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  Mrs Cecilia Martell   Listen to the audio introduction Listen to an introduction to Mrs Cecilia Martell by Joseph Naytowhow
  >>Mrs. Cecilia Martell

>>Waterhen Lake First Nation
Cree
(Nêhiyawêwin)
Cleanliness
kanâcisowin

1. I was born at Joseph Bighead First Nation and was raised there until I was five years old. During this time, I was raised by Elders who were very caring people; they loved everybody. They would tell me many things, however, I was one of those children who did not listen as well as I should have. However, they did teach me how to respect. For instance, whenever people came to visit I was not allowed to interrupt; especially if it was an Elder who was talking. I would have to sit very still and was not allowed to go outside to play. To even walk in front of where an Elder was sitting was forbidden. Elders were feared and commanded much respect.

1. Ministikoskaw-Sâkahikanihk, (Joseph Bighead First Nation) nikih-nihtawokin niya, êkwa êkota, nikih-ohpikihikawin iskohk niyânan ê-itahto piponiyân. Êkospi oma kihtê-ayak niki-opikihikwak mitoni kih miyotwawak. Kahkiyaw awiya kih kisêwâtotawêwak. Mihcêt kîkwây nikih-wihtamakwak, mâka namôya tâpwê kîkway nitoh-nitohtên kwayask, tâ-kîh nitohtamên ata. Mâka wiya nikîh-kiskinohamâkawin tânisi têsi- mânacisîyân. Taskoc ayisînêw kapê-kihokêt, namôya noh-pakitinikawin tâh-wâh-wânahtâyan asonî ita kihtê-ayak pikiskwêtwâwi. Piko pêyakwânohk êki-apiyân êkwa namôya ahpo wayawêtimihk noh-mêtawân. Namôya ohci pakitinikatêw, mîna ahpo nikan ta- pimohtêt awiyak ita kihtê-aya ê-apiyit. Kih-kostawak kihtê-ayak êkwa êyikohk êkih mânacihicik mîna.

2. A willow switch was kept near for children who wouldn't listen. Whenever a child was seen acting inappropriately, even to talk back, then he/she would be punished. It was believed that a child who was not disciplined or didn't respond to authority, would have a difficult life ahead. The child would not be able to stop bad behaviours developed by not listening to his or her Elders.

2. Ciki nipisîs kih-kanawêyihcikatêw awasisak ohci êka ka-nitohtakik. Kispin ka-wapimiht oma awasis êka kwayask ê-totahk ahpo ê-naskwêyasimot, êkosi kih makohaw. Kih- tâpwêhcikatêw awasis êka nantaw kisi-mînwahiht sêmak, ahpo êka ê-nitotahk, mistahi tayimihôw nikan ati. Namôya takîh ponihtaw anima kâmayatanîyik, pahkaci êka ê-ohci nitohtawaht kihtê-aya.

3. Today it is different. We aren't allowed to discipline the way I was raised, with strong measures. There is confusion in the way children are to be brought up and so now children act what ever way they please without fear. However, I still follow the traditional method of discipline. My children still earn their rights and respect by acting correctly. Even though many of my children are older, it is not too difficult for me to get a willow switch to correct their wrong actions.

3. Anohc êkwa misi pitos. Namôya êkwa pakitinikatêw ahpo takita-hamawasôyâhk tanisi kaki-isi sohki-ohpikihikawêyahk niyanan. Mitoni wawânîhcikatêw êkwa tanisi têsi- ohpikihcik awasisak, êyak ôhci pikwêsi awasisak kêsi-waskawêcik; namôya nâkatohkê- wak, mîna namôya kîkwây kostamwak. Mâka, kiyapic niya nipimcisahên kayas kitâhamawâsowin. Nitawasimisak kaskihtamasowak mânacihitowin ka-isi waskawicik. Kiyam ota êkah-kihtê-ayowicik namôya ayiman nipisîs totinaman toh-makohakik, ita ê- wapimakik êka kwayask êtotahkik.

4. Besides respect, I was also taught the importance of cleanliness for one's own self. As my girlfriends and I were becoming adolescents, and going through our menstrual cycle, we were taken to a private place for four days and nights. We were not allowed to talk to anyone other than each other. Our mothers were the only people allowed to come into the bush where we were learning how to become women. Our mothers showed us how to prepare ourselves to have a clean and pure mind, heart and spirit. We were not to talk to, nor even allowed to look at any males. Tasks to keep our hands busy, like sewing would be given to us to do. We had to make an effort to think positively and have pure thoughts. Thoughts of goodness, for example about Mother Earth and the Creator were our focus. The reason for having pure thoughts was to ensure we'd live a good life in the future. This is true. I believe it.

4. Mânacihitowinihk ohci mîna niki kiskinohamâkawin têsi kanacisiyân. Nîcoskinê kiskwêsisak, êkwa niya ê-ati â-oskinêkiskwêwêyahk niki-itohtahikawinan ohpimi nêwo kisikaw mîna tipiskaw. Namôya noh-pakitinikawinan awiyak tapikiskwatayahk, niyanân piko tasi. Nikawinanak piko kih pakitinâwak tapê-itohtêcik ita kâyayahk, ê- kiskinohâmâkawiyahk têsi iskwêwêyahk. Nikawênanak niki kiskinohamakonanak tanisi têsi wawiyêhisoyahk takanaci mamitoniyihtamahk nitêhinahk mîna nitahcakanahk. Namôya ta-pê-kiskwatâyakik, ahpo taki-tapimayakik awiyak napêwak. Kîkway niki miyikawinan tosihtayahk totamîhikoyahk taskoc mîna kaskikwasowina. Piko tasoki kocihtâyahk ta-miyo mamitonêyihtomahk. Ta-miyo mâmitonêyimâyahk okawîmâw askîy, mîna mâmaw-ohtawîmâw êkoni ta-nikânastayahk kîkwâya tanihkê ohci ta-miyo mamitonêyitamahk êyakwanima toh-miyo pimatisiyahk otê nikan isi. Tâpwê êwoko nitâpwêhtên.

5. This is the way it was when I was young. The earth was very clean. Very few people were around. We would see people from other communities once a year. We girls were very shy and timid. We would not look at other people, especially the young boys. The only time we would see people was during Sun Dance ceremonies in the summer. As our family approached the Sun Dance grounds, all of us girls would hide.

5. Êkosi oma kakih-oskayiwêyan, askiy mitoni kih-kanatan. Namôya ohci mihcitowak âyisinêwak. Nikih wâpimânanak mâna âyisinêwak ohpimi ohci pêyakwaw pêyak askiy. Niyanân iskwêsisak nikih nipêwisinan êkwa mîna mâna êki-sakotêhiyahk. Namôya apoh awiyak nohioi kita-pimânan ason cî napêsisak. Tanita piko mîna mâna êki-wâpimâyakik ayisinêwak oma ka-nipakwêsimohk, ka-nipihk. Oma kati tako-piciyahk, kakiyaw mâna niyanân iskwêsisak êki-kâsoyahk.

6. In the past, parents chose who was the right woman for their son. As a girl, it did not matter if you knew the man who was chosen for you; you had to go live with him. The people whom I knew who were part of this tradition off arranged marriages, grew to love and live with their pre-selected mate into old age. When a man chose a mate, it was for their ability to hunt, work and live in the lifestyle according to bush survival and not for their physical beauty. It is unlike today where you can decide on a marriage partner based on desire. This kind of planning does not work well since many of these kinds of marriage end up with the partners separating after only a short while of living together. My sisters who married in the traditional way still live with their husbands. They taught themselves how to love and to perform household duties for their spouses.

6. Kayas pêci-nawây onikihikomawak kî-nawasonêwak iskwêwa okosisiwawa ohci. Ê- oskinêkiskwêwihk namôya nantaw kiyam êka ênistawêyimat ana napêw kanawasonamâkawêyin. Piko êki-nitaw-wicâ yamat. Tahto kâ-kiskiyimakik êkosi kaki-isi wicihtahicik, kî-ati sakihitowak, mîna kinêwês kî-ati wîcayahtowak êkihtê-ayiwicik. Napêw kotinêskwêwêt, piko êki-nihta mâcit, ê-nihta-atoskêt, mîna ta-nihta pimâcihot sakahk, namôya wiya ê-ocimiyo nakosit, ohci. Anohc namôya êkosi ispayin soskwac êkwa ê-mosci-otintocik oskâyak kêsi akawatitocik. Namôya miywasin êkosisih, namôya kinwês wîcayâhtowak êkosi paskiwihitowak. Nicisanak êkosi kaki-isi-wikihtocik kayas, kiyopic wicâyâmiwak owicêwakanowawa. Kih-kiskinohamasowak tanisi têsi sakihacik mîna têsi pamihacik owiciwakanowawa.

7.Even hard work was done with love and appreciation. Many things, such as drying meat was done with the spirit of living a good life. Sometimes, when my mother was preparing the racks for drying meat, all of us little girls would mimic her. She would give us scraps from the wild meat and we would pretend to be like her; cutting and drying meat. Our natural environment was very clean. Even the preparing of fish and the tanning of hides was done with cleanliness in mind. The land was kept very clean.

7. Apoh atoskêwin kihto-tamwak sakihitowinihk ohci êkwa miywêtamowinihk, ê-isi kitimakêyimitohk. Mihcêt kîkway, taskoc wîyas kapâsamihk, ki-miyo pimatisinanowo kî-isi nocihtawak. Askaw mâna oma nikawiy kâ-tasikahk akwawân kawih-akwawit, kahkiyaw mâna niyanân iskwêsisak êki-ayisinawayahk. Ê-mah-miyikoyahk mâna wiyasis kâ-pânisahk êkwa mâna ê-ayininawayahk, ê-mah-manisamahk êkwa ê-pasamahk anima wiyasis. Mitoni kih kanatan ita oma kaki-ayayahk. Apoh kinosêwak kakih-osihêcik mîna kakih-pahkikinohkêk, kih-kanâci mamitonê yihcikatêw. Askiy oma mitoni kwayask kih kanaci-kanawihcikatêw.

 
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Biography ~ Mrs. Cecilia Martell

Cecilia Mary Ann Martell (Morningchild), was born at Joseph Bighead First Nation, SK; somewhere near the church. In the past when Cree people travelled by horse and wagon. Women who went into labour would have to give birth along the way. This is how Cecilia was born at Joseph Bighead. Originally, she and her parents came from Makwa Sahgaiehcan. In the mid-1920's her family moved to Greig Lake, SK. Many wonderful memories are associated with Greig Lake and it is Cecilia's dream to some day return there to live.

Cecilia comes from a family of 11; eight girls and three boys. In her own family she has had thirteen children. Due to various tragedies or illnesses, seven have passed on to the spirit world. She and her husband Baptiste reside in Waterhen Lake First Nation.

Cecilia has been a mother for most of her life. Because of her good child rearing, attendance and participation at various ceremonies and cultural activities, she has developed the qualities looked upon by Elders as pre-requisites for becoming a spiritual leader. These qualities include: being a visionary, being a committed student to Cree sacred teachings, and having a good and caring heart.

At one point in her life, Cecilia became a Roman Catholic through the introduction of a missionary near the place of her birth. However, today her spirituality is totally focused on the practices and tradition rooted in Cree culture.

Today Cecilia conducts ceremonies and counsels young people and adult alike from Waterhen Lake and the surrounding area. She is also recognized as an Elder within the Meadow Lake First Nations.

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Waterhen Lake First Nation

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ElderSpeak
Cree Translator

Sîkîp Sâkahikan
waterhen lake
Cree

Waterhen Lake First Nation
Box 9
Waterhen Lake, Saskatchewan
S0M 3B0
Phone : (306)236-6717
Fax : (306)236-4866


Mary Anne Martell

 
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