Language - Cree

Welcome to Cree Language Sharing!

Northern Lights Library System supports the Truth & Reconciliation Calls to Action and is honored to acknowledge Cree language revitalization by sharing this video.

Indigenous TPR (Total Physical Response) video

Created by, Tribal Chiefs Education Foundation - upholding & respecting Treaty No.6 while serving First Nation education and training

Filmed at, University nuhelot’i?ne thaiyots’i? nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills: Leaders in reclaiming Indigenous education and pride, on Treaty No. 6 Territory (kihci asotamâtowin nikotwâsik)

Organizers: Marlene Quinney - facilitator, Dr. Diana Steinhauer- organizing director, Melody Parker - Asst. Organizer, Shannon M Houle - Asst. Organizer- videographer-editor and producer.

Find information here on Cree language learning, resources and free Cree Apps
Below you will find links to three files, a Word document and two audio or mp3 files.

The first file is a word document and it contains the written version of the Cree lesson. This is the one called Cree Language Lesson 1. You may click on it and download it to your computer. From there it can be viewed or printed to accompany the audio file.
The mp3 files beneath it contains the audio recording of Lesson 1, so you will have the correct pronunciation, provided by a person whose first language is Cree. Click on it and press the play arrow to hear Mrs. Irene Cardinal of Saddle Lake Cree Nation of Treaty Six Territory.

This lesson was inspired by the Head Start Program at the Mannawanis Friendship Center in St. Paul, Alberta. This is basic conversation that would be used to get children dressed to go outside. It is posted here as a resource for staff and parents who wish to bring back the Cree language into everyday use. Everyone is welcome to listen and practice Cree.


Cree LanguageLesson 1



Lesson 2

I was told that 3-5 new words is the most a language learner can absorb at one time without becoming overwhelmed. When people become overwhelmed, they might shut down, become frustrated or lose interest. For the next lesson, we will focus on the following 5 words or phrases: listen, come eat, don't do that, stop, and that's good (that's it).

Irene Cardinal provides us the audio in this section. During the recording session, she mentioned that she tries to pronounce the words as if she was reading from syllabics. As a result, you might hear more sounds than you will in everyday speech, where words are shortened.

It is also worth mentioning that there is more than one way to say these phrases in Cree. We are only offering one version, there are others. Mrs. Cardinal is originally from Saddle Lake Cree Nation and this audio recording shares the way she was taught in her community.

Please link to the files below, the first is the word document and the next is the audio recording:



Lesson 3

This next lesson will carry on with typical language a child might learn at home with their family. "Go wash your hands, go sit down, get down and put things away" are the Cree phrases listed here. It is with gratitude we acknowledge Mrs. Irene Cardinal, she is the fluent speaker you will hear again on this section of audio.

Audio file:

Lesson 4

I was able to attend the awesome Total Physical Response Workshop, hosted by Tribal Chiefs Education and instructed by Marlene Quinney. I was reminded of the importance of eliminating English during Cree lessons. This might seem obvious but the temptation to translate, allows English to creep into the conversation too often. This inspired me to work on a few videos for second language learners.

I am grateful for the assistance provided by Mariam Buffalo, who made this video possible. Click on the link below for the Cree picture slide show.

Cree Language Resources

This is a 5 minute video of elder Alsena White of Saddle Lake Cree Nation speaking Cree and sharing a teaching (accompanied by English subtitles) and artwork by Lana Whiskeyjack.
The beauty of Alsena shared in nehiyawewin (the Cree Language) 2016

Cree Podcast:
Sharing from 5 nêhiyaw books written by the late Freda Ahenakew, the most common used Cree words by 5 different speakers. Also a recording of Archie Steinhauer and his brother Robert from a nêhiyaw class presentation at UnBQ.

u tube video:
teaching the Cree word for "tânehki" or why

want2speak Cree - an audio series focusing on greetings

Simon Bird - Cree Simon Says

Simon Bird - Lil Moshom

This a grammar and study guide for those wanting to learn Cree. It is available through mainstream on-line distributors.
Ratt, Solomon (2016), mâci-nêhiyawêwin/Beginning Cree, University of Regina Press.

This is a 2-volume dictionary of the Cree Language for beginners and fluent speakers. 
Wolvengrey, Arok, (2011), nêhiyawêwin itwêwina: Cree Words.

Websites and Apps:

Cree Literacy Network (website)

Online Cree Dictionary (free app)

File Hills (Fort Qu'Appelle)  Cree App

My Cree App

Kawacatoose Cree App

University nuhelot’i?ne thaiyots’i? nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills - Language website & Cree and Dene Book Catalogue