mitoni niya nêhiyaw / Cree is Who I Truly Am nêhiyaw-iskwêw mitoni niya / Me, I am Truly a Cree Woman

SKU: 9780887559426

Book Type:
Paper Back|2021
University of Manitoba Press

Sale price$29.95


mitoni niya nêhiyaw / Cree is Who I Truly Am nêhiyaw-iskwêw mitoni niya / Me, I am Truly a Cree Woman, as told by Sarah Whitecalf and edited and translated by H.C. Wolfart and Freda Ahenkew with a preface by Ted Whitecalf, is the story of strong women. These women dominate the reminiscences of this book: the grandmother taught the girl whose mother refused to let her go to school, and the life-changing events they witnessed range from the ravages of the influenza epidemic of 1918–20, to murder committed in a jealous rage, to the abduction of a young woman by underground spirits who grant her healing powers upon her release. A highly personal document, these memoirs are altogether exceptional in recounting the thoughts and feelings of a Cree woman as she copes with the impacts of colonialism but also, in a key chapter, with her loneliness while tending a relative’s children in a place far from home - and away from the company of other women. Her experiences and reactions throw fresh light on the lives lived by Plains Cree women on the Canadian prairies over much of the twentieth century. Sarah Whitecalf (1919–1991) spoke Cree exclusively, spending most of her life at Nakiwacîhk / Sweetgrass Reserve on the North Saskatchewan River. This is where Leonard Bloomfield was told what would be collected as Sacred Stories of the Sweet Grass Cree in 1925 and where a decade later David Mandelbaum apprenticed himself to Kâ-miyokîsihkwêw / Fineday, the step-grandfather in whose family Sarah Whitecalf grew up. In presenting a Cree woman’s view of her world, these memoirs directly reflect the spoken word: Sarah Whitecalf’s reminiscences are here printed in Cree exactly as she recorded them, with a close English translation on the facing page. These chapters constitute an autobiography of great personal authority and rare authenticity. The table of contents are as follows: PART I Becoming a Cree woman Ch. 1 êkosi nikî-pê-ay-itâcihonân / This has been our way of life Ch. 2 êkosi nikî-tâs-ôy-ohpikihikawin / This is the way I was raised Ch. 3 mêh-mêskoc nikî-pimohtahikawin / I was taken back and forth Ch. 4 miton ê-kî-pê-na-nêhiyawôhpikihikawiyân / I was truly raised as a Cree woman PART II Being a Cree woman Ch. 5 êwak ôm ê-kî-ay-itâcimisot awa nikâwiy / This is my mother’s own story Ch. 6 iyikohk ê-kîsôhkêpayik anima nipahtâkêwin / So horrible was that murder Ch. 7 ê-nipahi-kâhkaskêyihtamân / I was desperately lonesome Ch. 8 pikw êkwa niya / Now I had to take charge PART III The spiritual life Ch. 9 ê-sîkâwîhcikêhk / Observing the mourning ritual Ch. 10 manitow kâ-matwêhikêt / Where the spirits drum (I) Ch. 11 manitow kâ-matwêhikêt / Where the spirits drum (II) Ch. 12 manitow kâ-matwêhikêt / Where the spirits drum (III)

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