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.
II. POLITE CONVERSATION
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
After all these years, I am finally published. Check out the embed post from Facebook:
I am very happy and elated to get published. For awhile, I thought my website would be the only place I could get my stories to see the light of day. I built my website on May of 2009, all for the sake of getting my stories out to the world. This is a new venture for me, my stories and my website.
About a year ago, I introduced myself to Jason EagleSpeaker through LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/eaglespeaker/). I was so glad that he responded to my email. After a few back and forth emails, we were able to work something out. I was still not sure if it was going to happen, but I was hopeful and at least I had taken some steps.
I am more motivated now to write more stories. I hope this is the beginning of a long relationship with publishing my written works.
Otherwise known as, cows and plows, many people have been anticipating an update. Many of us hoped for a payout before Christmas of this year (2023), however, it looks like there may not be an offer until at least spring of 2024.
In my previous post about the cows and plows, there were many updates with links about Treaty 7 and 8, going some processes and payouts. I really hope it’s not too far off for Treaty 6 because it has very difficult, financially, for many of us in the north.
There have been new online sources since last year. It is a great time for speakers and learners of our beautiful language. There is hope for the future, as there are many learner pages and channels developed by dedicated people that would love to learn the language. Please look at the list below and feel free to share on social media. Several broken links have been removed, all the links below are tested and work just fine.
In the heart of the Saskatchewan prairies, where the wind whispered through the tall grass and the vast sky stretched endlessly, the Plains Cree people faced a time of despair. Their once-thriving lands were now threatened by settlers who sought to claim the territory as their own, displacing the indigenous people who had lived harmoniously with the land for generations.
The settlers, driven by greed and a relentless hunger for expansion, encroached upon the Cree territory, bringing with them a wave of violence and destruction. Families were torn apart, and the once-peaceful prairies were stained with the blood of innocent women and children. The Cree elders, desperate for a solution, turned to the ancient legends of their people for guidance.
Deep in the heart of the prairies, hidden among the sacred hills, the elders gathered in a solemn ceremony. They lit a sacred fire and sang ancient songs, calling upon the spirits of their ancestors for strength and guidance. As the night fell and the stars painted the sky, the elders raised their hands to the heavens and summoned the great Thunderbird.
Legend spoke of the Thunderbird, a majestic and powerful creature that soared through the skies, its wings carrying the storms and thunder. The elders believed that the Thunderbird held the key to restoring balance and justice to their lands. With unwavering faith, they chanted the sacred words passed down through generations.
In the midst of their prayers, a mighty wind began to howl, and the air crackled with electricity. The Thunderbird, with wings that spanned the horizon, descended from the heavens. Its feathers shimmered like lightning, and its eyes glowed with ancient wisdom. The Thunderbird spoke in a voice that echoed like distant thunder, promising to aid the Cree in their time of need.
United with the Thunderbird, the Cree people prepared for battle. The great bird soared across the prairies, unleashing storms that scattered the settlers and disrupted their plans. The Thunderbird’s wings shielded the Cree warriors as they fought to protect their families and reclaim their ancestral lands.
As the battle raged on, the settlers faced the unyielding forces of nature, and the Thunderbird’s power became a symbol of hope for the Plains Cree. The settlers, overwhelmed by the strength of the Thunderbird and the determination of the Cree warriors, eventually retreated.
With the threat repelled, the Thunderbird ascended back into the skies, leaving the prairies in peace. The Cree people, though scarred by the conflict, found solace in the victory that the Thunderbird had brought them. The sacred bond between the Plains Cree and their ancestral spirits had proven unbreakable, and the land that had once been stained with sorrow now stood as a testament to the resilience of a people united in their quest for justice and freedom.
This website, has reached an important milestone, 5500 clicks in four weeks. I realize it is not a large number compared to many other websites, but it is not a mainstream site and is supported organically by followers on the Facebook page: (https://www.facebook.com/firstnationstories) .
I am so proud of the growth and hope it continues to grow over many more years. I have given this website, so much of my time and I am grateful that is it has come this far. I have been very happy to share my stories with you and to give a platform for three local artists to show what they can do.
The website domain and hosting is pretty much paying for itself right now. Before this year, I had to use a GoFundMe page for support because I was having trouble keeping up with the payments. I have since closed the GoFundMe. Thank you all for your support.
Is she just another Pretendian? I was not going to take part in the Buffy controversy. I did not even think much of her music, but I loved her presence, her charisma and representation of Indigenous people. When I heard she was a Cree, I was very proud, because I am Cree.
I remember seeing her on Sesame Street and I was very happy to see a fellow Indian on such a pedestal. One of us was making it. She was shy, but dynamic at the same time.
It was a time when I would see all the white folks with their nice houses and nice cars and wondered why we were not living that way. Why were our houses so shabby and our cars old and breaking down. Why was it like that for us. Why was there so much alcohol ravaging our little Indian communities. I was happy to see an Indian, doing so well, It gave me hope. While I knew it is a place I would never see, I could see many talented Indians making it in this world.
Buffy gave many of us hope. “Us” meaning Indians. Why did it take so long for her doubters to find out the truth? It should have been nipped in the bud long ago. She is 82 years old. 82. The naysayers took this long to out her? I had hoped she would put the haters in their place, but she did not. How about a DNA test? That should put some minds at ease, right?
The situation still needs time to fester in our minds. However, I could not let my mind fester any longer. She has a chance, right now, to settle the score, as it were. I hope she makes amends in some way, a confession or proof of her real identity, would be great.
Am I affected that much? Probably not, but after the Joseph Boyden fiasco, I am, again, very disappointed. Boyden was even a showcased “Indigenous” author in one of my university classes. I wonder what the prof thinks about him now. The prof is not a friend, so I cannot ask him.
I am disappointed, but many people are very offended. She has her supporters, of course, who say she provided much awareness to Indigenous people’s problems and troubles. That is true, but she did it through a lie, a lifelong lie.