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Through a blend of languages and a combination of âcimisowin (autobiographical stories) and âcathôhkîwina (traditional tales), this unique memoir uses a particular Cree sense of humour to reflect on the memories of Solomon Ratt’s life before, during and after residential school while continuing to celebrate perseverance in the face of these challenges.
Hosted by Arden Ogg, founder of the Cree Literacy Network, this evening invites us to celebrate Cree language and resilience.
This project has been made possible by the Government of Canada. Ce projet a été rendu possible grâce au gouvernement du Canada.
Registration is free, open to all and required for the event. This event will be hosted online on Zoom with closed captioning. A recording of the reading will be made available after.
For more on accessibility and how to request ASL interpretation please visit: massyarts.com/accessibility.
About The Book
kâ-pî-isi-kiskisiyân / The Way I Remember (University of Regina Press)
Torn from his family at the age of six, Solomon Ratt was placed into the residential school system – far from the love and comfort of home and family. In kâ-pî-isi-kiskisiyân / The Way I Remember, Ratt reflects on these memories and life-long challenges through his telling of âcimisowin (autobiographical stories) and also âcathôhkîwina (traditional tales).
Presented in Cree th-dialect Standard Roman Orthography, syllabics, and English, Ratt’s reminiscences of residential school escapades almost always end with a close call and a smile. Even when the memories are dark, his particularly Cree sense of humour shines, resulting in an important and unique memoir that emphasizes and celebrates Solomon Ratt’s perseverance and life after residential school.
About the Author
Solomon Ratt was born on the banks of the Churchill River just north of the community of Stanley Mission. His parents were hunters and fishers who lived off the land, spending their winters on the trapline and summers fishing in La Ronge. Solomon spent the first six winters of his life with his parents, who didn’t speak English. They knew the ways of the land, including the traditional stories passed down through generations, which they told to Solomon and his siblings.
The author of Beginning Cree, Let’s Keep Speaking Cree, and Woods Cree Stories, Solomon has a BA (ORD), BA (ADV), and an MA from the University of Regina, and has been instructing at First Nations University of Canada since 1986. He has been awarded the Saskatchewan Order of Merit (2021) and the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee medal (2022).
Arden Ogg launched the Cree Literacy Network in 2010 to help connect the Cree language in print with the speakers, teachers and students who need it most. A grandchild of Scottish settlers, she was placed upon this path by the late Dr Freda Ahenakew CM, whose many Cree/English bilingual publications she helped produce.