Category Archives: Cree

Cree language words with translation

Excerpt: How to say it in Cree, A Book of Common Everyday Phrases, by Solomon Ratt

I was asked to read a page off of a Cree book by Solomon Ratt. The Cree 10 class from my school, Sally Ross School, asked me because I speak the Woodland (TH) dialect, and more importantly, I have an awesome Woodland Cree accent.

(Page 5)


A. tānisi? Hi! How are you?

B. namōtha nānitaw, kītha māka? Fine, and you?

A. piyakwan, tāpwī mitho-kīsikāw. The same, it is really a nice day.

B. īhī, awīnā awa kā-wīcīwat? Yes, who is this that you are with?

A. iyaw, nitōtīm awa. Oops, this is my friend.

B. (to C) tānisi, Hi!
tānisi ī-isithihkāsoyin? How are you called? (What is your name?)

C. Charlie nitisithihkāson.  Charlie is my name.

B. tānitī ohci kītha? Where are you from?

C. mōsosākahikanisīsihk nitohcān. I am from Hall Lake

B. wahwā, tāpwī wahthaw Wow, that’s far.

kikiskīthimāw cī Heebul. Do you know Abel

ikotī ohci? from there?

C. namwāc. No.

B. kiyām. That’s okay.

nitōtīm ana iyako. He is my friend.

A. ikosi, ī-wī-mīcisoyahk ōma. There, we are going to eat.

sāsay cī kītha kikī-mīcison? Have you eaten yet?

B. namīskwa. Not yet.

A. āstam māka, wīcīwinān. Come then, come with us.

The dialogue I was asked to read, was from a book I was familiar with: How to Say it in Cree, by Solomon Ratt. The book has been in the LLRIB CRU catalogue for ages and has been around since 1990. I tried using my natural voice, but as many of you know, reading Cree and speaking Cree are not always the same.

If you want to order a copy of the book, you can follow the link and take a look at the many Cree resources available from LLRIB CRU:

Click to access CRU_Catalogue_Jul_2022_forWeb.pdf


UFOs – machi-pimithākana

UFOs have been a much talked about subject by many people on the rez. I have heard and been fascinated by many stories of sightings and possible close encounters. It was always fascinated me to hear and feel the emotion of the story teller.

AI Generated UFOs on my photograph.

Besides the stories of a previous post (, I have some tales from older people that had interesting experiences.

I remember one, where an older woman told me she was outside her house, she lived out in the middle of nowhere. She was ending the day with her chores when she saw a UFO hovering over some trees nearby her house. She had a gun with her and carefully took aim at the object, however, she may have been frozen in fear, as she could not pull the trigger. She told me that it may have been the beings in the UFO that stopped her from pulling the trigger.

Another one, was when a woman came to visit my mother at our rez house. She sat down with my mother at the table and preceded to tell that she just heard that somebody saw a UFO, this was all said in Cree. What struck me the most by her tale, was when she exclaimed, that if anybody ever shoots one down, that will be the end of the earth. Presumably because they would destroy us all. At least, that was what my imagination pictured for me.

I did have the one incident that I mentioned in the previous blog, but I always wonder if I am seeing one when I see a strange fast moving object. I have seen many lights that may been suspect but I always rationalize and decide that it is a plane or a man-made satellite.

These days, you have to be wary of drones, which have become more advanced lately. I am sure there are many people who love to fool the general public, and being hornswoggled would be embarrassing. So unless you have solid evidence, it may be wise to be quiet about it until you are certain of what you saw.


UFO and Other Paranormal Information –

National Archives News – UFOs and UAPs –

UFO Video by Olena from Pixabay

UFOs Video by Eros Silva from Pixabay

Drone Image by Thomas Ehrhardt from Pixabay

UFO Image by CoolCatGameStudio from Pixabay

In closing, please support my new book:

*Available in softcover, hardcover and eBook
Amazon USA
Amazon Canada
Get it Publisher Direct at
1 – BUY a softcover copy
2 – LEAVE a quick review, on Amazon
3 – TELL your cuzzzins, your friends, your peoples

Sasquatch visits a teepee

About three weeks ago, I saw a Christmas card being shown on Solomon Ratt’s Facebook page. I decided to do a little animation of it along with audio. I showed it to him for approval and he suggested a couple of changes and then I uploaded to my First Nation Stories Facebook page. Just recently, I decided to post it on my YouTube channel:

I received a Christmas card from him about a week ago. I was very honoured to be mentioned and referred to by such a legend in the Cree resource industry. I hope I can accomplish half of what he has. I am actually having trouble getting used to my job as a Cree teacher, but I am hopeful for the new year.

I told Solomon that I would try another animation with another Bigfoot image he drew, but it has been very difficult to complete.

I am just going to give it a rest, and get back to it when my motivation comes back. Right now I will be concentrating on my newly published book.

*Available in softcover and eBook Amazon USA Amazon Canada Get it Publisher Direct at WANNA HELP CHARLIE’S BOOK SUCCEED ??? 1 – BUY a softcover copy 2 – LEAVE a quick review, on Amazon 3 – TELL your cuzzzins, your friends, your peoples #SupportIndigenousAuthors #FirstNationStoriesAnthology

I am working on some short videos for promotional purposes. I need the videos to stand out; however, I am going to have to get a bit more experience on publishing the videos in different platforms.

mīna kihtwām

My First Week as a Cree Teacher

Sept 5 to Sept 8, 2023, marks my first week of teaching Cree in the classroom. I have been able to utilize many resources, both printed and online, that I helped develop. The students have been a challenge, as expected, however, I had much support from other teachers, Elders, and educational assistants.

While some of my classes went well, there were instances when the Internet let me down. Technology, let me down. As a computer technician, it was a bit disappointing. What helped, were the Elders who told me about their ideas and thoughts on cultural activities, and the printed resources that I had in my classroom. There are so many printed resources developed by my colleagues over the years, I kind of felt overwhelmed when it came down to choosing what to use.

I did not realize the effort it takes to teach Cree and to try and provide an environment for Woodland Cree Cultural Activities. I have to teach five classrooms: (K-1), (2-3), (4-5), (6-7) and (8-9). Oh, and I was assigned to a high school class: Native Studies 20, a small class, but I need to research topics I have not read about much, since university.

I am hoping for a better week this coming week, of course it will depend on how well I can plan my classes. I will continue to seek advice for the Elders at the school, and from my many colleagues who provide support for each other.

nīhithāwiwin kā-kiskinwahamākīt – Cree culture teacher

Hall Lake – mōsosākahikanisīsihk

Cree language – nīhithawīwin

Sally Ross School

Canada Indian Trust Fund

Several years ago, there was a post on Facebook about an Indian Trust Fund in Canada. It said that it was where the Canadian Government, took their capital from when they funded Indigenous people in our country.

It was a counter argument to the people, usually non-native, that money supporting Indigenous people did not come from tax-payers money, below is a screenshot of the post. I scribbled the name of the original poster (OP), because I do not have permission to post their name as he is not a public figure:

This was shared by a relative of mine on FB recently.

Back when I first saw the post, I thought it was interesting, but it did not concern me very much because it was difficult to discern fake news at the time. In May 18, 2021, an article on TorontoMet Today, highlighted the issue.

How much money flowed through the Indian Trust Fund and where is it now? How can the myth of “free money” for First Nations be deconstructed? What do solutions for financial reparations look like?

It is a very interesting article and worth a read by both Native and non-native people alike. In our quest for reconciliation, it is important that we all have the facts before making assumptions about other people, or nations.

Money – sōniyāw

Our money – kisōniyāminaw

My money – nisōniyām

Your money – kisōniyām

TorontoMet Today – How much does Canada owe Indigenous communities for stolen land?

Yellowhead Institute (PDF) – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: The Indian Trust Fund: Debunking Myths & Misconceptions

Another article that might be of interest from the Yellowhead Institute (PDF) – Recommendations on First Nations Access to Indian Moneys 


Rabbit Snaring with nimosōm

I went for a walk along a groomed trail today and felt a bit of nostalgia from the way the trees looked along the path. nimosōm used to take me out rabbit snaring at the trapline when I was a boy. I remember I would feel a bit of uneasiness, but he would always have his .22 with him. I did not know at the time that a .22 would not be very effective on a bear, wolf, or very much else for that matter. It was good enough for me at the time, and it made me feel better.

I remember the trails we would follow would be along the muskeg. The trees would be small evergreen trees that looked ready to die. There would be the odd dead black popular tree with its dead branches and birch trees that had seen their better days. I used to see these dead trees and think, that would be a good spot for an owl to land and look for our rabbits hanging off our snares. We lost many rabbits to predators and one time, nimosōm shot a lynx that was eating one of our rabbits (NIMOSŌM SHOOTS THE RABBIT THIEF).

pisiw – lynx

In the early fall, we would use a canoe along the shore of the lake and get to the area where we walked to in the winter. It was all so fascinating to me. At almost every area we came upon, nimosōm would have a story about what happened to him and/or other people. He would have such a hearty laugh, I remember how his shoulders would bounce as he laughed at his stories. I heard from some people that his stories were rarely true, but I did not care, I loved to hear them. I wish I could hear one now.

nimosōm – my grandfather

ōhō – owl

mahkīsīs – fox

pisiw – lynx

wāpos – rabbit

Cree Vowel Sounds in Moose

There is a significant difference in Cree sounds when you use a macron, a bar above a letter (ō), or a circumflex, a hat above a letter (ô). Both make a long vowel sound, as in moose. I usually use a macron because that is what I learned in high school.

Moose sounds very much like our Cree word, mōswa. The word is actually much closer to the Ojibwe word “mooz,” except they use a nasalised “oo” sound.

In the meme, you see a moose kissing another moose. Now if the moose could talk, one of them could say, nīcimos, which means my boyfriend or girlfriend (romantic partner). In CreEnglish, nīci mōs or nīci moose, means, my fellow moose. The proper Woodland Cree word, would be nīci mōswa. Listen to the audio, and you will notice how it is sounded out.

Woodland Cree word – nīcimos – my boyfriend/girlfriend

CreEnglish word – nīci-mōs or nīci-moose – my fellow moose

Woodland Cree word – nīci-mōswa – my fellow moose

There is an excellent article from our friends at the Cree Literacy Network called “Reading Plains Cree in SRO,” I encourage you to check it out. It presents information on all the consonants and vowels used in the Cree language. The article has many examples and even audio by Solomon Ratt, audio is always very helpful for the learners. I have referred to this great website many times over the years.

I thought it would be an interesting article to discuss the vowels we use in SRO. Okay, let’s be honest, I just wanted to show off the moose meme. Feel free to share the article or download the meme and then share. Thank you.

mōswak ocīmitōwak – Moose are kissing

nīcimos – my boyfriend/girlfriend

nīci mōs or nīci moose – my fellow moose

mōswa – one moose

mōswak – more than one moose

onīcāniw – cow moose (female)

nōsīs – cow moose (female with a calf)

iyāpīw – bull moose (male)

Welcome to the Ojibwe People’s Dictionary –

Cree Literacy Network –


Female moose Image by Dan Grignon from Pixabay
Male moose Image by Kate Baucherel from Pixabay

‘Pretendians’ – nīhithiwihkānak (Fake Crees)

nīhithiwihkānak – people pretending to be Cree

I recently read a couple of posts on LinkedIn by Jason EagleSpeaker that have inspired me to write about the same topic.

And this one:

These posts reminded me of Grey Owl, and how he had portrayed himself as a First Nation. I heard that he lived at Prince Albert National Park. A group of people were talking about it in my Native Studies 10 class, they mentioned that they visited Grey Owl’s Cabin near Waskesiu Lake.

Although he died in 1938, I had only heard a mention, or two, of Grey Owl. After the discussion in my class, it turns out that he was not even an Indian. He was an Englishmen from Hastings. About six-years after I learned all of this, a film was released in 1999, starring Pierce Brosnan (Yes, James Bond). It was simply titled: “Grey Owl.” I enjoyed it and I kind of knew how it was going to go, so that was no surprise. The real surprise, was James Bond trotting around, looking so Indigenous. It was actually pretty cool.

So, the exposé of Grey Owl, not being an actual Indigenous man, was not shocking to me, because his existence was from a previous time, and it was well known. He does have an interesting story and if you are interested, please find links below this article.

The first unexpected revelation to me, was that of a professional wrestler named: Chief Jay Strongbow. He wrestled in, what is now known as WWE, during the 70s and 80s. By the time I learned he was an Italian American, I already accepted that pro-rasslin’ was scripted. Like a theatrical play, there are “actors” pretending to fight and presenting all kinds of drama for the fans. I was disappointed, but not “shocked.” On a side note, I was very happy to learn that Chief Wahoo McDaniel and Tatanka were real “Indians” and not Pretendians. I have read an article where Ultimate Warrior was asked if he was portraying a Native American, but that concept was squashed by Warrior himself.

The first real shock to me on the revelation of a Pretendian, was the author of Three Day Road, Joseph Boyden. When my university class used his book for assignments and discussion, there was no doubt in my mind that he was an Indigenous man. My class covered the entire book, and we had great discussions over the characters and of Indigenous men in world war history.

I enjoyed the book and was fascinated by the tale of Xavier and Elijah, two young Cree men who volunteered to go to war and became snipers. Boyden, I imagined, was a great First Nations man who was successfully presenting Indigenous people as having great potential. While Indigenous people do have great potential, the farce of Boyden really pissed me off. Why did he not just represent himself as what he was? I do not feel it is wrong to be inspired by another nationality, however, honesty is very important in these matters. Might he actually be Indigenous? Hmm, maybe he should have mentioned it at the beginning and had been forthright about his heritage. Instead, many of us foolishly assumed he was First Nation because of the books.

Anyway, there have been other reveals in the past few years and I am not really surprised, especially by people involved in the entertainment industry and politics. A prominent author of many popular Indigenous books would seem to be of First Nation ancestry, but I guess we all learned our lesson. If anything, it has made me question anyone, who “claims” to have Native blood in their ancestry. So, thank you for that Mr. Boyden.


Jason EagleSpeaker on LinkedIn –

Chief Jay Strongbow (Wiki) –

Grey Owl –

Grey Owl (Wiki) –

Joseph Boyden’s Apology and the Strange History of ‘Pretendians’ –

Author Joseph Boyden’s shape-shifting Indigenous identity –



I have agreed to: LinkedIn Embed Terms of Use

tânisi Song by Brian McDonald – audio clips

The first time I heard of Brian McDonald was in 2005 when he and others developed an immersion school in Onion Lake. I was working as a web developer for the Gift of Language and Culture website, based in La Ronge. The first song I ever heard from Mr. McDonald was tânisi, it was, and still is, a very popular Cree song. It is one of the best Cree songs I have heard, right up there with many Winston Wuttunee tunes and Carl Quin.

There is a GoFundMe page organized by Belinda Daniels that states:

This action for fundraising is for Brian MacDonald; for all the years, his songs were used by family members, teachers, schools, the community & artists across the Cree country.

It is a very worthy cause and I happily donated what I could to help out Brian McDonald for all his contributions to the Cree music universe.

Link to GoFundMe page:

I have typed out the lyrics of the song, tanisi, line-by-line, and included audio clips for whoever wants to practice saying the phrases. I took the lyrics from our dear friends from the Cree Literacy Network and added them to my website. Be sure to check out their great Cree website:

tānisi Song: Brian MacDonald

Hello! – tānisi!

How are you? – tānisi kiya?

I am fine. – namōya nānitaw.

Come on in. – pihtikwē.

Sit down. – API.

Have some tea. – maskihkiwāpoy minihkwê.

It’s nice that you’ve come to visit. – tāpwê miywāsin ê-pê-kiyokawiyan.

Where have you been? – tānitê ê-kî-itohtêyan?

Please tell me what you’ve been doing. – mahti ācimo kîkway ê-osihtāyan

Please tell me a story. – mahti ācimostawin.

I am trying out a new microphone but it is not the greatest. I have a new mic in mind and I might purchase it in the next month or so. Check out the link, maybe you can use one too. If you have a suggestion, please email me at Thank you for visiting.

Fifine USB Recording Microphone –

Supporting Links:

tânisi Song: Brian MacDonald


Cree Songs CD by Brian MacDonald (Plains Cree Y)

Kihew Waciston Cree Immersion School