Pewaseskwan at USask supports Nehiyawak (Cree) language and culture revitalization on Saskatchewan First Nation – USask News

by ahnationtalk on January 20, 2023144 Views

Jan 20, 2023

Nehiyawak (Cree) language echoes through the auditorium at Sakāskohc High School on Onion Lake Cree Nation (OLCN) on a cold December evening. Four male Elders sit in armchairs at the front of the auditorium taking turns sharing knowledge, memories, and language. Their stories are being recorded for others in the community to access and they will be archived for future generations.

“A lot of Elders have stories that need to be known. I want [young people] to hear the stories so that they can change the way they are and [go] back to the way it was, the good life. Tonight was about trying to change the young generation of Cree to not be afraid to talk Cree. I’d like to see that Cree come back because it is important,” explained Willard Harper, following the recording.

Harper and the other Elders are participating in a community-based research project at OLCN that is supported by Pewaseskwan (the Indigenous Wellness Research Group) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask), co-led by Dr. Alexandra King (MD) and Prof. Malcom King (PhD), faculty in the College of Medicine. The research is part of a Canadian Institutes of Health Research-funded project, Miyo-pimâtisiwin, which loosely translates as “living the good life.” Working with Pewaseskwan, communities lead research based on Indigenous ways of knowing, being, and doing.

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