Tag Archives: cree

I ordered a new book on Amazon – Woods Cree Stories

I am finally ordering a book I had my eye on for a long time, Woods Cree Stories by Solomon Ratt. I cannot wait to read the stories. Unfortunately, I will not receive it for another couple of weeks or more. According to the Amazon website, it will arrive between December 31, 2020 and January 6, 2021. If I subscribed to Amazon Prime, I would have gotten it sooner and FREE shipping. Hmm, with the Holiday shipping deadlines in Canada going on, I may not get it for a long while.

It is a paperback, so it will be easy and comfortable to read while I lay on my bed. I have read many short stories on my computer and cell phone, but this book is not available on Kindle. Which is fine, I just have to wait for it and hope it gets here as soon as possible. Maybe the weather will be so good, that the shipping will be extra quick. Wishful thinking, since the shipping companies are already swamped with packages needed to get to their destinations.

The book includes nine stories–including Boys Get Lost, Foolishness, and Animals Become Friends–and a Woods Cree-to-English glossary (Amazon description). I hope be inspired by this book and enjoy a book written in my dialect (TH), which is difficult to find anywhere. Most of the books I read are in the Plains Cree dialect, while I can understand the dialect just fine, I want to read the Woodland Cree dialect by one of the foremost Cree Teachers in Saskatchewan, Solomon Ratt.

Solomon Ratt has his own FB page called Cree Language Videos, check it out.

Solomon Ratt Links:

From our friends at the Cree Literacy Network ⇒ creeliteracy.org

 

Solomon Ratt, MA

 

 

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Cree T-SHIRT Designs

A friend of mine, Arden Ogg from the Cree Literacy Network, recently suggested that I redesign an image I developed with the Cree phrase, “I Am Cree”. She believes that it is a powerful phrase for learners, and I wholeheartedly agree.

Below are the redesigned versions of the Cree memes with only the Cree words written on them.

Download JPG ⇓

Woodland Cree – I am Cree – Yesterday – Today – Forever

Download JPG ⇓

Plains Cree – I am Cree – Yesterday – Today – Forever

My only request, is that you please leave the https://firstnationstories.com text on the image, if you decide to get a custom t-shirt using my design.

Check out these online custom t-shirt stores with Canadian rates:

Entripy – https://www.entripy.com/ 

Vistaprint – https://www.vistaprint.ca/

You may use any image from the site gallery, and please keep my logo and/or url on the image.

Find other images on the link below:

FREE CREE IMAGES

Thank you for visiting

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Smoking on the Rez, and other Places

I remember I was about 10 years old that I was curious about smoking a cigarette. Many of my family had been smoking for as long as I could remember. My parents did not smoke cigarettes. My father did chew snuff, but I never saw him smoke.

Both nimosōmak smoked cigarettes and nōhkomak chewed snuff, their brand of chewing tobacco was   Copenhagen. The snuff boxes were made of cardboard. I used to collect the snuff boxes and stack them together and I distinctly remember wanting to make a balancing scale with them and attempting to use them wheels to make a kind of wagon. I failed at the attempts, but it was fun imagining what I could do, and it kept me busy. We did not have game consoles at the time.

I was about twelve when I first started puffing on cigarettes. It was from peer pressure; I was convinced that it was cool to do so. I did that for a while, īpīhtwāhkāsowān – pretended to smoke, for a few months. Then on a cool crisp autumn day, I took a real drag. I got such a big head rush; I almost fell to my knees. I was so dizzy; I told my friends that I did not feel well and that I might have been getting sick. They looked at me blankly and just nodded. Something told me that they knew what had just happened to me.

 

From there, my tolerance increased and then I became addicted enough to pick and smoke stubs from the ground. I sometimes searched far and wide to get my next drag and so did my friends. I told myself it was a bad thing to smoke. One day I got an almost full pack, I threw the pack on the side of the road. Much later, I went back to get them, they were damp, but nothing a little heat could not fix.

I remember as a teen, my friends and I went to a restaurant and one of them pulled out a pack of smokes. They provided little aluminum ashtrays at the time and we all happily smoked our cigarettes like we were adults. The restaurant owners did not send us out, they must have been glad to have customers, as we were the only ones sitting around. We thought we were so cool (we must have looked stupid).

In my twenties, I smoked like a chimney whenever I was partying. They did not even have to be my smokes; I would bum one after the other if I could. Of course, after a while, the one with the smokes would start rationing the smokes and giving the rest of us bums, one smoke to share and not all the time. Sometimes he would smoke one halfway and give us the other half to share. Great times (not).

Many of my family had smoked or chewed tobacco when I was a kid. Today, some of them have quit. Tobacco is not as popular anymore, but there are many youngsters today smoking cigarettes like they could afford them.

I have a difficult time quitting. Correction, I have an easy time quitting, I just cannot seem to stay away from smoking. I must have quit seven times last year. Some spanning a day, and others for a week or two. One of these days, I need to put more effort into staying away from smoking. With all the restrictions these days on where you can smoke, you would think it would easy, but it is not.

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nimosōmak – my grandfathers

nōhkomak – my grandmothers

pîhtwâw (Verb) – s/he smokes. MD

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

ciscêmâs (Noun) – Tobacco

mîcisowikamik (Noun) – restaurant; dining room

Cree word source:

Itwêwina: Plains Cree Dictionary – https://sapir.artsrn.ualberta.ca/cree-dictionary/

Image source:

Man, and cigarettes Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Cigarette Image by Ralf Kunze from Pixabay

Ashtray Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Stubs Image by Semevent from Pixabay

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/


Learn Cree With Me –
https://www.facebook.com/groups/280657821548


Nêhiyawêwin for the Soul –
https://www.facebook.com/N%C3%AAhiyaw%C3%AAwin-for-the-Soul-596183750539244


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


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


Cree word for the day is….
https://www.facebook.com/groups/104433456306236

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


Websites I have used:

Learn Cree – http://learncree.ca/  In 2020, the Lac La Ronge Indian Band (LLRIB), revamped the Gift of Language and Culture website to  a more modern format and to work on mobile devices. It is awesome and it is being used in all the band schools for their Cree Language programs.

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. – https://sapir.artsrn.ualberta.ca/cree-dictionary/

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 was revamped and has a new domain name – http://learncree.ca/

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/ – No longer online


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