Plains Cree (nêhiyawêwin) links:
There are just SO MANY resources out there now, that I have to reorganise this page a bit better so it does not simply overwhelm. I hope the following sub-headings help guide you towards the resources you’re looking for.
– Yay, a new resource! As of November 10, 2011 there are 132 videos loaded up modelling phrases in Plains Cree. Hearing the language is so, so vital. This particular dialect uses the ‘ch’ sound in place of the ‘ts’ sound that I am used to for the Cree letter ‘c’, but it is a small difference and the words are just as understandable.
– This site can look a little ‘busy’ sometimes, but it is full of great resources. Here is an order form for Plains Cree resources. Here are language instructional resources available in ‘th’ Woods Cree, ‘y’ Plains Cree, and Dene. I would love to hear from anyone who has actually purchased one of these sets. There are A LOT of print resources you can get from this site, so I highly recommend taking a look-see.
In addition, there are a number of fantastic online resources. Check out their interactive learning areas as well as the multimedia pages. I poke around this website a lot and have not yet exhausted all the materials they continue to develop!
– Click on Stories to read the accounts of various Elders both in English and in Cree. The stories are for advanced learners, but the English translations provide important access to the cultural messages being shared.
– This demo flash resource from the Bear Hills Cree is a good start. Only the demo version is accessible right now. I’m not sure what’s happening with this, because as you’ll see in the next link, the project seems to have been moved to a different platform.
– The above resources seems to have been moved here and expanded. Keep checking back, because it is in Beta mode currently…but new activities are being put up on a more regular basis. There are syllabics drills, for example, and memory games which model the proper pronunciation for you. So far the audio is only up for the number memory game, but it looks like they’ve really been putting some effort into expanding this! Definitely good for kids.
– Miyo Education also has links to many printable Cree resources in PDF format. I’ve just recently discovered this resource and I’m loving it! Note that a lot of newer language development in Alberta is being done in syllabics rather than in the RSO. Here is an order form for many, many Cree resources. Here is a link to the printable resources.
– This is a short series (hopefully a growing one) of youtube videos which model various Cree phrases for practice.
– This resource focuses entirely on Cree kinship terms and provides a comprehensive explanation of grammatical structures used as well as a decent description of basic kinship roles. There is some audio provided. This resource is more suited to older learners. At the end, there is even a test 😀
-I stumbled upon these recently. As of 03 June 2011, there are 40 sets of flash cards with vocabulary and translations. I was excited that there seemed to be audio included, but it is apparently some form of automatic digital reading that definitely does not give you proper pronunciation. I suggest just forgetting it’s there at all 😀
What I LOVE about this is that there is great vocab…such as these sets on the theme of Tim Hortons, KFC and Facebook/internet slang! Some of this is definitely Creelish, but it’s relevant and funny. There is a testing function that allows you to see if you can remember the terms you are learning.
– CD for purchase
– This blog inspired me to start my own. The author is a hardcore Plains Cree addict/linguist (same difference?) and he discusses various interesting aspects of the language.
– this site provides a list of books in Cree and where possible gives you links so that you can order them. What is great about this site is that they review the books to ensure that they use standard Roman Syllabic Orthography and are in the Plains Cree dialect.
– A wonderful streamed resource! You can listen to three legends as told by members of the Atahtakoop (Sandy Lake) First Nation. Most of the stories are told in English, but with many Cree words and phrases.
Video interviews in Cree
– no subtitles or text provided, full on Cree.
- Elder Annie Bird on child-rearing (good sound quality)
- Thomas Ratt on the Cree language
- Albert Ross on the Cree language
Cree curricular resources
I figure there are enough out there, that I could use a sub-heading. I will confine these entries to documents that are specifically developed to be approved curricular documents. For those unfamiliar with such documents, a program of studies is the ‘bare bones’ part of what student outcomes should be met in a program. The guide to implementation usually also contains lesson plans and sample work sheets which can be very useful for in-home use. I am providing links to both. (Keep in mind, the guides to implementation are hundreds of pages long)
After this are classroom assessment materials specific to certain grades. They are linked to specific curricular objectives in the program of studies, and are much smaller files. The K-3 implementation guides have these assessment materials as appendices, whereas the grades 4-6 have stand alone assessment files too.
- Cree Language and Culture, 9 year program (Grade 4-12) [program of studies]
- Cree Language and Culture, 12 year program (K-12) [program of studies]
- Cree Language and Culture, K-3 [guide to implementation]
- Cree Language and Culture, 4-6 [guide to implementation]
- Cree Language and Culture, 7-9 [guide to implementation]
- Cree Language and Culture, 10-12 [guide to implementation]
– this is a PDF document which consists of complete lesson plans and assessments for teaching reading and writing in Plains Cree at an elementary level. So far it is one of the clearest and most helpful educational documents I have found and can be easily modified to be used at home. Saskatchewan puts out some really quality Cree language resources!
– this is a resource list intended for Alberta teachers, but some of these materials are also available for you to purchase. In addition, many of these resources are available directly through the organisations that developed them.
Other Cree dialects/ assorted links:
– these materials were produced by the Northwest Territories Languages Program. The above is a PDF resource bibliography of Bush Cree books and other resources for children. The readers are leveled. I have purchased pretty much the whole set and it’s not for the faint of heart. There are no translations and not everything is understandable from context alone, especially the more advanced materials. However, it is good that there are materials which go beyond counting and introductions. I find that coming from a Plains Cree background, Bush Cree is fairly easy to understand compared to other dialects.
– this site features a number of wonderful stories in English, and Cree. The Cree stories come with transcription in syllabics. There are also lesson plans for storytelling activities from K-8 which are well laid out.
– this site allows you to hear the same words as pronounced in a variety of Cree dialects and Cree communities across Canada.
-resources in Cree, Oji-Cree and Ojibway dialects from the Treaty 9 territories can be ordered from here. They consist of technical language glossaries specific to Electronic and Educational terminology. A great resource for specialised terminology. In addition, there are other educational resources available from this site.
– open source language learning software in the Swampy Cree dialect. Only a few modules are completed, but it’s an interesting idea someone could build on…
Eastern James Bay Cree
– there are enough resources in this dialect out there that I think we need a new sub-heading!
– there is an online dictionary, grammar lessons and various other resources available. This is the dialect of Cree that I am surrounded by here in Quebec. It is significantly different than Plains Cree…think trying to understand Portuguese as a Spanish speaker. I have found that the coastal dialect is closer to Plains Cree than the inland dialect. Once you figure out the different sounds (a lot of ‘ch’ and ‘sh’ sounds we just don’t have) it becomes easier. It is also significantly different than the James Bay Cree you’ll find on the western Hudson’s Bay.
– oh my girls LOVE this site! These are a series of videos done in eastern James Bay Cree with English subtitles, depicting legends and stories. My girls really love the Chikabash/Tcikabesh legends from this area and the videos really got them excited.
– a documentary series on APTN done all in eastern James Bay Cree with English subtitles. It covers some great ground!
– You can listen to recorded radio episodes on various issues related to Eeyou Istchee here. This program seems to deal a lot with culture and social issues.
– this is another Cree language radio show with many back episodes available for listening.
Other Aboriginal Languages
I love my Cree language intensely, but I also love the other indigenous languages we have the luck to be gifted with. With that in mind, I want to also share links to other aboriginal languages. Note that “Our Voices” linked to above represents all aboriginal languages spoken in Saskatchewan, not just Cree.
– this online language platform offers you lessons in 5 Inuit dialects. I’m still checking it out, but I’m loving the audio files and conversational lessons!
- Episodes of the Berenstain Bears…in Lakota!
Ever cool! I have long wished we could have something similar in Cree!
– This is Ojibwe from Manitoulin and is comprised mostly of word lists. There is no audio, however and the organisation of the pages is a little confusing. However, there are quiz functions.
– this platform is not always completely stable, and right now there are very few Cree entries, but it’s a positive step forward.
-there are stories you can listen to in Anishinaabemowin, as well as short video clips. Stories about Nanabush are being added to the site incorporating bilingual video and audio content. Very much a work in progress.
– a great online dictionary which breaks down the words for you and often links to other resources, including audio recordings of the words and some conjugations!
– Ciimaan is an Anishinaabemowin language community operating out of Toronto and surrounding areas. It is a wide-ranging project which includes the collection and storage of stories and wisdom from fluent speakers as well as providing immersion language opportunities. Eventually the tehsopitaasowin (community storage) project will be available online. The piitaapan page offers narrated stories in Anishinaabemowin where the words are also shown in syllabics and one of the double-vowel spellings used by Anishinaabek.
I have heard many good things about this project because of its ability to link urban natives to the communities, and because it promotes a bi-lingual approach to language and life which I think is something we cannot really do without anymore.
- Dogrib Dictionary (with audio)
– there are bilingual books to be ordered, even a bilingual kids magazine you can get! Oh I’d love this in Cree!
– this site offers a Robert Munch book translated into Hul’q’umi’num, a Coast Salish language. You have to register in able to access the book, but it is a simple process and a wonderful audio/visual resource.
– I taught for three years in Inuvik, and so I have a special place in my heart for the Inuvialuit. This is a very cool digital journey.
– all the other bibliographies of resources published in aboriginal languages in the NWT can be found here.
– Legends of the Atahtakakoop is the tenth part of a series which includes legends from various nations. The rest of the recordings are available on this site.
– this is less of a language site and more of a companion site to a television show on APTN. I haven’t seen the show yet because I don’t have television 🙂
– This resource focuses on the Camperville Michif dialect right now, and just launched last summer. There are plans to expand it, and it really pushes digital boundaries. Beautiful graphics and use of still photography to create movement…please check it out!
– Another cool interactive site…you can ‘go back to Batoche’ as it was in 1885 and see what is going on there these days. Very cool to navigate around.
– This is also from the Gabriel Dumont Institute in Saskatchewan, and you will be able to find tonnes of audio and video files in Michif as well. A lot to look through.
– This is a really neat resource! There are video and audio resources, but also a role-playing game for kids. Well worth spending some time checking out!
– This last link might upset some people, but I’m going to risk it. The page in question lists a number of organisations that ‘play at being Indian’. You may have your own opinions on the matter but I think it’s a good issue to raise.
– This is a CBC series on the people and programs in place in Edmonton, AB for aboriginal peoples. Many inspiring stories!