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Freda Ahenakew

Freda Ahenakew was born in Ahtahkakoop, Saskatchewan. Ahenakew would proceed to have 12 children, only to return to follow her educational goals in 1968, where she attended high school with 9 of her children. She would obtain her Bachelor of Education from the University of Saskatchewan in 1979 while teaching Cree language. From 1976 to 1981, she taught at the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural College, the Lac La Ronge Band, and the Saskatchewan survival school.

In 1984, she received a Master of Arts in Cree linguistics from the University of Manitoba, working closely with Professor H.C. Wolfart. From 1983 to 1985, she was an assistant professor at the University of Saskatchewan. She was the director of the Saskatchewan Indian Languages Institute from 1985 until 1989. After leading the Institute, she was a professor in Native studies at the University of Manitoba until her 1996 retirement.

Ahenakew has been the recipient of numerous honorary awards including an honorary degree from the University of Saskatchewan. She was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1998 and was awarded the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 2005.

Our Grandmothers' Lives as Told in Their Own Words: Kohkominawak Otacimowiniwawa
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);

This bilingual collection of reminiscences and personal stories tells us about the daily lives of Cree women over the past century: household chores, snaring rabbits and picking berries, going to school, marriage, bearing and raising children. Seven Cree women share memories about their lives and the history of their people, and provide insights into the traditional teachings of a society where practical and spiritual matters are never far apart. Recorded in their Cree language using syllabics and translated into English, these women speak with warmth and humour about their memories and their reflections on how people live today. Their stories span several generations, from the present back to reports of their own grandmothers' lives in the bush and on the reserve, giving a clear picture of the role of women in Cree society. Freda Ahenakew was born on the Ahtahkakoop First Nation reserve. Former Director of the Saskatchewan Indian Languages Institute, she earned her M.A. in Cree linguistics at the University of Manitoba. Ahenakew was an Associate Professor of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba from 1989 to 1996 and acted as Head of the Department of Native Studies from 1990 to 1995. She thereafter worked as a First Nations Language Consultant to the Prince Albert Grand Council until her retirement in 1997. That same year, she was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Saskatchewan.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text

Wisahkecahk Flies to the Moon
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);

Presented simultaneously in English and Cree, this is the imaginative story of Wisahkecahk's brief but adventurous visit to the moon!

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork


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