Tag Archives: cree

My Online Cree Sources – Facebook Pages and Websites

I refer to many sources for my website. Without these sources I would be spending enormous amounts of time to complete my blogs about Cree. As a semi-fluent speaker, writer and reader of Woodland Cree, the following sources are invaluable to me.

Facebook pages I follow:

Nêhiyawêwin (Cree) Word/Phrase of the Day – https://www.facebook.com/groups/18414147673/


#CreeSimonSays – https://www.facebook.com/groups/380099328844547/


Cree Language Videos – https://www.facebook.com/groups/100216916980387/


Spoken Cree Video Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/Creevideos/


Cree Language Resources ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐍᐏᐣ – https://www.facebook.com/groups/104500159643897/


LLRIB Cree Language Resources – https://www.facebook.com/llribcreelanguage/


Websites I have used:

Cree Literacy Network – https://creeliteracy.org/

I have used this website from time to time to see what many prominent Cree teachers are up to. There are too many people to mention, and I do not want to leave anybody out. Check it out yourself for the video, audio and text.


itwêwina – A dictionary that understands what you’re looking for. – http://sapir.artsrn.ualberta.ca/itwewina/eng/crk/

I came across this website last year when I was looking for sources with many variations of Cree words in the linguistics column after a search. I use it extensively.


Online Cree Dictionary – http://www.creedictionary.com/

I think the title of this website, speaks for itself.


Welcome to the Plains Cree Dictionary! – https://dictionary.plainscree.atlas-ling.ca/#/help

I only started using this website today for a project I am working on. It is bit different, but it looks and works very well.


The Gift of Language and Culture website – http://giftoflanguageandculture.ca/glcp/index.html

This website is one I built using Adobe Flash with the help of many great people in the Lac La Ronge Indian Band. Unfortunately, the Flash app is pretty much obsolete. It still works on desktop computers but it will be discontinued in 2020 by Adobe (The demise of Flash –  https://sdtimes.com/webdev/the-demise-of-flash/).


The websites below are from a Google search, maybe you will find them useful in your quest to learn our beautiful language.

How to speak Cree – https://www.canadiangeographic.ca/article/how-speak-cree


Vocabulary in Native American Languages: Cree Words – http://www.native-languages.org/cree_words.htm


Cree Language Lessons – http://nisto.com/cree/lesson/


Please feel free to share your sources as well, whether it’s a book, Elders or other online sources.


Cree language – nīhithawīwin

 

 

My late review of Mayochup

At the beginning of the year, Heinz Mayochup was making headlines as an exciting new condiment that combined mayonnaise and ketchup in one bottle. However, it made headlines again because when translated to Cree, it meant ‘poop-face.’ Several news websites picked up the story and caused quite a stir on social media.

Before this condiment came out, I have never tried mixing mayonnaise with ketchup, I have used both separately but not at the same time. It sounded interesting to  me.

When it came to Canada, I decided to give it a little time before I bought it because it seemed expensive to me at $4.95. I am kind of “thrifty”, if you know what I mean.

I had it in my fridge for a while but when I tried it, I liked it. It goes well with bologna sandwiches and I do not have to decide on ketchup or mayonnaise, I just use Mayochup.

Now back to the Cree translation controversy. If I attempted to translate to Cree, it would sound more like ‘poop-eye’ as commented on by Arok Wolvengrey on Arden Ogg’s post on the Nêhiyawêwin (Cree) Word/Phrase of the Day:

 

Click image to go to Facebook post by Arden Ogg

 

While I did not chime in at the time, I gave it much thought myself but since I did not even know how it tasted, I felt I needed to test it out. I did not think it tasted like poop or anything.

The picture at the top of the page is the meal I had about 20 minutes before I decided to give my late review. It was probably not the healthiest breakfast, however, it was still very satisfying. You can tell from the almost empty bottle that I have used it many times before (I am the only one in my household who has the guts).

Have a great day, and try a taste yourself.

Heinz Mayochup, 16.5 oz Easy Squeeze Bottle – https://www.heinz.com/product/00013000012409

Heinz calls Mayochup meaning in Cree an ‘unfortunate translation’ – https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/mayochup-cree-translation-1.5144737

First Fall of Snow – instam kāmispok

Today we had the first major snowfall in Hall Lake. I woke up to the world covered in snow. I almost posted a picture for my FB friends who do not have a window but that is a joke I overused already, and I don’t want to get banned from Facebook.

I took a few pictures that I will show here, on my website because I love showing my pictures on my website as opposed to just uploading them to FB. It gives me more control over my own content. I like my intellectual property to stay mine, but I have given up many pictures to Facebook. I just need to keep my tech skills sharp in case they are needed again to make a living.

I remember as a boy looking out at the landscape at the trapline and watching the first fall of snow, I would always get a lonely feeling from it. It reminded me of the old Hank Williams song that my uncle Abel used to sing, “At the First Fall of Snow.” I can still hear him singing and walking along the trail to nimosōm’s cabin. My uncle is still alive today and he lives just down the road. I still see him walking from time to time, but he doesn’t sing anymore.

This reminds me that I have some stories I wanted to share about my uncle, but I will have to ask him first. Maybe he has some ideas too about what I can write, thank you for visiting.

Ikosi,

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