Category Archives: cv-BLOG

A blog of my thoughts.

atōspīwinākwan papakiwayān – Orange Shirt 2022

I have seen many posts on Facebook by survivours that did not make it home. If you are Indigenous, chances are, you have been affected by residential schools.

kahkithaw awāsisak akisowak – Every Child Matters

atōspīwinākwan papakiwayān – Orange Shirt

When you really think about it, we are all affected in some way. We all live together on this land and we all affect each other one way or another. It would be remiss for anybody, not to acknowledge the terrible history of residential schools, day schools, and other places where Indigenous people were supposed to be “assimilated” into mainstream society.

While it does not make up for the atrocities, I find it welcoming that Orange Shirt Day has been recognized across our nation. I have read the story of Phyllis and her orange shirt that she was so proud of. It is a very disheartening story, I cannot imagine the horror she went through and the very indecent and atrocious “welcoming” she received when she first attended school (https://www.orangeshirtday.org/phyllis-story.html).

I hope this day brings awareness to all of our country and to the world. We can never forget what took place and we must try to find out what happened to those left behind. I really hope we can all live in peace and harmony someday. I hope we can all accept each other and our diverse beliefs, the way it should have started when the settlers arrived.

Please have a look at the new images that I have been working on. I took a lot of time because I was getting more and more indecisive. I finally decided to post three different designs that you know of, lol.

You will notice in two of the images, I use a fifth hand (orange hand), it is to represent the missing children that never came home to their loving families.

If you want to print any of these images out to a t-shirt, please feel free, as long as you keep my website logo on the side.   I further request that you donate any profits to a charitable organization that recognizes victims of residential schools.

Design

Dimensions: 5949×5949 Pixels
Filesize: 1.9 MB
Resolution: 325 DPI
Image format: PNG Download ⇓

Dimensions: 5949×5949 Pixels
Filesize: 1.5 MB
Resolution: 325 DPI
Image format: PNG Download ⇓

Dimensions: 5949×5949 Pixels
Filesize: 1.7 MB
Resolution: 325 DPI
Image format: PNG Download ⇓

I realize and understand, that the translation and/or interpretation of the phrase, “Every Child Matters” has been discussed and debated on social media. However, I will not be participating in such a subjective topic because it can easily be taken out of context in both text and tone, thank you for understanding.

ORANGE SHIRT DAY: Every Child Matters

http://www.orangeshirtday.org/

Wiki – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orange_Shirt_Day

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – Canada.ca

Image Sources:
hand-310884.png Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay
t-shirt-294078.png Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay
feather-833327.png Image by Ewey from Pixabay
dreamcatcher-3290331.png Image by A K from Pixabay
common-1300520.png Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Weather Terms on Video

I have developed a new video for my YouTube Channel, weather terms in Woodland Cree. It is based on a past post on this website. I redid the audio to include the English translation.

I used many different videos from many different contributors to Pixabay.com.

Please find the complete list and use what you want, all the videos are Free for commercial use, and No attribution is required.

Clouds Video by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay
Storm – 63281.mp4 Video by Simon from Pixabay
Trees – 6411.mp4 Video by Life-Of-Vids from Pixabay
Tree – 33212.mp4 Video by fasilkkme from Pixabay
Darling – 22441.mp4 Video by Victor Salazar from Pixabay
Warm Video by Caelan Kelley from Pixabay
Ice – 21.mp4 Video by DistillVideos from Pixabay
Wind – 3258.mp4 Video by Aleksandar1980 from Pixabay
Boat ramp Video by Pineapple22Productions from Pixabay
Sunrise – 83880.mp4 Video by Joe Hackney from Pixabay
Lake – 87495.mp4 Video by Joe Hackney from Pixabay
Thunderstorm – 125192.mp4 Video by Andreas from Pixabay
Clouds – 16495.mp4 Video by Max Berube from Pixabay
Hail – 32798.mp4 Video by Ignacy from Pixabay
Mountains – 54064.mp4 Video by Joe Hackney from Pixabay
Snowing – 3189.mp4 Video by Coverr-Free-Footage from Pixabay
Spring rain Video by gziku from Pixabay

Video Story – Joe and the Stranger

I have developed a YouTube video of one of my original First Nation Stories,  Joe and the Stranger. It took many, many hours and it is a project that I have wanted to do since late spring of 2022.

It is the first of its kind on my YouTube Channel, there is bound to be an error or two but hopefully, they are at a minimum.

I am hoping to learn much more about video and YouTube channels. I want to try new ideas when my creativity starts to bubble (is that a good word?). I have used many images and other videos to help develop this video and relearned a few things from my Flash development days (Adobe Flash has been renamed Animate, I have it at work).

“niwī atāwākān nitahcahk simāk kita takosiniyān itī kāwīkiyān.” – I will sell my soul to get home now.

“tānisi cō, tāpwī kayās.” – How are you Joe, it has been a long time. Says, the stranger.

“awinōma kītha?” – Who are you?

“cō, īmowī nihtāwikīn kāki wāpamitān, ikospi kākī nitowithihtamān kitahcahk.” – Joe, I saw you before you were born, since then, I wanted your soul.

“namwāc kiwī mīthitin kīkway.” – I will not give you anything.

“kiwi asotamātin kīkway cō, māka kita mīthin kitahcahk” – I will offer you something Joe, but you must give me your soul.

“tānihkōma cō?” – What is the matter Joe?

“namwāc!” – No!

“kihtwām kawāpamatin cō.” – I will see you again Joe. Poof, he disappears.

 

Moon Video by motionstock from Pixabay

Man Image by LIMAT MD ARIF from Pixabay

Side face Image by Susan Cipriano from Pixabay

Full man Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Smile Image by Raman Spirydonau from Pixabay

drunkard-40577.png Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

male female drunk Image by Лечение Наркомании from Pixabay

anger-1300528.png Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

silhouette-2586534_1920.jpg Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

explosion-2676603_1280.png Image by BedexpStock from Pixabay

john-stanley-81529_1920.jpg Image by David Mark from Pixabay

chevrolet-637778_1920.jpg Image by Robert Balog from Pixabay

Star Image by Lumpi from Pixabay

Listen to the Rain Falling and Fall Asleep – nitohta kimowan īpākītihk ikwa kita nipāpathīn

I have used various sounds from YouTube to try and fall asleep, from ocean waves, rivers, and lakes, to the sound of rain. I decided to get into the act for the first time and see how it goes. I like to experiment and this might be a good little project to start with. This is the first of such a project and I am hoping that it goes well. I would like to use other settings in the future.

Audio files of dialogue:

nitohta kimowan īpākītihk ikwa kita nipāpathīn – Listen to the Rain Falling and Fall Asleep

kimiwan nīso tipahikan kita ispathiw – Rain will go on for two hours

ikosi kakwī nipā ikwa – There, now try to go to sleep

Have a good sleep- mitho nipā

There are a few websites that may help you decide to use the technique:

The nature videos I used, are free on Pixabay from three creators:

Forest – 31450.mp4 Video by & Co. from Pixabay
Tree – 85526.mp4 Video by telza from Pixabay
Forest – 31450.mp4 Video by & Co. from Pixabay

nipōni-minihkwān – I Quit Drinking

It has been 28 days since my last drink. Four weeks without alcohol, I have not gone this long without a drink in years. It was difficult staying away from drinking, considering it was one of my weekend routines. I at least purchased a 26 of whiskey, each weekend, to give me a good buzz. More often than not, it would lead to more drinking at another place or me taking a cab to get more as soon as the LB or B&W opened the next day.

I was falling behind on so many projects and I angered many people around me and even online. My family, especially my girls would have to deal with me pestering them and I was feeling ashamed about everything. I knew I needed a change.

I have been working out again and taking regular walks at an indoor track. I am finally getting used to exercise and I am feeling much, much better. Check out my video below, I shot it this morning in Cree and translated it to English text this evening.

I want to continue on this path and get healthier. I appreciate the support I have received and I would like to send a special thank you to Kevin Roberts for his offer, to whoever wanted to quit drinking, for a free membership at the gym at JRMCC. I am only on my third weight training workout but I am improving, plus my walks are getting easier.

nipōni-minihkwān – I Quit Drinking

Whisky Glasses Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

James Smith Cree Nation Mass Stabbing Incident

I am sure by now, that many of you have heard of the multiple stabbings that took place at or near James Smith Cree Nation. I was woken up by the many alerts that were sent out by SaskAlert. My mind raced and wondered if it may have been another abduction, but unfortunately, it was the breaking news of a very tragic incident involving many helpless victims.

Actual screenshot, click to view a Larger image

According to Global News:

At least 10 people are dead and 15 are injured following a slew of stabbings in 13 locations on James Smith Cree Nation and in Weldon. A Prairie-wide manhunt for two men wanted in connection to the killings continues.

Here’s a timeline of what’s happened so far in chronological order (all times local):

(Please go to the Global News website for details on the timeline).

  • 5:40 a.m., Sept. 4: Calls flood RCMP
  • 7:12 a.m., Sept. 4: Dangerous persons alert issued
  • 7:57 a.m., Sept. 4: RCMP releases names, photos of suspects
  • 8:20 a.m., Sept. 4: RCMP extends dangerous persons alert
  • 9:45 a.m., Sept. 4: Multiple victims in multiple locations
  • 11:25 a.m., Sept. 4: RCMP loop in Manitoba, Alberta authorities
  • 12:07 p.m., Sept. 4: Suspects believed to have been in Regina
  • 3:45 p.m., Sept. 4: At least 10 dead, 15 injured

Saskatchewan stabbings: What happened throughout 4-day-long manhunt

I have heard of James Smith Cree Nation but I have never been there. I have looked up the FN and found a very beautiful website: http://www.jamessmithcreenation.com/. The reserve land is vast and covers 15,099 hectares, which is a little over 150 SQ KM.

Click the image to view Google Map

There are many places the wanted criminals could go and there have been plenty of warnings on social media about the perpetrators.

Let us hope that these horrible criminals get caught soon. There are already too many tragedies affecting us in this world.

When I looked at some of the personal pictures of the men, they look to be good upstanding citizens. While a picture is worth a thousand words, actions speak louder. I hope all the families get the justice they deserve and heal, as soon as possible.

Twitter Update:

cv

Other links of interest:

Google Search: james smith cree nation stabbings 2022

MBC Radio – https://www.mbcradio.com/2022/09/dangerous-person-alert-issued-about-reported-stabbings-on-james-smith-cree-nation 

La Ronge NOW! – https://larongenow.com/2022/09/04/it-is-horrific10-dead-and-15-sent-to-hospital-after-mass-stabbing-in-northeast-sask/ 

Washington Post – https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/canadian-police-issue-alert-after-apparent-random-stabbings/2022/09/04/f066d4e2-2c99-11ed-bcc6-0874b26ae296_story.html

CNN – https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/05/americas/saskatchewan-canada-stabbing-monday/index.html

NY Times – https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/09/05/world/canada-stabbing-attacks

BBC – https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-62790900

Another Person Drinks with Us – kotak awiyak ī-wihci minihkwīmikowahk

I remember way back in the mid to late 2000s, I used to drink much more that time than I have recently before I quit last month in August. Although I was in my mid-thirties, it was a confusing time for me personally. I am glad to be here to tell you this story.

Picnic table where we sat and drank

My brother and I had managed to purchase a 66 oz Five Star whiskey. I do not remember the details on how we got it but we had it and we were going to have an all-nighter down by the lake at Hall Lake. It was a beautiful summer night and we had a mosquito coil repelling all the bloodsuckers away from us. We had a deck of cards, and we played many card games, I do not remember if we gambled or not, but it was fun.

View from where my brother and I were sitting.

As the night wore on, I remember laughing and joking with my brother as we brought up stories of our friends and the past history of our lives growing up at the house up the hill. I remember we would argue over trivial matters and apologize for past misunderstandings. Dialogue would be spread from “I love you, bro,” to “You’re so stupid!” Haha, good times (well, maybe not).

Seth sat at the corner of the table, by the tree

As the morning came and the sun started rising, I asked my brother what happened to the guy that was sitting with us and was laughing and listening to us as we drank ourselves away.

“You kept asking me earlier, I keep telling you, there was nobody here with us.” My brother explained.

I thought back and distinctly remember a guy wearing a brown leather jacket, a dark jean pants and he had neat black hair. I remember his smile as he nodded his head when he listened to us joking and laughing. I could not recall the way his face looked, but he was dark-skinned like my brother and me.

View by the lake.

Later, as I drank some more over the years at different times, I would recall this event vividly. When I got to a certain state of intoxication, I would sense that I would see the other person again, I even gave him a name: Seth. I would be in a heightened state of awareness of my surroundings and fear would envelop me as I thought that he would show up again.

When I lived at Lakeview apartments, I saw him at the corner of my eye at the doorway, and yes again, I was in a certain state of intoxication. I did not see the details of his features as well as the last time, more of a silhouette of the man I saw so many years ago. This was either 2012 or 2013, I binged many times during those years.

Actual apartment room doorway.

The last time I saw him was in a dream. I had been drinking at my apartment and fell asleep. I was parked at a parking lot of a 24-hour gas station, Meechewin Place. It was night, well past midnight, I was sitting on the driver’s side when I heard a voice saying, “Let’s go see her.” A reference to my now wife of four years. I looked at the passenger seat and there he was, Seth, grinning and encouraging me to drive to Hall Lake even though I was drunk. His features were in much more in detail than the silhouette but less than when I saw him down by the lake.

I had told my mother about the initial interaction with Seth and she called him,”kimacāyisim,” your devil or demon. I do not know how serious she was because she just sounded like she was teasing me about it. Considering I was drunk at the time, I am not surprised at her reaction. Maybe she was trying to scare me, haha, it might have even worked a time or two when I thought about it at night.

I am a skeptic of many things, including my imagined interaction with this person. I was always under the influence when I thought of him or supposedly interacted with him. Never at any time was there any physical contact. Other than in the dream, he never talked or reached out to me. He was more of a presence that kind of reminded me of me, like a younger self who had never gotten anywhere in his life. A path I could have ended up following many times but have since smartened up. It is surreal to write about and even more so to reminisce about the events that I know could not have taken place.

Being under the influence of any mind-altering substance is dangerous: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.  Spiritually I have many challenges, I hope to understand someday what I may be missing, but then again, maybe I am not missing anything. However, that is another blog for another time.

kotak awiyak ī-wihci minihkwīmikowahk – Another Person drinks with us

kimacāyisim – your devil or demon (may mean something different to others).

From: https://itwewina.altlab.app/word/minihkw%C3%AAw/
I – niminihkwān

you (one) – kiminihkwān

s/he – minihkwīw

we (but not you) – niminihkwānān

Eyes Image by Christian Dorn from Pixabay

It is difficult collecting donations in First Nations communities.

In the last two years, I managed to raise $240 dollars to help with keeping my website online. The assistance was great and I appreciated the support.

While it is not essential or imperative for the website to be online for the survival of our language, it is important to me. I love sharing what I can remember about my late grandfather and to share Woodland Cree words with you. I enjoy the challenge of recording and editing audio. I wish I were an artist so that I could draw my own artwork. I have many ideas on the back burner and hope I can share them with you soon.

I wish I had a whole team to build this website. There is so much potential. I work full time and have little time to take care of the website and any media work that could be done. I get many personal requests that I cannot possibly cover, but thank goodness it has slowed down.

I had hoped many more people would get into tech, especially among young FN youths. There may be a hidden spatter of groups out there, but there have not been many that I noticed. Maybe once there is more support for technology in our Indigenous communities, there will be more interest, or maybe a hidden group will emerge (I hope).

So, I think it would be fair to say that technology is what is lacking in our communities. There would be many more employable people if there was computer training being encouraged. It would be great to work with a network of Indigenous techies, not Trekkies, techies (although FN Trekkies would be cool too).

Later, CV

 

nipōni-pīhtwān– I Quit Smoking

I quit smoking – nipōni-pīhtwān. Cigarettes and cigars have ruled my time between activities and everything else. I had been smoking since I was twelve years old. I blogged about my past experiences with smoking in Nov 2020 (Smoking on the Rez and Other Places). I had attempted to quit smoking many times.

The last time I smoked was Feb 21, 2022, it is now May 21, 2022, three whole months. My previous best was about three weeks in 2019, but my trigger, which is driving and smoking, got me right back into it. It is becoming less and less of a trigger.

I recently had an appointment with an eye specialist, and he was glad I quit smoking because as a diabetic, smoking significantly increases the risk of my eyes getting damaged. I have told several people of my accomplishment but hearing the doctor’s elation about quitting, made me proud. 1

My blood pressure has improved and I feel more energetic. There is one setback, I gained about 11 pounds. It is because food is now so delicious from my healing taste buds. Spices and sweets have come to life and I end up eating more than I should.2 It is something I need to work on. Plus I need to exercise more but one step at a time.

Actual reading

I recently found out that the brand of cigarettes I smoked, have gone up in price again, they are now over 17 bucks a pack. This is at the rez store with a treaty card.

It pains me to see many young people starting to smoke, they do not know what they are getting themselves into. While things may have improved nationally, it is still an ongoing problem.3

nipōni-pīhtwān– I quit smoking, the literal term might be “I stopped smoking,” but most people I know would say the Cree term, to mean they had quit smoking.

The following Cree words came from Itwêwina: Plains Cree Dictionary – https://sapir.artsrn.ualberta.ca/cree-dictionary/ We basically say it the same way.

pîhtwâw (Verb) – s/he smokes. MD

pîhtwâhkâsow (Verb) – s/he pretends to smoke CW

ciscêmâs (Noun) – Tobacco

1Vision Loss, Blindness, and Smoking – https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/diseases/vision-loss-blindness.html

2Stopping smoking has many immediate and long-term benefits. It’s worth pushing through the tough times –  https://www.quit.org.au/articles/seven-things-happen-when-you-quit-smoking/#:~:text=Food%20will%20start%20tasting%20better,for%20that%20Sunday%20roast%20%E2%80%93%20YUM!

3Tobacco and Vaping Use in Canada: Moving Forward https://cpha.ca/tobacco-and-vaping-use-canada-moving-forward#:~:text=In%202018%2C%203.2%25%20of%20youth,aged%2018%2D19%20years%20smoked.&text=Among%20the%2019%2D24%20age,of%20age%20reported%20regular%20smoking.

Quit smoking Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

I recently drew up a Legal Document online and it was very easy

Last week, I needed to draw up a contract for a deal I had in the works. I thought of copying and pasting from a contract template I found online but I decided that it was too much work. The wording would have to be edited and the contents would be out of place from the copy and paste from PDF to Word.

I thought of just writing it out myself and spending all the time it needed to get it right. I wondered if I could make one online and remembered I was part of an affiliate from LawDepot.

Their website covers many services from:

  • Estate
  • Real Estate
  • Financial
  • Business
  • Family

I went to the Business section and I found an easy way to draw up a service agreement by answering questions about the deal between myself and the other party. It was very easy, however, I did make a few mistakes and was able to redo the contract with appropriate details.

I had to first sign up for their seven-day trial, which was easy enough. After I completed and polished the details of the contract, a downloadable link was provided in PDF. From there I just needed to print and sign in the presence of the third party. It was very easy.

So if you decide you need some type of legal service, I would recommend LawDepot. You see all the ads on this page, click one and you can get started with a FREE 7-DAY trial. They will be more than happy to answer all your questions.

Have a great day.