Tag Archives: cree

Rubber Boot at the Window – kinokātīwaskisin wāsīnamānihk

Whenever there was a big thunderstorm, my late grandmother would put a rubber boot at the window. Thunderbirds do not like rubber boots and it drives them away, it worked every time.

awīyak kāstāt kinokātīwaskisin wāsīnamānihk, pithīsowak kita-pōni kitowak

When someone puts a rubber boot at the window, the Thunderbirds will stop calling

Thunderbird
Not an actual Thunderbird.

 

Woodland Cree Names – nīhithow wihthowina

The following names are ones I have heard locally as real names or nicknames. I did not use or suggest any derogatory names from insults or body parts.

There are audio clips included, however, the names are sometimes pronounced differently. This blog post is just for fun and not a proper list to go by. Any suggestions are welcome, thank you.

Phonetic or suggested spelling Standard Roman Orthography (SRO) Meaning
Iskwesis or Skwesis iskwīsis girl
Nitanis or Tanis nitānis my daughter
Iskwew or Skwew iskwīw woman
Napew nāpīw man
Achahkos acāhkos star
Sekwun sīkwan spring (season)
Kona kōna snow
Pesim pīsim sun, also means month and moon
Wapun wāpan dawn
Sakastew sākāstīw sunrise
muskwa maskwa bear
mahigun or mahikan mahihkan wolf
Makeses mahkīsīs fox
Wapos wāpos rabbit
Sekos sihkos weasel
Mikisew mikisiw bald – eagle
Niska niska goose
Wapisew wāpisiw swan
Tipiskaw tipiskāw night

 

The Money I Make – sōniyāw kōsihak

A total of $110 was transferred to my bank account, when I only had $2 to my name.

My website has had ads on since 2012 and from then to October 2018, I made a total of about $10.61, that is it.

From November 2018 until June 21, 2019, I made $104.44 in ads because I started creating and developing more content in stories, Cree translations and memes.

I use the lowest ads setting because I do not want too many intrusive ads on my website. It takes longer to make money and a developer must wait until there is a threshold of $100 before money is transferred to a bank account.

So, this is the first I have ever made a dime on this great website, and it only took seven years, ha ha. I put so much work into my website, but it does not feel like work. It is a privilege for me to be able to provide a bit of entertainment and to share my stories with the fine visitors to my website and followers of my Facebook page.

My work is almost completely independent, no grants or funding of any kind. It is a labour of love and I will continue to keep the website online, as long as I am capable.

ninanāskimon kā ayimihtāyin nitācathohkīwina. Thank you for reading my stories.

Money – sōniyāw

The Money I Make – sōniyāw kōsihak

My money – nisōniyām

Your money – kisōniyām

 

 

 

Body Parts in Woodland Cree

Body parts are in first person possessive using the prefix “n” before each word. For your information, only family terms are used in this post.

niyaw – my body


natay – my stomach


nistikwān – my head

nikwayaw – my neck


niskīsik – my eye

niskīsikwa – my eyes

nikot – my nose


nitōn – my mouth

nīpit – my tooth

nīpita – my teeth

nitīthaniy – my tongue


nihtawakay – my ear

nihtawakaya – my ears


nicihciy – my hand

nicihciya – my hands


nispiton – my arm

nispitona – my arms


nisit – my foot

nisita – my feet

niskāt – my leg

niskāta – my legs


I mainly used the ITWEWINA website below to help with possessive and singular terms. It is a great resource as you can see from the screenshot below featuring “eye.”

Here is the link: http://sapir.artsrn.ualberta.ca/itwewina/detail/crk/eng/misk%C3%AEsik.html?no_compounds=true&lemma_match=true

I hope this has been helpful, if you notice any mistakes or have a question, please do not hesitate to ask.

Nimosōm wihthōwinis nimīthik – My Grandfather gives me a Nickname

From as far as I can remember, nimosōm called me “cīpic,” which is a reference, to a man named David, a man who lived across the lake from my grandfather’s cabin. All the way from seeing him in La Ronge when I was a boy living on 101 reserve, to his cabin in Pesiw Lake and to his new house (at the time) in Hall Lake, he called me “cīpic”.

I remember my parents discussing this when I was a boy and they suggested that it was because nimosōm did not want to say his own name, Charlie. “īkwīmīsiyān nimosōm” – I have the same name as my grandfather.

That was the understanding I got, and I stayed by that explanation since. Whenever he was proud of me for something, he would say, “wahwā cīpic,” or “wahwāy cīpic.” It was a term of endearment that I appreciated and wondered about, as a boy.

During the summer of one of our duck hunting trips, we went up to a mīnistik (an island) with the intention of landing on it and crossing to the other side. We were sneaking up on what had to be at least 200 sīsīpak (ducks) spread out over a sparse wild rice patch.

Before this, he been giving me one .22 “mōsonīy” bullet at a time when we were shooting ducks, and only after he shoot at a group of ducks with a shotgun and some getting injured. We would shoot at them before they would dive in.

When we were done crossing the island, we got to the ground and snuck up to a huge flock. My grandfather slowly brought out his shotgun and BOOM! Many ducks went flying up in all directions as he continued to shoot with his pump-action.

After the blitz of birds, my grandfather started to pick off the injured ducks that were trying to dive in. At this time, he handed me two .22 bullets, he looked at me and said: “wahwā, cīpic ikwa iwī nipahīw sīsīpa” – Wow, Charlie is going to kill a duck now.

I was so happy to get the bullets, I tried so hard to concentrate and make a kill, but I ended up missing. I was sad but the exhilaration of getting not one, but two bullets was great.

cīpic

nimosōm – my grandfather

pīsiw sākahikanihk – Pesiw Lake

wahwā cīpic – Wow Charlie

wahwāy cīpic – Wow Charlie

mōsonīy – bullet

sīsīp – duck

sīsīpak – ducks

wahwā, cīpic ikwa iwī nipahīw sīsīpa” – Wow, Charlie is going to kill a duck now.

īkwīmīsiyān nimosōm – I have the same name as my grandfather

Related pages:

NIMOSŌM – NĪSTĀW AND I, FELL THROUGH THE ICE

BIRDS IN WOODLAND CREE

cīpay īpīkīyokīt – A Ghost Comes to Visit

I remember our first year we moved into our oskāyihk wāskahikan (new house) in Hall Lake. I think it was in 1982 but I am not sure. The house had three rooms, my parents had a room and there was one for the girls and one for the boys. It meant I had to share a bed and a room with nisīmis (my little brother). It seems poor now, but we never had it so good.

One night, while sleeping with nisīmis, I woke up to the bed shaking. It was a rapid shake and I was half asleep and bewildered at the event happening. During that cold, dark winter night, I thought maybe somebody was under the bed. I got down to the floor and didn’t see anybody or anything. I quickly got back onto the bed and heard my brother telling me to stop moving. I told him I wasn’t. ikī kīskwīkast (he was half asleep), but he still remembers to this day, he was about 5 years old at the time.

Later that night, I couldn’t sleep, it got very quiet. I thought it was over and done, then I started to hear kitowānāpisk (the stove) making a noise, like somebody scraping the grill on the side with their finger nails. I stayed in bed and but tried to see who it was from a lying position. I didn’t have the courage to get up and check it out, but I had hoped it was just nipāpā (my father) adding wood in the stove. I could never explain what it could have been. Logic tells me that it was one of my sisters pranking me, but they never admitted to anything.

The only other incident I can remember is when they were having a house party there, a guitar went flying from the living room closet to the middle of where they were drinking. I was in my room at the time and saw the guitar falling between them. The party goers stopped talking and laughing and they just stared at each other. īmatsōstākōwiyahk , one of them said which, I think means they experienced a bad omen of some kind.

I cannot remember anything else happening that winter or any other time. My parents still live there to this day and they have not told us any stories about premonitions or anything of the sort. I was about 8 years old at the time and I believe we ended up going to the trapline later that spring, we actually went back and forth from the house, to trapline and La Ronge, so it is difficult to pinpoint a time-frame.


oskāyihk wāskahikan – new house

kitowānāpisk – stove

nipāpā – my father (we don’t say nōhtāwiy where we live).

nipāpānān – our father

ikī kīskwīkast – he was half asleep

īmatsōstākōwiyahk – we experienced a bad omen (it is how I understand it).

nisīmis – my younger brother or sister

cīpay īpīkīyokīt – ghost comes to visit

 

ANOTHER IDEA FOR CUSTOM MADE WOODLAND CREE CLOCK

I came up with another idea for a custom clock. I made a collage of pictures above and below the actual clock face. It is similar to the one I made for my sister. Feel free to share and maybe make your own Cree clock.

masinipīsinowin – picture or photograph

pīsimohkān – Clock

 

 

Nimosōm okwāskīpicikan – My Grandfather’s Fishing Rod

Living at the trapline meant long days of walking and checking snares and traps for nimosōm and I. Other times, I would just observe him skinning animals and preparing them for trading in La Ronge at Robertson Trading Ltd. Mr. Robertson was always happy to see nimosōm because my grandfather always tried to bring in quality furs for trade. “haw, āthik ikwa naka nitōwāpamāw” (Now I will go see Alex). He used to call Robertson’s company, “āthikosihk.”

There were days, however, when we could relax: listen to the radio or read, but my favourite thing to do was go out ice-fishing. Nimosōm rarely fished at the usually spot because he liked to test out other areas of the wāsāw (bay) we stayed at near his cabin. He would go across the bay and take his chisel and spend an enormous amount of time making holes, at least to my impatience as a boy.

If I got bored waiting, I would use a knife (yes it sounds dangerous, but we were taught to be responsible) to cut out pieces of the hard snow and attempt to make an igloo, I never finished one because it would then be time for fishing. nimosom would be done the “pīkwatahōpān” (water hole in the ice). “wāskahikanis cī īkakwī osihtāyin nōsisim” (are you trying to make a little house grandson) he would say, as he let out a bit of a laugh with a big smile on his weather worn face. I can still hear and see him today as looked at me with amusement and pride.

nimosōm – my grandfather Charlie Ross

One of my memories takes me back to when, after a storytelling session, he decided to make a special fishing rod. It was a bit longer than a regular size wooden rod that we were used to. It was bent and fashioned into a bow, he even put a sting on it to make a little bow. “cīstī nōsisim, kīsi kwāskīpitaki kinosīw, tapimok” (see grandson, after I catch a fish, I can shoot it with an arrow). I looked at the bow and I was excited about it because I made my own bows and arrows outdoors (generally making a biodegradable mess outside).

He looked at his invention with a smile and then the smile went away. He looked at it again with a bit of distain and said: “mmm kīyām namōwitha katāc, namwāc ītokī kitīspathin” (hmm, maybe not, I don’t think it will work). I was so disappointed but far be it for me to disagree with nimosōm. I have a suspicion that he may have been just trying to entertain me. nōhkom was not impressed with the rod so maybe that could be why he changed his mind. I wish I could still talk to them at this point in time, they seemed so alive and not old.


Nimosōm okwāskīpicikan – My Grandfather’s Fishing Rod

āthikosihk – at Alex Robertson’s place

nōsisim – my grandchild

nōhkom – my grandmother

nimosōm – my grandfather

wāsāw – Bay

pīkwatahōpān – water hole in the ice

kinosīw – fish

kwāskīpicikī – fish (act of)

kwāskīpicikan – fishing rod

Thank you for visiting, I realize I repeat many words from blog to blog (I hate this word). I try to include new words as well, it may seem unstructured and may get the seasoned speakers irked but please enjoy and keep visiting.

ninanāskimon kā ayimihtayin nitācithohkīwina.  I am thankful that you are reading my stories.