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Cree

“The Cree language (also called Cree-Montagnais-Naskapi) is spoken in many parts of Canada, from the Rocky Mountains west to Labrador in the east. Cree is also spoken in northern Montana in the United States. Cree is often written in syllabics (i.e., symbols representing a combination of consonant and vowel, or just a consonant or vowel). Cree is one of the most widely spoken Indigenous languages in Canada. In the 2016 census, 96,575 people reported speaking Cree.” – The Canadian Encyclopedia

Cree episodes

Cree Speakers

ISABEL SCRIBE AND LISA MUSWAGON

Isabel Scribe is a member of the Pimicikamak Cree Nation, also known as Cross Lake in Northern Manitoba. Isabel is a fluent speaker in the Swampy Cree language. Lisa grew up in northern Manitoba, the interlake and Winnipeg. Isabel and Charles, their children in ceremonies and with traditions. Isabel provides culturally responsive counselling, therapy, and indigenous ceremonies, and empowerment through storytelling, workshops, sharing circles, and much more.

Lisa Muswagon is a member of the Pimicikamak Cree Nation, also known as Cross Lake in Northern Manitoba. She is Nakoda Cree. Lisa grew up in northern Manitoba, the Interlake, and Winnipeg. Her parents Isabel and Charles raised Lisa and her siblings in ceremonies and with traditions. She picked up the hand drum to pass the legacy of storytelling. An intergenerational survivor, Lisa also attended day school at Jack River School and experienced the Residential School System’s effects. She is on the path of breaking cycles such as learning to speak Cree to pass on to the children and grandchildren.

CAMERON ROBERTSON

Cameron Robertson is a strong Cree speaker who values all indigenous languages. His goals are to teach his culture’s words and language through the human spirit of storytelling, through the approach of listening and learn. “I truly have changed from a life of shambles. As a Cree storyteller I have so much to tell and not enough to listen nor understand. So, greatly I want to teach my ininemowin (native language, Cree) proudly to whoever wants to learn my now dying language.”

materials

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  • Cree syllabics
  • Cree alphabet in Latin
  • Cree values
  • Helpful phrases and vocabulary

  • Wâhkôhtowin – kinship
  • Mîyo wîcehtôwin – getting along together
  • Mâmahwohkamâtowin – working cooperatively
  • Manâtisiwin and manâhcihitowin – respect and respect for each other
  • Pikiskwestamowewin – speaking on behalf of others
  • Kiskinwahasimôwewin – accepting guidance
  • Kiskanowapâhkewin – a keen sense of observation
  • Nanahihtamowin – obedience, to listen with an open heart
  • Kisewâtisiwin – compassion, loving kindness
  • Tâpwewin and kanacisowin – honesty and clean living
  • Wîcihitowin – sharing
  • Okihtowihiwewin – generosity
  • Tapateyimisôwin and ekakisteyimisowin – humility.

Greetings

Hi! How are you?Tân'si
Fine, and you?Namôya nân'taw, kiya mâka
The same, it is truly a nice day.Pêyakwan, tâpwê miyo-kîsikaw
How are you called (What is your name?)Tân'sîsîyihkâsoyan
________ is my name.________ nit'sîyihkâson

Days of the week

Sunday (it is)Ayamihêwikîsikâw
Monday (it is)Pêyakokîsikâw
Tuesday (it is)Nîsokîsikâw
Wednesday (it is)Nîsokîsikâw
Thursday (it is)Nêwokîsikâw
Friday (it is)Niyânanokîsikâw
Saturday (it is)Mâtinâwikîsikâw

Numbers

1pêyak
2nîso
3nisto
4nêwo
5niyânan
6nikotwâsik
7têpakohp
8ayinânêw
9kêkâmitâtaht
10mitâtaht

Vocabulary

yesâha / îhî
no/notnamôya
big/smallmisi / apisci
quick/slowpapâsi / nisihkâc
early/latewîpac / mwêstas
cheap/expensivewîhtakihtêw / mistakihtêw
near/farkêhciwâk / wahyaw
hot/coldtemperature: kisitêw / tahkâw
weather: kisâstêw / tahkâyâw
fullsâkaskinêw
easy/difficultwihcasin/nayihtâwan / âyiman
heavy/lightkosikwan / yahkasin
open(it is) /shutyôhtêkotêw / kipahikâtêw
right/wrong(it is)kwayaskwastêw /namastêw
old/newkayâsâyowin / oskâyowin
old/young personkisêyaya / oskiyaya
ElderKêhtêyaya
good/bad (I)miywâsin / mâyâtan
worse (it's getting)nawac mâyihtâkwan
allkahkiyaw
everybodypokâwiyak

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