Tag Archives: Saskatchewan

It’s been a long time since Sasquatch was photographed, I wonder if he is still alive?

This meme was inspired from several Facebook memes I’ve seen this past week.

tāpwī kayās aspin kā-masinipīsimīt mistāpīw, matwānicī kīyāpic pimātisiw?

Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

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

 

 

 

My friend’s clock that is written in Cree – niwīcīwākan opīsimohkāna ka-nīhithowī-masinahikāsothit

I recently completed a Cree clock for niwīcīwākan (a friend of mine). It shows his ōsi (boat) on Bigstone Lake, SK. Beautiful shot and makes a great Woodland Cree Clock, don’t you think.

My friend’s clock that is written in Cree – niwīcīwākan opīsimohkāna ka-nīhithowī-masinahikāsothit

My friend – niwīcīwākan

masinipīsinowin – picture or photograph

pīsimohkān – Clock

ōsi – boat

More references to “boat,” can be found on the link below:

Sources: http://sapir.artsrn.ualberta.ca/itwewina/eng/crk/?lookup=boat

 

 

Kinipīminaw – Our Water

Update: Husky to pay $3.82M in penalties after guilty plea in 2016 oil spill
Jun 12, 2019 - https://larongenow.com/2019/06/12/husky-to-pay-3-82m-in-penalties-after-guilty-plea-in-2016-oil-spill/
"Chief Wayne Semaganis of the Little Pine First Nation said the damage caused by the spill has limited band members from hunting, fishing, trapping or farming on certain reserve land near the river for fear of being poisoned."

I am glad they have been fined for more they did initially but it would be great if they could guarantee no more spills. I think we all know that spills are inevitable.


Over two and half years ago, the North Saskatchewan River was threatened by a spill of 200,000 to 250,000 litres of heavy oil. Husky Energy scrambled to clean up, “the city was able to reopen its river intake in September 2016, more than two months later” (The Star Phoenix).

La Ronge Lake – 2014

This situation hit close to home (I live 240KM north of Prince Albert), and īkoskonikowān (it woke me up) at the very real possibility of the many sākahikana (lakes) and sīpiya (rivers) getting contaminated near where we lived, mistahi sākahikanihk– (La Ronge).

Hall Lake – Fishing

I was paddling in my father-in law’s canoe with my future wife at the time, when I closely looked at the pristine waters of mōso-sākahikanisīsihk (Hall Lake), my home community, and realized what a tragedy it would be if this beautiful lake became ravaged with oil. I could not imagine such an event. There have been many oils spills in this country, but it is also the development of oil that ravages the environment.

Hall Lake

My personal reliance on oil is high. I used it for fuel and for the plastic products I buy and use. The biggest use for me, is the very device I am using to write this blog for all to see, mamahtāwi-āpacihcikan (computer). It is the way I make a living. I have lived on the land as a child but even then, we needed oil products to survive. There is no going back for many of us.

I don’t know what to think about what I would do without oil products. According to Natural Resources Canada, “Canadians consumed 108 billion litres of refined petroleum products in 2017,” so I cannot be the only one that is torn between the economy and the environment. Both are important and I hope there can be a reasonable balance someday. I hate to say it, but I am on the fence about the whole thing. I like using oil-based products and my livelihood depends on it. I love the environment and I hope it can stay that way forever. It’s hard to say how I will feel in the future.

Hall Lake

I understand what the “water protectors” are doing and I applaud them for making the personal sacrifice for the future generations of First Nations people. nipiy kanākatāpahtācik, is the closest I can come up with for “water protectors,” maybe there is a better word, but I cannot find one. Their situation is very close to home and very real. It has become a tense situation and they are pulling out all the stops to do what they can. kicawāsimisinowak (our children) are the future and I hope someday they do not ask why, I did not do more to protect the earth.

kinipīminaw – Our Water

pimiy – oil, gas

īkoskonikowān – it woke me up

mistahi sākahikanihk – La Ronge

mōso-sākahikanisīsihk – Hall Lake

mamahtāwi-āpacihcikan – computer

nipiy kanākatāpahtācik – water protectors

kicawāsimisinowak – our children

askiy – the earth, land or soil

 

Sources in no particular order:

https://thestarphoenix.com/news/local-news/prince-albert-mayor-wants-1-million-apology-for-oil-spill-from-husky-energy

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/husky-oil-spill-prince-albert-1.4594756

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/prince-albert-continues-pumping-1.3703837

https://huskyenergy.com/

https://globalnews.ca/news/4122905/prince-albert-saskatchewan-water-reservoir-husky-oil-spill/

https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/facts/petroleum/20065

mwākwa – loon – Painting by Allen Morrow

The Cree audio, is based on artwork by Allen Morrow (http://firstnationstories.com/?page_id=787).

mwākwa – loon

mwākwak – loons (plural)

mwākos (or) mwākosis – small/baby loon (I’ve heard both terms).

mwākosisak – small/baby loons (plural)tipiskāwi-pīsim – moon

sākāhikan – lake

wāsakām – shoreline

mistikwak – trees

otākosin – evening (time of day)

 

Many of the words I used are from this page, an excellent resource: http://sapir.artsrn.ualberta.ca/itwewina/

Weather Terms in Woodland Cree (TH)

The following weather terms are in Woodland Cree. The audio clips are much clearer than before.

mispon – it is snowing


You can’t really tell but it is raining in the picture.

kimowan – it is raining


This picture was edited because I have no pictures of when it was hailing.

miskwamiy-pahkisin – it is hailing


kitowak – there is thunder (thunderbirds are calling)


wāsiskotīpatho – lightning storm


kaskawahkamin – it is foggy


Contributed by my cousin, Alice Roberts.

kaskawan – there is fog or mist


thikwaskwan – it is cloudy


wāsīskwan – sky is clear


thōtin – it is windy


tahkāyāw – it is cold


kīsopwīw – it is warm


kisāstīw – it is hot


athwāstin – it is calm


maci-kīsikāw – it is a miserable day



tahkithōwīw – there is wind chill

I took all the pictures shown on this post because I could not find an affordable stock online that I could use. I hope you enjoy this post, it took me a long time to get it done, but here it is.

Thank you for visiting.

Nimosōm Shoots the Rabbit Thief

My grandfather and I used to get up at the crack of dawn and got home at nightfall most days to check our snares and traps. We had been getting some good luck on the rabbit snaring but we noticed our rabbits started to go missing. “awīyak awa ika kimotit ki wāposoma” – Somebody is stealing your rabbits.

As a boy of about 6-7 years of age, it got me thinking of many scenarios of what might be stealing our rabbits, which totally impeded our intake of rabbit soup. I loved dipping my thick crumbly bannock that nimosōm used to make, into the salty, peppery, “pahkwīsikanapoy” – flour soup. What could have been taking our rabbits? I thought maybe an ōhō – owl or mahkīsīs – fox.

I imagined ōhō perched on a branch, looking side by side and then noticing a rabbit, free for the taking. I thought maybe mahkīsīs would be snooping around, stalking its next prey and finding our rabbits, frozen on the ground like they were placed there for them (they kind of were I guess).

I am sure my late grandfather knew what was eating our rabbits, but I had no idea because as young as I was, I didn’t notice the tracks and only listened to the part about “awiyaK” – somebody. It sounded ominous to me at the time because it sounded like it could be anybody or anything that might be deemed evil, like a creature of some kind.

It was late fall, early freeze-up at time and there was not much snow. I remember we may have been walking along the icy shore where it was thick enough to hold us. If we went too far, the ice would start cracking. This was a risk many families had to make to survive. My grandfather had enough experience and knowledge, that we were relatively safe out in the wild.

One morning, when we got to “maskīkohk” – to the muskeg, nimosōm went up ahead to take a piss first but quickly came sneaking back, “awayak awa niwapamaw” – I see somebody. He took his gun that was resting on a tree truck and he loaded it before he went back.

I was completely freaked out, what could he have seen? The look he gave me, was one of excitement when he saw something. I was scared to think of what it might have been. As he loaded up the gun, I went up a bit to see what it was.

I saw some movement where our first snares had been and saw the biggest cat I have ever seen in real life. Having little knowledge of the more diverse animals in the north, I thought it was a cougar. Like the kind I would see on TV in town. This cat looked straight at me for awhile and made a face, I was very amazed and fascinated at the sight of the cat. I stepped back to my original position as nimosōm aimed his gun and shot the “pisiw” – lynx, right between the eyes. The cat dropped instantly, surrounded by rabbit fur and blood. The mystery was solved.

Chances are, my grandfather knew it was a lynx all along, he just wanted to entertain me by sounding frightening in a way. He would have a bit of smile when he mentioned the mysterious thief. It was all in good fun and I fondly remember the many times he told me the tales of wīsahkīcāhk and wihtikō for late evening entertainment. His facial expressions and hand gestures, were gold, in the storytelling process.

Thank you for visiting.

pahkwīsikanapoy – flour soup

maskīk – muskeg

maskīkohk – to the muskeg

ōhō – owl

mahkīsīs – fox

pisiw – lynx

wāpos – rabbit

wīsahkīcāhk

wihtikō

 

Nimosōm and his wihtikō story – What was it?

Going back to my blog about my grandfather and uncle tracking a wihtikō (NIMOSŌM AND MY UNCLE TRACK THE WIHTIKŌ), I received many comments and reactions on Facebook which is always good for website views and acknowledgement. I appreciate all comments and find them all interesting but the one that interested me the most, was the theory that it might be a Bigfoot.

Over the years, I have heard stories where huge rocks would be thrown at people on the side of a road when they were hitchhiking. Near my home reserve, there had been a sighting of a hairy, human shaped creature eating at the shore of a lake or river. One comment I read was that of a creature being seen in NWT that may have been a wihtikō but is a wihtikō sighting feasible?

From the descriptions I have read online, a wihtikō is more of a spiritual creature, an evil entity. It is the transformation of a starving human being into a crazy, evil creature that cannibalizes other humans to satisfy itself. I think that if a human turned into a crazy cannibal, then it could not be a monster.

Is it more likely that a Bigfoot could exist? It is hard for me to say. I have seen many videos on YouTube that show some type of hairy creature and many accounts of people who have seen it. The sightings all have similarities in their descriptions. It is hard for me to believe because I think many sightings can be explained. I also think that if I wanted to perpetrate such a hoax, I could do a good enough job to convince and fool many people.

Of course, I would not go about to try and pull a hoax because I don’t want to get shot. When I used to go out hunting ptarmigans and partridges with my bow and arrow or my 22 cal, I would have shot a strange creature, unless I completely freaked out and ran away, but anyway it would not be safe to go out pretending to be a Bigfoot.

On the outskirts of the reserve I lived in, there would be trees crisscrossed in weird ways that looked like it was on purpose. Since I was by myself during this time, I started to freak out a bit but convinced myself that it was trappers or mushroom pickers marking a good spot of some kind. The last thing I wanted, was to be alone with a creature from the woods, being an imaginative 12-year-old will do that. I had a straight-bow and some homemade arrows that had chipped deer boned tips, but I doubt that would have stopped a wihtikō or Sasquatch.

I wish I could have seen tracks or even a glimpse of something in the woods. I would gone out to investigate some more and would have done the research needed to try and get a picture or video to show the world. Tracks would be great to see, strange tracks that do not resemble any known animal. Maybe even tufts of hair that do not belong to any of the many rez dogs running around the bushes near my home reserve.

This summer, I plan on going to some familiar spots of when I was a kid with a bow and arrow. I hope the deforestation isn’t too bad.

According to nativevillage.org, the Cree Indians called the bigfoot “Wetiko,” very close to the pronunciation of wihtikō that I use, which is using SRO (standard roman orthography).
https://www.nativevillage.org/Messages%20from%20the%20People/native_american_bigfoot_names_so.htm

THE WENDIGO – The North Woods of Minnesota – https://www.prairieghosts.com/wendigo.html


A new video I haven’t seen before. Check it out and decide for yourself.

Raven – kāhkākiw

 

My daughter Caitlyn took this picture of a raven scavenging for food. The term we use in La Ronge for kāhkākiw, check out the audio above and comment your community’s version.

raven2-cree