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Why the Métis Neighborhood of Île-à-la-Cross wants the Michif Language


“Marrsî” means “Thanks” in Northern Michif, the language of the Northern Métis peoples of Canada. It’s the primary phrase that Nature Canada workers have been launched to after we arrived to fulfill the great group of Île-à-la-Crosse in Northwest Saskatchewan and it’s the one we discover ourselves saying again and again to our Sakitawak IPCA companions for his or her efforts to guard the boreal forest of their conventional lands.

Métis Neighborhood members of Île-à-la-Cross

Métis conservation data relies on the Michif language and conventional Métis practices. Defending the land helps defend the language and vice versa. 

“The language connects to the land like butter to bannock.” 

Vince Ahenakew, Michif Language Trainer and Sakitawak IPCA Board Member

Listed below are some information about Michif to assist higher perceive the language and a few phrases so that you can check out by yourself.

“Marrsî” to Vince Ahenakew, from Île-à-la-Crosse who helped us write this weblog!

In regards to the Michif language

The Michif language, spoken by Métis folks, consists of French nouns, adjectives, numbers and Cree verbs, private pronouns, and syntax. If you realize some French, a few of the phrases might look and sound acquainted however Michif is a language all its personal. We’re presenting the dialect spoken in Île-à-la-Crosse however spelling and pronunciation fluctuate relying on the area. There are even sub-languages, together with Michif-Anishnaabe, Michif-Cree, and French Michif.

“Now we have three dialects of Michif. Ours is Northern Michif. I’ll say it’s about 10 p.c French and a bit of little bit of English thrown in there occasionally, it is determined by the place you’re, and an entire lot of Cree. So, it’s very easy, or I assume it’s actually commonplace for folks to be utilizing each, switching between French and English after they speak.”

Vince Ahenakew, Michif Language Trainer and IPCA Board Member at Île-à-la-Crosse

The variety of Michif audio system is declining due to colonial influences however communities like Île-à-la-Crosse are working to reverse that development. Youngsters locally be taught Michif at residence and at college, there’s a Michif-language radio station, and conservation efforts just like the Sakitawak IPCA assist to advertise Michif names for locations and species. 

Why is the Michif language so essential for conservation?

Indigenous communities typically inhabit areas of biodiversity, the place conservation is essential. The Métis, Woodland Cree, and Dene communities of Île-à-la-Crosse in Northwestern Saskatchewan are one instance of this. 

Conventional data from such communities is the important thing to sustainably conserving their biodiversity. The Métis of Île-à-la-Crosse have been sustainably utilizing the land for hundreds of years and safeguarding Woodland Caribou, Walleye, and the boreal forest.

Sakitawak IPCA

The conservation efforts of the Sakitawak IPCA are primarily based within the conventional practices of the Métis who’ve lived there for hundreds of years and handed down their data and expertise orally (largely in Michif). Moreover, the IPCA is an effort not simply to protect the land and waters of the N-14 fur block, but additionally to protect and have fun the tradition and traditions of those that stay there. Through the use of and selling the Michif language, the group shall be preserving and strengthening the sustainable group practices which shall be indispensable in defending the biodiversity of the Sakitawak Indigenous Protected and Conserved Space.

“There’s a number of place names in our historic group right here which can be in Michif, a number of the phrases, and a number of the best way of preserving and getting ready these meals, the animals. All of the animals have totally different names as properly, and the timber and the crops, and people sorts of issues, plus the medicines they get and all of the meals, that’s all tied into the language. So all that data is there, it’s only a matter of reviving it.” 

Vince Ahenakew, Michif Language Trainer and IPCA Board Member at Île-à-la-Crosse

Pronunciation Information

Listed below are some extra phrases and phrases so that you can strive by yourself at residence:

Hey: Tân’si

“Hey, my title is ______” 
Tân’si _____ nisihkâson.

Woodland Caribou: atihkwak

“The Woodland Caribou use the N-14 fur block as a calving floor.”
atihkwak âpacihtâwak askî misowî ôta N-14 ôma î ocawâsimsocik misowî maskîkohk

Walleye: lî dörrî

“Walleye are an essential supply of meals for the group of Île-à-la-Crosse.”

Aspin ohci Sâktawînowak kî mowêwak lî dörrî, êkwa pimâcihisowak lî dörrî êkwa nanâtohk itowa kinowsêwak / lî pwasöň mîna isihkâtêwak

Forest: nohcimihk / sakahk

“We make tea from the labrador tea crops which develop within the boreal forest.”

L’tî ni osihtamâsonân mâna nîpisîsa maskîkohk ohci

Bald Eagle: mik’sô

“Bald eagles are one among many chicken species who make their residence within the N-14 fur block”
mik’sôwak mîna mihcåt kotakak nanâtohk piyîsîsak misowî ôta N-14 pimâcihisowak

Nature: askî

Indigenous-led conservation tasks like Sakitawak IPCA are serving to us halt and reverse nature loss.

Sâkitawâwînowak kâ nîkânîstahkwâw ôma IPCA kwayes wîcihômakan ta nakinama kâ misinawâtahtâcik askî

Thanks: Marrsî

“Thanks for taking a bit of little bit of time to study Michif and the group of Île-à-la-Crosse.” 

Marrsî ôma kâ ayamihtâyin, ap’sis ta kiskihtamin Nêhiyawêwin ôma Michif mîna tân’si î isi pimât’siya Sâkitawahk.

Try these sources to be taught extra about Michif

Nature Canada thanks Vince Ahenakew for assist with penning this weblog. Vince is a Michif language trainer in Île-à-la-Crosse, SK and a board member of the Sakitawak IPCA.



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