Solomon Ratt on CBC The Sunday Edition!
Author of Woods Cree and Beginning Cree on Reviving Indigenous Languages
For more than 30 years, Solomon Ratt has been teaching Woods Cree at First Nations University of Canada. When he began his teaching career, however, Indigenous language materials were few and far between. So he made his own.
To this date, Solomon has authored several workbooks and story collections—including mâci-nêhiyawêwin / Beginning Cree and nihithaw acimowina / Woods Cree Stories, both of which we were honoured to publish. These resources complement his teaching style, in which he uses storytelling, humour, social media posts, and other methods to make Woods Cree more accessible.
In January, Solomon spoke with CBC The Sunday Edition about revitalizing Indigenous languages—why it’s crucial today, and how to make it relevant to young people's everyday lives.
To support the work of Solomon and other teachers and learners, University of Regina Press publishes a number of Indigenous language books. Edited by Arok Wolvengrey, an expert in Algonquinian languages also based at First Nations University of Canada, our First Nations Language Readers series introduces different languages by mixing traditional and new stories together and publishing them in syllabics, Standard Roman Orthography, and English translation. In this series we have books on Cree, Blackfoot, Saulteaux, Woods Cree, Lillooet, and Gros Ventre, with more to come!
Also available through University of Regina Press is Wolvengrey’s Cree: Words, a two-volume dictionary which has long been a valued resource.
And let’s not forget about 100 Days of Cree, by writer Neal McLeod! A fun look at Cree in the twenty-first century, this text takes a dip into how terminology is evolving now, from Star Wars to the buffalo hunt.
In 2018, the Press partnered with University of Regina’s Library to produce an updated, Open Access version of the long-used and beloved Cree: Language of the Plains, by Cree expert and teacher Jean Okimâsis. This textbook and workbook combo are now available to students for free on the library website so they can continue to reclaim and relearn Cree.
Later this year, in fall 2019, we’re looking forward to publishing a textbook on one of the other languages common to Saskatchewan—Nakoda! Check our upcoming fall catalogue for more details soon.
That’s why our motto is “a voice for many peoples.”
Missed the interview when it first aired? You can listen to it here.