Cree Corners


Cree tradition of visiting one another. (Elder kokom Theresa Sapp and knowledge keeper Ronnie Chamakese) @LBL Chitek Lake 2015


Tansi Niwakomakantik. (Hello, my relatives.)

My challenge is to increase First Nation Languages, without actually  having a budget to impliment language initiatives. So, what I’ve proposed is “Cree corners”. I originally wanted it to be something that we “do” as opposed to something we click on, but this can be far reaching, if people actually use it! (Is what I tell myself.)

I have collected some videos of elders sharing their thoughts on education. I have also included a variety of Indigenous Language Links for you to use in your classroom, or to teach yourself some indigenous language. Whether you have indigenous students, or just want to increase your knowledge of the original language of this land, to connect with families and communities, I’m sure this blog page will help.

Just a word about that that word “Cree”. The Cree nation and territories are huge! The territory is as far west as the Rocky Mountains, and as far north as Nunavut, as far East as Labrador and as far South as Montana. Did you know that the word “Cree” is not the name that this nation has for itself.  In our own language we call ourselves, “Nehiyawe” which means, people of the four directions, or I’ve also heard, people who have four bodies. (body, mind, spiritual and emotional) So, basically, our ancestors were very well rounded people and “miskisowin” was very important to them. (being balanced) With that tidbit of information you’re probably wondering where the word “Cree” originates from??? Elder Maria Linklater,  has shared the story. When the French were coming into our territories from their own parts of the world,  they were asking our neighbours (the Ojibwe, Nakawe, Saulteaux) who we were, and the people in that nation that lived towards the East at that time, called us “Kristineaux” “The Christians” and from there, they shortened the word to Kri then started to spell it Cree. (They must have ran into some Crees who were newly converted to Christianity.) So, this whole notion of who gets to name themselves becomes apparent when the Nehiyawak wonder why they’re called Indians as well. Have you heard that story? That’s one for another day.

As well, there are 5 dialects of nehiyawewin. These are (y, th, n, l, and r)  Here in treaty six area, we mostly use the y dialect. Click on the links for some out of this world Nehiyawewin resources in both Nehiyawewin and Lakota (Couldn’t find a Nakota site.) Sorry, my Nakota relatives.

Kokom Theresa at Land Based Learning, Chitek Lake, SK, Canada, June 2015.

Kokom Theresa shares Cree kinship terms.

Free Cree at Oskayak High School (Stoon) (y dialect)

Cree dictionary online (y dialect, Maskwacis- Bear hills or Hobbema)

Gift of Language and Culture Project  (Cree Language)(La Ronge/Onion Lake) ( y and th dialect)

Allen Adam’s Cree Site (Th Dialect)

Lakota Dictionary


And don’t forget about adding the new app FHQ (File Hills Qu’apelle Tribal council) from the app store onto your cell phone.

My elders used to tell me, just one word a day and you’ll be fluent by Christmas or Winter Solstice!  Good luck, I hope this helps to increase the use of our languages.