Cree (Nehiyawak)

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100 Days of Cree
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Cree;

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.

Reviews
"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

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325 pages | 5.50" x 7.00"

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$24.95

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Askiwina: A Cree World
Authors:
Doug Cuthand
Format: Paperback
In his trademark direct prose style, Cree journalist and filmmaker Doug Cuthand articulates the past, present, and future of Saskatchewan's Aboriginal people. Through his newspaper columns and features, as well as his internationally-known film and video work, Doug Cuthand has become a respected voice in the aboriginal community.

In Askiwina: A Cree World, he offers fresh insights and straight talk over platitudes and dogma, providing readers with a bridge to understanding Aboriginal philosophy, history, culture, and society. He explores the basics of Aboriginal spirituality - the four directions, the trickster Wesakechak, creation stories, coming-of-age rituals, the Sundance, and sacred places on the prairies. He describes Saskatchewan history from an Aboriginal point of view, a perspective from which familiar events like the Battle of Cutknife Hill, the siege of Battleford, and the establishment of Prince Albert look profoundly different.

He delves into the worlds of past leaders and thinkers like Canon Edward Ahenakew, Anahareo, Poundmaker, and Sweetgrass, and cultural and religious traditions like the powwow and the Ghost Dance. He portrays the impact Aboriginal peoples have had on this province - including their critical role in the fur trade, place names of the province, settlement patterns, and even Canadian-American relations - and projects the impact they will have on its future. He also presents a seasoned observer's view of economic and political issues facing Aboriginal peoples in Saskatchewan, including such topics as gaming, self-government, and land claims.
$19.95

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Big Bear: The End of Freedom
Authors:
Hugh A. Dempsey
Format: Paperback
When the white settlers came to western Canada, Big Bear realized the the Cree Indians' way of life was threatened, and he fought to prevent his people from being reduced to poverty-stricken outcasts in their own land. Although his protests were peaceful, he was labelled a troublemaker. Years of frustration and rage exploded when his followers killed the white people of Frog Lake, a tragedy Big Bear was powerless to stop. The old chief stood trial for inciting rebellion--though all he had sought was justice and freedom.
$19.95

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Cedar Child: Hear the Teachings
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Cree; Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Ojibway;

Annie Ashamock has written this stong, moving story about an Aboriginal woman’s life experiences. It is a story with a unifying theme that is shared throughout the different Aboriginal cultures of Turtle Island.

The traditional oral teachings and method of storytelling is recreated in the accompanying bonus CD-Rom that tells the same story in two different Aboriginal languages, Cree and Ojibwe. The reader can follow along and hear the story being told in the different languages.

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$24.95

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Cree Narrative Memory: From Treaties to Contemporary Times
Format: Paperback
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.
$25.00

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Cree: Words (2 Volume Set)
Authors:
Arok Wolvengrey
Format: Paperback
This two-volume Cree dictionary documents the Cree language. It provides both a guide to its spoken form for non-speakers and a guide to its written forms (both SRO and Syllabics) for speakers and non-speakers alike. The goal has thus been to collect the vocabulary of Cree as it is spoken by fluent speakers in much of western Canada, whether elders or young people. The words recorded herein have been gathered from diverse sources, including elicitation, recorded conversations and narrative, and publications of many kinds.
$69.95

In Re-Print
Funny Little Stories / wawiyatacimowinisa
Editors:
Arok Wolvengrey
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Cree;

This is the first in a series of readers in the First Nations languages of the prairie provinces meant for language learners and language users. The stories in this volume come from a variety of sources, all being narrated or written by fluent speakers of Cree, whether students or instructors of the Cree language or Elders. Funny Little Stories is a collection of nine stories representing the Plains Cree, Woods Cree, and Swampy Cree dialects, with a pronunciation guide and a Cree-to-English glossary.

Students and Elders come together in this volume to offer samples of three distinct genres of Cree storytelling: word play, humorous accounts of life experiences, and traditional stories about Wisahkecahk, the trickster-hero.

Each story is illustrated and is presented in both Standard Roman Orthography and syllabics, with English translation.

Series Information
Funny Little Stories is part of the First Nations Language Readers series. With a mix of traditional and new stories, each First Nations Language Reader introduces an Indigenous language and demonstrates how each language is used today. The University of Regina Press’s long-term goal is to publish all 60+ Indigenous languages of Canada.

Additional Information
110 pages | 5.50" x 8.50" | Narrated by Cree-speaking students, instructors, and Elders | Transcribed and Translated by Cree Linguistics Students | Edited and with a glossary and syllabics by Arok Wolvengrey

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$12.95

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Gender, Power, and Representations of Cree Law
Authors:
Emily Snyder
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Cree;

Drawing on the insights of Indigenous feminist legal theory, Emily Snyder examines representations of Cree law and gender in books, videos, graphic novels, educational websites, online lectures, and a video game. Although these resources promote the revitalization of Cree law and the principle of miyo-wîcêhtowin (good relations), Snyder argues that they do not capture the complexities of gendered power dynamics.

The majority of the resources either erase women’s legal authority by not mentioning them, or they diminish women’s agency by portraying them primarily as mothers and nurturers. Although these latter roles are celebrated, Snyder argues that Cree laws and gender roles are represented in inflexible, aesthetically pleasing ways that overlook power imbalances and difficult questions regarding interpretations of tradition.

What happens when good relations are represented in ways that are oppressive? Grappling with this question, Snyder makes the case that educators need to critically engage with issues of gender and power in order to create inclusive resources that meaningfully address the everyday messiness of law. As with all legal orders, gendered oppression can be perpetuated through Cree law, but Cree law is also a dynamic resource for challenging gendered oppression. 

This book will appeal to students and scholars of law, Indigenous studies, gender studies, and the sociology of inequality.

Reviews
"Emily Snyder engages with one of the thorniest issues in the field of Indigenous law – that of gender and power. This respectful, thoughtful, and razor-sharp analysis of essentialist and fundamentalist representations of women in Cree law both challenges and provokes. This book will change how we see and think about Indigenous law. It is a gift to feminism, to legal scholarship, and to Indigenous feminists and communities the world over." -  Val Napoleon, Law Foundation Chair of Aboriginal Justice and Governance, Faculty of Law, University of Victoria

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248 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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$34.95

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George Littlechild: The Spirit Giggles Within
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Cree;

George Littlechild: The Spirit Giggles Within is a stunning retrospective of a career that has spanned nearly four decades. Featuring more than 150 of the Plains Cree artist's mixed-media works, this sumptuous collection showcases the bold swaths of colour and subtle textures of Littlechild's work. Littlechild has never shied away from political or social themes. His paintings blaze with strong emotions ranging from anger to compassion, humour to spiritualism. Fully embracing his Plains Cree heritage, he combines traditional Cree elements like horses and transformative or iconic creatures with his own family and personal symbols in a unique approach. George Littlechild: The Spirit Giggles Within shows the evolution of an artist from his earliest works to the present day, including hints of future directions and themes.

An insightful foreword by artist and curator Ryan Rice, a Mohawk from the Kahnawake First Nation in Quebec, and Littlechild's reflections on each piece build a broad understanding of Littlechild's work, his life and his views on the role of art within all cultures.

Reviews
”Littlechild’s magical colour, thought-provoking images and commentary provide insight into his personal symbolism, which somehow transforms his story into everyone’s story.” —Sherry Farrell Racette, Artist, Timiskaming First Nation

“Like the ceremonial unwrapping of a sacred medicine bundle, this salient retrospective of masterworks is clearly George Littlechild’s master narrative . . . a rare autobiographical gaze into the artist’s private and public space.” —Barry Ace, Artist, Michigiwadinong First Nation

“George Littlechild paints with light and butterfly medicine. This retrospective showcases the brilliance, beauty and grace of his work.” —Richard Van Camp, author of A Man Called Raven

Additional Information
176 pages | 11.50" x 10.87"

 
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$59.95

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Grateful Prey: Rock Cree Human-Animal Relationships
Authors:
Robert Brightman
Format: Paperback
The interaction between religious beliefs and hunting practices among the Asiniskawidiniwak or Rock Crees of northern Manitoba is the focus of Robert Brightman's detailed study. This foraging society, he says, bases aspects of its hunting and trapping largely on what we call "religious" conceptions.

Seeking an ideology, however, that incorporates Cree beliefs about human-animal differences and the relationships that should exist between them as hunter and prey, Brightman finds these beliefs to be disordered and unstable rather than systematic. Animals are represented as simultaneously more and less powerful than humans. The hunter-prey relationship is talked about as both collaborative and adversarial. Exploring the influence of these religious representations on technical aspects of subsistence historically, Brightman finds that Crees' attitudes and actions toward animals were, and are, relatively arbitrary with respect to biological and environmental forces. Anthropologists will see in his well-researched discussion a challenge to prevailing ecological and Marxist approaches to foraging societies.
$29.95

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Just Pretending
Format: Paperback

From one of Canada's most exciting new Metis voices comes a book whose recurring themes include the complexities of identity, belonging/not belonging, Aboriginal adoption, loss and abandonment, regret and insecurity.

A deadbeat dad tries to reconnect with his daughter after 22 years away. A selfish poet has been scarred by an upbringing that leaves him emotionally distant from his children and spouse. A pot-smoking middle-aged man undertakes a modest quest for meaning following a brush with mortality. A fourteen-year-old girl struggles to come to terms with her feelings of abandonment.

The characters are often fragile, sometimes unlikeable, but ultimately can be identified or sympathized with. At the centre of the stories are notions of identity and belonging, and the complex relationships between children and parents, both those who are real and those who are just pretending.

Reviews
"In Just Pretending, Saskatchewan-based Métis writer Lisa Bird-Wilson offers 24 brisk tales featuring characters asking this question. The title character in “Billy Bird” visits his Mooshum (grandfather in Cree), who is dying slowly in a rehab centre. While he is there, he reflects on his place in a never-ending circle. “His whole family is there sharing the circle with him, people he looks like, people he’s connected to, people whose traits he shares, people whose history is his own, grannies and grampas, Nehiyaw and Métis, all connected by the silky red thread.” Billy has a powerful ache to belong, to know himself through others." - Yutaka Dirks, briarpatch

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Kiss of the Fur Queen
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Cree;

Born into a magical Cree world in snowy northern Manitoba, Champion and Ooneemeetoo Okimasis are all too soon torn from their family and thrust into the hostile world of a Catholic residential school. Their language is forbidden, their names are changed to Jeremiah and Gabriel, and both boys are abused by priests.

As young men, estranged from their own people and alienated from the culture imposed upon them, the Okimasis brothers fight to survive. Wherever they go, the Fur Queen--a wily, shape-shifting trickster--watches over them with a protective eye. For Jeremiah and Gabriel are destined to be artists. Through music and dance they soar.

Educator Information
Grade 11/12 English First Peoples resource for the unit Further Steps toward Reconciliation - Understanding Residential Schools through Text.

Note: This novel contains mature and challenging material (profanity, coarse language, depictions of sex, sexual abuse, violence, etc.). 

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320 pages | 5.20" x 8.00"

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$22.00

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Life Stages and Native Women
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Cree; Métis;

A rare and inspiring guide to the health and well-being of Aboriginal women and their communities.

The process of "digging up medicines" - of rediscovering the stories of the past - serves as a powerful healing force in the decolonization and recovery of Aboriginal communities. In Life Stages and Native Women, Kim Anderson shares the teachings of fourteen elders from the Canadian prairies and Ontario to illustrate how different life stages were experienced by Metis, Cree, and Anishinaabe girls and women during the mid-twentieth century. These elders relate stories about their own lives, the experiences of girls and women of their childhood communities, and customs related to pregnancy, birth, post-natal care, infant and child care, puberty rites, gender and age-specific work roles, the distinct roles of post-menopausal women, and women's roles in managing death. Through these teachings, we learn how evolving responsibilities from infancy to adulthood shaped women's identities and place within Indigenous society, and were integral to the health and well-being of their communities. By understanding how healthy communities were created in the past, Anderson explains how this traditional knowledge can be applied toward rebuilding healthy Indigenous communities today.

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$27.95

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Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Cree;

A powerful story of resilience—a must-read for all Canadians.

Growing up in the tiny village of Smith, Alberta, Darrel J. McLeod was surrounded by his Cree family’s history. In shifting and unpredictable stories, his mother, Bertha, shared narratives of their culture, their family and the cruelty that she and her sisters endured in residential school. McLeod was comforted by her presence and that of his many siblings and cousins, the smells of moose stew and wild peppermint tea, and his deep love of the landscape. Bertha taught him to be fiercely proud of his heritage and to listen to the birds that would return to watch over and guide him at key junctures of his life. 

However, in a spiral of events, Darrel’s mother turned wild and unstable, and their home life became chaotic. Sweet and innocent by nature, Darrel struggled to maintain his grades and pursue an interest in music while changing homes many times, witnessing violence, caring for his younger siblings and suffering abuse at the hands of his surrogate father. Meanwhile, his sibling’s gender transition provoked Darrel to deeply question his own sexual identity. 

The fractured narrative of Mamaskatch mirrors Bertha’s attempts to reckon with the trauma and abuse she faced in her own life, and captures an intensely moving portrait of a family of strong personalities, deep ties and the shared history that both binds and haunts them. 

Beautifully written, honest and thought-provoking, Mamaskatch—named for the Cree word used as a response to dreams shared—is ultimately an uplifting account of overcoming personal and societal obstacles. In spite of the traumas of Darrel’s childhood, deep and mysterious forces handed down by his mother helped him survive and thrive: her love and strength stayed with him to build the foundation of what would come to be a very fulfilling and adventurous life.

Reviews
“Honestly stunning. McLeod’s clear writing lays bare his complicated ties to his family, his lovers and his country in a memoir that moved and haunted me. If you loved Maria Campbell’s Halfbreed, you will love Mamaskatch.” — Eden Robinson, author of Son of a Trickster and Monkey Beach

“Reading the text was like diving into the eternity of dreams and being paralyzed by a nightmare. However, there is sunrise. Told candidly and with heartbreaking honesty, McLeod’s memoir shows how survival beckoned and he held on to the spirit of his ancestors—the love that no one can ever sever. He lives for all of us.— Louise Bernice Halfe, author of Burning in this Midnight Dream

“A compelling read that shows the heartbreaking results of imposed oppression. Darrel has identity problems of many kinds and the result is a life full of chaos. The gradual climb out of that dark place is touching.”— Bev Sellars, former councillor and chief of the Xat’sull First Nation and author of Price Paid.

“Mamaskatch is a profound and tender love song, an elegy to a wounded family, and an unsparing, exquisitely moving chronicle of growing up “Nehiyaw” (Cree). Like the birdsong his mother taught him to understand, McLeod’s voice is magical; it will lift and carry you through bone-breaking grief with grit, optimism and wry, life-saving humour. You will not leave this book unchanged.”— Denise Ryan, journalist, Vancouver Sun

"Darrel McLeod’s Mamaskatch is a heart-wrenching mîwâsin memoir full of vignettes that are so intricately woven that they guide you through with grace, sâkihiwêwin, humour, and maskihkîy. This is a narrative built through continuums that detail the lives of the McLeod family through their queer travails, trans realities, bannock and stew conversations, and a plethora of intergenerational traumas and triumphs. I can feel the warm embrace of the Three Sisters wrapping around me as I read this, that heart-drum beat resounding beneath its literary cadences, the frigidity of the Athabasca kissing my heels, and a narrator who teaches me from his very first passage in this novel that a good story is a medicine song that re-members and re-animates, in true nehiyawewin fashion, those who have paved the way for us and those who for whom we pave.  Ay-hay, Darrel, for this lovely work that lulls me back into those old-fashioned country songs that nearly every prairie kokôm raised us on. Mâmaskâc!"— Joshua Whitehead, author of Full-Metal Indigiqueer and Jonny Appleseed

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240 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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$29.95

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Medicine Paint: The Art of Dale Auger
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);

One of Canada's most evocative modern painters, Cree artist Dale Auger was a gifted interpreter of First Nations culture, using the cross-cultural medium of art to portray scenes from the everyday to the sacred and dissemble stereotypes about Indigenous peoples. Medicine Paint is a collection of Auger's best work, reproduced in glorious full colour and reflecting the evolution of the artist's distinctive style. Including a revealing look back at his life and professional development, the book is a stunning tribute to the master Aboriginal artist.

Auger uses bold, bright colours in his oil paintings to explore the intricate links between spirituality and the natural laws of the land. Birds, beasts and human forms are carried from the dreamworld onto canvas, their spirits channeled through his paintbrush and presented in brilliant yellows, mystic blues, vibrant reds and swirls of black. Infusing his subjects with energy, life and colour, Dale Auger masterfully presents scenes that are powerful, spiritual and inspiring. A bald eagle is majestic in flight against a bright blue sky. An elder makes a solemn offering to the Sky Being. Horses dance playfully in the frame for a sweat lodge. A warrior draws his bow and points it skyward.

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$59.95

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