ᐊᐱᔒᔥ ᑭ ᒪᓯᓇᐦᐊᒫᑎᓐ ᐁ ᓯᑭᓀᓯᔮᓐ ᐁ ᐙᐸᒥᑕᑯᒃ ᓀᔥᑕ ᓈᔅᐱᒡ ᐁ ᒥᓉᓂᐦᑕᒫᓐ ᐁ ᐐ ᐅᑑᑌᒥᒥᔭᓐ᙮ ᓈᔅᐱᒡ ᓂ ᓯᑭᓀᓯᓐ ᐆᒪ ᐅᐦᒋ ᑭᒋ ᑭᔅᑫᓂᐦᑕᒣᒄ᙮ ᒫᑲ ᓈᔅᐱᒡ ᐁ ᑲᔥᑫᓂᐦᑕᒫᓐ ᐁᑳ ᐁ ᐙᐸᒪᒃ ᓂ ᓈᐯᒻ ᓀᔥᑕ ᐌᓴ ᑭᓉᔥ ᐁᑳ ᑭᒋ ᐙᐸᒪᒃ᙮ ᒥᑐᓂ ᒫᑲ ᓂ ᓇᑕᐌᓂᐦᑌᓐ ᐐᐸᒡ ᑭᒋ ᐙᐸᒪᒃ ᑮ ᐃᔥᒀ ᑕᑯᔑᓈᓀ ᐋᐦᑯᓰᐎᑲᒥᑯᐦᒃ ᐅᐦᒋ, ᑭᒋ ᑮ ᐃᐦᑭᐦᒃ ᐐᐸᒡ ᑭᒋ ᑮ ᑮᐌᔮᓐ ᐌᓂᔅᑭᐦᒃ, ᐁ ᒪᑯᔐ ᑮᔑᑳᒃ ᑲᓇᑫ ᑭᒋ ᐙᐸᐦᑕᒫᓐ ᐌᓂᔅᒃ᙮ ᓈᔅᐱᒡ ᓂ ᑲᔥᑫᓂᐦᑌᓐ ᐁ ᐯᔭᑯᑦ ᓂ ᓈᐯᒻ, ᐐᐸᒡ ᐌᐦᒋ ᐐ ᑮᐌᔮᓐ᙮ ᐁ ᐋᓕᒪᐦᒃ ᐁ ᐱᐳᐦᒃ ᐋᐸᑎᓯᐎᓇ ᐅᐦᒋ᙮ ᐁᑳ ᑭᒋ ᑮ ᐃᔑᓈᑯᓯᑦ ᑳ ᐃᔑᓈᑯᓯᑦ ᐁ ᑲᓇᐙᐸᒪᒃ ᓀᔥᑕ ᓂ ᑲᔥᑫᓂᐦᑌᓐ ᑭᒋ ᒫᓈᑕᓂᓂᑭ ᐅ ᐐᓈᐦᒋᑲᓇ᙮ ᐁᒀᓂᒪ ᒫᑲ ᐌᐦᒋ ᑲᔥᑫᓂᐦᑕᒫᓐ ᐁᑳ ᐁ ᐙᐸᒪᒃ᙮ ᐁᑯᔑ ᐐᐸᒡ ᓂᐐ ᑮᐙᓐ ᐁ ᒪᑯᔐ ᑮᔑᑳᒃ᙮ ᓂᐐ ᐙᐸᐦᑌᓐ ᐌᓂᔅᑭᐦᒃ᙮

The above is a letter written by an unnamed woman from Winisk while admitted to the Moose Factory hospital in the summer of 1935. It was written for Truman Michelson during his linguistics fieldwork in that community, likely after his request with hopes that he could gather data from the dialect spoken at Winisk without having to travel there himself.

The letter is a sad testament to the loneliness people felt from being isolated for months at a time, often to receive treatment for tuberculosis. In this letter, the unnamed woman laments her absence from home and worries her husband will have no one to help him with the winter hardships, indicating she was quite aware her treatment would likely take months.

The above transcription is faithful to the original wording, but edits to make the text clearer include the addition of vowel lengths, pre-aspirates, and punctuation. As the letter reads somewhat like a conversation, there is some room for interpretation with regard to the punctuation. An interesting feature of the letter is her use of the English pronunciation of Winisk, rather than the Cree. Otherwise, it is written in a clear Eastern Swampy Cree dialect.

Cree notes and texts collected by Truman Michelson, 1935 Summer (NAA MS 3394, notebook 4) National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s