Category Archives: Cree

Cree language words with translation

Meteors, Comets, and Possibly UFOs in the Sky

I remember the many nights I would be outside my home in La Ronge and watching the night sky. My auntie and I were great friends that time and we would venture out to see if we would see UFOs and shooting stars.

I remember seeing my first satellite and thinking it was more than a star, it had to be a flying saucer. Of course, later, my other aunties had to kill it on me by telling me that what we saw were satellites. They were built by the rocket scientists who made the rockets for space travel. I remember not wanting to believe what they said.

In the trapline, when the night sky was clear, the stars would be very vibrant. It was like you could see every star with the naked eye. Shooting stars were few and far between but satellites would be cruising across the sky and I would wonder if they would collide with the stars (I was about 5-6 years old).

In Hall Lake, I saw a shooting star break into two pieces (it was August that time when the meteor shower would be active). I could never make a wish in time during a streaking star and I do not remember I wished for (maybe they came true).

Some of the static bright stars were more of a mystery because we did not know they were planets. As far as I was concerned, it could have been a stationed UFO hanging in the sky. Now I know the planets make their appearances during certain times of the year.

My cousin and I saw a long streaking comet near the Montreal River bridge in La Ronge. It streaked almost the whole length of the sky. It was awesome. It was in 1986, when Halley’s Comet was due to streak within view of the earth. We wondered if that was what we saw.

Comet Video by Mustafa Keskin from Pixabay

On July 1st of 2015, Canada Day, my wife was walking back to our apartment from town, when she saw three lights in the sky. They looked peculiar because the lights did not look or behave like stars or anything else, she had ever seen. She looked on at the lights as they seem to move on their own. She looked down to her shoes for a second and when she looked back up, the lights were gone.

At the time, I was skeptical of her story and her recollection of the lights behaving the way they did. It was not until recently that I watched a trailer of a documentary called “Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind,” that I noticed the lights were like the ones my wife described. I called her to the room, and she told me that the lights were very similar to what she saw. Incidentally, the video I showed her was recorded on June 21, 2015, ten-days before she saw the lights on July 1st.

I have done some online research on the lights for that year and there seems to be no real explanation. I wish I could see something like that. I really do not have the patience to stand outside and stare at the sky, maybe in the summertime I will (probably not).

kāpahkisīhk acāhkos – meteor

kīsik – sky

kōsōt acāhkos – comet

machi-pimithākan – bad flying device or object, UFO, flying saucer


Weblinks:

Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind: Contact Has Begun (2020) | Official Trailer HD – https://youtu.be/CRK6IA–Swk

Lights in the sky – https://maas.museum/observations/2007/02/22/report-a-sighting/comment-page-87/

The brightest planets in November’s night sky: How to see them (and when) – https://www.space.com/33619-visible-planets-guide.html

CREE WANT ‘SPIRITUAL’ METEORITE RETURNED – http://www.nationnewsarchives.ca/article/cree-want-spiritual-meteorite-returned/

Alberta battle brewing over meteorite “with face of the Creator” – https://www.aptnnews.ca/national-news/alberta-battle-brewing-over-meteorite-with-face-of-the-creator/

Spirit of the Stone – https://www.ecfoundation.org/blog/spirit-of-the-stone/

Alberta meteorite sparks battle for sacred rock – https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/alberta-meteorite-sparks-battle-for-sacred-rock-1.1243774

Manito Stone: Native Cree Beliefs of the Iron Creek Alberta, Canada Iron Meteorite – https://www.researchgate.net/publication/241329389_Manito_Stone_Native_Cree_Beliefs_of_the_Iron_Creek_Alberta_Canada_Iron_Meteorite

71st Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting (2008) – https://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/metsoc2008/pdf/5003.pdf


Meteor Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Comet Image by TheOtherKev from Pixabay

Comet Video by Mustafa Keskin from Pixabay

Astronomy Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Cold in the Cabin

It is a cold day today and I am glad I was provided with a teacherage to bring my family together. The girls have their rooms, and my wife does not have to deal young people coming in and out of our oldest daughters house.

It is 15 ᴼC, 23 with the windchill. My daughter and I were staying at the cabin while my wife and other daughter stayed at our oldest daughter’s house. Right now, I would be busy keeping the cabin warm for my daughter by making sure the fire was going. Having those thoughts reminds me of the struggles (my struggles) at the cabin we lived in at the trapline when I was a child.

The mornings were always cold, even if nimosōm put a fresh birch log in the stove to slowly burn through the night, it would be cold. There would be the odd time when the weather would be nice, but those days were few and far between. It was better than living in a tent, which we had done before the cabin was built, so it was good. A cabin beats an old canvas-tent anytime.

I was too young to make the fire at the time, but many times the fire would already be going by the time I got up. It was a nice surprise to wake up to. Nimosōm was already getting pretty old at the time but his pride would not stop him from being the man and taking care of what needed to be done. My father was the same way, when we moved into the house in Hall Lake, he made sure we always had firewood.

He would use his skidoo to get wood. Later as I got older, he would set up the wood in the bush and have me make the trips to haul the logs back to the house. Those were fun times because I got to use the snow machine. A few times I had to take my little brother because he was a King or something.

I am not sure what kind of chores my sisters did. I am not even sure if they did anything. I would ask, but I am sure they have some tall tales about how much work they did. Besides, I am sure they did not know what kind of chores I had to do, which included hauling water from the lake and chopping wood. I love my sisters of course, and I am sure they had much work to do, I just did not pay attention.

It is windy outside right now and maybe that is what is reminding me of the past. The crisp-cold air and icy wind would easily freeze the nose and earlobes. We always had plenty of knitted mitts and toques so we would be good and warm as long as we remembered to take them along. It would be easy to forget when it was not so cold and being excited to go sliding. It would not take long to realize we had to run and get the toques we needed and run right back to the hill for more fun sliding.

I remember my earlobes would freeze and later swell twice the thickness they were before and were quite tender. My mom would tell me I should have learned by then that I should remember the toque, at least I always remembered my mitts.

Today is November 11, 2020, Remembrance Day. A day to remember our veterans. Have a great day.

my grandfather – nimosōm

my mother:

nikāwiy

nimāmā (the way we say it here, northern sask)

my father;

nohtāwiy

nipāpā (the way we say it here, northern sask)

My younger sister and my younger brother (one term for both) – nisīmis

nimosōm owāskahikanis – grandfather’s cabin

thōtin – it is windy

tahkāyāw – it is cold

 

IMAGES:

Mitts – Image by Trang Le from Pixabay

Snowmobile image – Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Firewood – Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Something Else – Kotak kīkway

This phrase is making the rounds on social media .

 

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

 

They still don’t recognize the Native people of this land calling us “something else”.

Posted by Our Generation BlackHills- He Sapa Wicouncage Okolakiciye on Wednesday, November 4, 2020

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

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

Months in Woodland Cree

I learned these terms during my schooling in the band schools of the LLRIB. They are a bit different from the southern dialects because the seasons move along differently down south. This is how it was explained to us by our Cree teacher, I believe it may have been Mary Cook (In Memorium, opens new window).

January – opāwāhcikanasīs

February – kisīpīsim

March – mikisiwipīsim

April – niskipīsim

May – athīkipīsim

June – opiniyāwīwipīsim

July – opaskowipīsim

August – ohpahowipīsim

September – nimitahamowipīsim

October – pimahamowipīsim

November – kaskatinowipīsim

December – thithikopīwipīsim

 

The meanings of the months, can be found in the sources below:

Cree Literacy Network – https://creeliteracy.org/2019/09/05/2020-calendar-solomon-ratt-y-and-th-dialects/

Gift of Language and Culture website – http://giftoflanguageandculture.ca/glcp/calenderfla.htm