WHETUNG OJIBWA CENTRE
Our Grandmothers' Lives as Told in Their Own Words: Kohkominawak Otacimowiniwawa
This bilingual collection of reminiscences and personal stories tells us about the daily lives of Cree women over the past century: household chores, snaring rabbits and picking berries, going to school, marriage, bearing and raising children. Seven Cree women share memories about their lives and the history of their people, and provide insights into the traditional teachings of a society where practical and spiritual matters are never far apart. Recorded in their Cree language using syllabics and translated into English, these women speak with warmth and humour about their memories and their reflections on how people live today. Their stories span several generations, from the present back to reports of their own grandmothers' lives in the bush and on the reserve, giving a clear picture of the role of women in Cree society. Freda Ahenakew was born on the Ahtahkakoop First Nation reserve. Former Director of the Saskatchewan Indian Languages Institute, she earned her M.A. in Cree linguistics at the University of Manitoba. Ahenakew was an Associate Professor of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba from 1989 to 1996 and acted as Head of the Department of Native Studies from 1990 to 1995. She thereafter worked as a First Nations Language Consultant to the Prince Albert Grand Council until her retirement in 1997. That same year, she was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Saskatchewan.