Reclaim Your Language with Nehiyo (Cree) Lessons
The Cree Language Lessons being offered by the Centre for Race and Culture, through the support of ECALA, are different from any of the courses currently being offered in Edmonton. This is due to the unique methodology being used. This methodology is called cahkipehikanak (syllabics), which is better known as the star chart, a traditional format that incorporates the cultural and philisophical teachings of the Cree language. This method of teaching the Cree language is not used anywhere in the greater Edmonton area or in the entire educational system in Edmonton.
According to experts there was an estimated 600,000 Cree words prior to European contact, currently there are around 30,000 words in use, and this count continues to drop almost daily. Edmonton has the second largest Aboriginal population of all cities, second only to Winnipeg. Many of our citizens would like to find ways to regain their lost language and reconnect with their cultural identity.
Our objective is to teach Cree using this holistic approach based on 44 symbols, 14 consonants and the 8 direction syllabic system. The directions’ philosophies are included as the lessons are taught in the manner of natural law. Learners will feel empowered by learning Cree using the traditional and historical way of language transmission. This will help participants reclaim their language and or ensure the survival of this language.
Download the 2012-2013 course poster here.
Dates and Time: Course will run from September 17, 2012-February 4, 2013 on Mondays and Thursdays from 6:30- 8:30 PM.
Location: St. Alphonsus School 11624 - 81 Street, Edmonton, Alberta T5B 2S2
Cost: $50 (includes GST)
By registering for this course, participants commit to attending ALL classes offered.
After receiving an overwhelming response, REGISTRATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED.
Thank you for your interest and we hope to announce another session in 2013.
For more information please contact:
Reuben Quinn, Program Coordintor
Phone: 780-425-4644, ext. 111
This program is made possible by the generous support of ECALA (Edmonton Community Adult Learning Association).
Nehiyo (Cree) Course Outline
- Weeks 1 to 4: Introduction to the 8 direction, 44 symbol, 14 consonant star chart system(Nehiyo cahkipeyihkannah). Logistics of the cahkipeyihkanah.
- Week 5 and 6: Articulation. The p, t, k, c sounds are not represented in the English alphabet irrespective of diphthongs. The mechanical function, which is articulation, of speech will be put into practice with each student individually.
- Week 7: Greetings and salutations.
- Week 8 and 9: Naming Animate and inanimate objects; Identifying Relationships i.e. mother, father, brother, sister etc.
- Week 10 to 14: Basic conversation; Function of prayer
- Week 15: Potential Field trip to a Ceremony in which Cree is primarily spoken.
- Week 16 and 17: Personalizing the language to one’s needs
- Week 18 and 19: Reviewing the star chart; Making a list of Elder, family, library, internet resources; Evaluation