Neal McLeod

Neal McLeod is Cree and Swedish and grew up on the James Smith Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. His previous poetry collections include Gabriel's Beach and Songs to Kill a Wîhtikow, which won the Anskohk Aboriginal Festival Award for Poetry Book of the Year. He lives in Kinistino, Saskatchewan.

100 Days of Cree
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

As an Elder once said, "Learn one Cree word a day for 100 days, and emerge a different person."

In 100 Days of Cree, Neal McLeod offers us a portal into another way of understanding the universe--and our place within it--while demonstrating why this funny, vibrant, and sometimes salacious language is "the sexiest of them all" (according to Tomson Highway).

Based on a series of Facebook posts, the 100 short chapters or "days" in the book present a chain of related words, some dealing with the traditional--the buffalo hunt, the seasons--and others cheekily capturing the detritus of modern life--from Internet slang to Johnny Cash songs to Viagra.

The result is both an introduction to the most widely spoken Indigenous language in Canada and the opportunity to see the world, and ourselves, in another way.

"The nonfiction book is divided into 100 themes and offers Cree words and English explanations for everything from traditional subjects such as powwows and medicine to modern subjects such as Facebook and Star Wars. It also includes a guide to pronunciation written by Arok Wolvengrey, a linguist and the author of a Cree-English dictionary. 'When we think about indigenous languages, there’s a part of us that thinks they’re dying languages, ' URP publisher Bruce Walsh said. 'And then this manuscript comes in that demonstrates a living, vital language.' McLeod said that he and Wolvengrey worked to keep a balance between traditional usage and modern adaptations. 'To revitalize our languages, we have to do two things: we have to document the classical terminology, because within that terminology are all of our metaphors and idioms; but we also have to think of how to put old words together, to coin words, to describe the contemporary world.'" — Laura Godfrey, Publishers Weekly

Additional Information
325 pages | 5.50" x 7.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text

Cree Narrative Memory: From Treaties to Contemporary Times
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);

Neal McLeod examines the history of the nêhiyawak (Cree People) of western Canada from the massive upheavals of the 1870s and the reserve period to the vibrant cultural and political rebirth of contemporary times. Central to the text are the narratives of McLeod's family, which give first hand examples of the tenacity and resiliency of the human spirit while providing a rubric for reinterpreting the history of Indigenous people, drawing on Cree worldviews and Cree narrative structures.

In a readable style augmented with extensive use of the Cree language throughout, McLeod draws heavily on original research, the methodology of which could serve as a template for those doing similar work. While the book is based on the Cree experience of the Canadian prairies, its message and methodology are applicable to all Indigenous societies.

Neal McLeod holds a doctorate in Interdisciplinary Studies, and currently teaches Indigenous Studies at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. In addition to being a visual artist and entertainer, he has published a book of poetry, Songs to Kill a Wihtikow, and has another forthcoming entitled Gabriel's Beach. He is Cree and Swedish, and was born and raised in Saskatchewan.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text


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