The Counselling Speeches of Jim Ka-Nipitehtew

Jim Kâ-Nîpitêhtêw (As told by), Freda Ahenakew (Editor), H.C. Wolfart (Editor)


Jim Ka-Nipitehtew was a respected Cree Elder from Onion Lake, Saskatchewan, who spoke only Cree and provided these original counselling discourses. The book offers the speeches in Cree syllabics and in Roman Orthography as well as an English translation and commentary. The Elder offers guidance for First Nations people in these eight speeches that cover the proper performance of ceremonies, words of encouragement for youth, information about collecting medicinal plants, directions for proper behaviour of men toward women, proper preparations for the Pipe ceremony, the role of the Pipestem in the Making of Treaty 6, the importance of tobacco, and examples of improper ritual behaviour in ceremonies. One of the most important speeches is the narrative of the Cree record for the treaty negotiations that took place in the summer of 1876. It was originally transmitted by Jim Ka-Nipitehtew's father directly to him and the authors comment on this remarkable chain of transmission. The book contains a Cree-English and an English-Cree Glossary. This is an important resource for Cree linguistics as well as those interested in understanding the Cree perspective of Treaty 6.

About the Authors

Jim Kâ-Nîpitêhtêw was a respected Cree Elder from Onion Lake, Saskatchewan.

Freda Ahenakew (1932–2011), founding Director of the Saskatchewan Indian Languages Institute, earned her MA in Cree linguistics at the University of Manitoba. In 1997 she was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Saskatchewan. She was made a member of the Order of Canada in 1998.

H.C. Wolfart is University Distinguished Professor of Linguistics at the University of Manitoba.

Table of Contents

The Counselling Speeches of Jim Kâ-Nîpitêhtêw
Ch. 1 Counselling the Young
Ch. 2 Spiritual Help
Ch. 3 Leaving a Legacy
Ch. 4 Leading Our Children Astray
Ch. 5 The Testimony of the Pipestem
Ch. 6 The Pipestem and the Making of Treaty Six
Ch. 7 The Meaning of Rituals
Ch. 8 Profaning the Sacred

Commentary and Notes - H.C. Wolfart
Linguistic Form
Literary Form
Documentary Form
Contractual and Sacramental Form