Lesson 2

Welcome to Lesson 2 … but first, a word from our sponsor:

And this is how you can address our sponsor (or sponsors) …

Relationships are everything to us Michif.

Our language is based on our relationships to each other as Michif, to the land, to our ancestors (both born and unborn), and to non-Michif.

Noohkoom (Grandma) and Mii Taante (my Aunties) said our language was one of the main reasons we were so successful as harvesters, hunters, and organizers. Beginning in the early 1800s, many people began to venture into what is now Western Canada, and many languages being spoken.

We Michif were commonly fluent in multiple languages, which made us natural translators and guides. And just as Noohkoom was super secretive about her favourite berry-picking spot, we were secretive about our tactics in pursuit of food, clothing, tools, etc. (again, thank you to our sponsor) …

Here are some words for those close to us:

Mother … probably didn’t need to sound this one out.
Or this one … Father.

Here are some alternate words you’ll hear for Mother and Father. I’ve also added the possessives to denote that the speaker is talking specifically about his/her own Mother and Father.

MY” Mother AND Father.

What about “YOUR” Mother and Father?

I’m glad you asked …

“YOUR” Mother AND Father.

A person might also use the French versions of your Mother and your Father. In that case: Congratulations! You obviously speak some French.

Now, back to our language.

In my view, Grandmother is the most important word you’ll come across. It’s a word that represents the Earth, Nature, and the women who carried the lives of all the men and women who came before us … and will come after us.

You’ll frequently hear people refer to Grandmothers in general with this word:

That word refers to Grandmothers in general, or, specifically to “YOUR” Grandmother (as in, if I’m referring to your Grandma, that’s the word I would use).

In reference to “MY” Grandmother, I’ll use this word:

“MY” Grandmother.


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