the side.

My new microphone, the BM-700, used the same settings, however I had to amplify the audio to hear the sound clearly.

Click to see larger image.

I used the same excerpt from one of my stories, Blue Dress:

In a dream, Kristina is holding a birch bark basket, standing at the landing of a beautiful river, much like the one close to her school but with no roads or houses on the side.

I am not a professional sound man, but I think the old mic sounds better than my new mic. It is an extra step for me to amplify the audio for the new mic. I do not have to make adjustments for the old mic unless I have to crop out sound from the beginning or end.

The ads by Amazon are products that are very similar to the devices I am comparing. The old one I use is no longer available and the new one is not listed at this time.

I am sure that there are better options, however, I may stick to my old mic for now and hang on to my new mic in case something happens to the old one.

What do you think of the devices recordings? Please comment on the Facebook post.

On a side note, some of my recording was interrupted by my niece’s cell phone alarm. She wanted me to fix it because her screen is blank but the audio still works. Anyway, here is one of the interruptions from her annoying alarm:

Unfortunately, I am not going to able to fix her cell, she will have to get another one.

Awe, there it goes again. Until next time.

Please keep supporting this website, thank you.


Audacity ® | Free, open source, cross-platform audio software

Microphone Basics: What’s a Condenser Microphone?