Kayas Ochékiwi Sípí | Fisher River Before 1950


Kirkness, Verna J.


Kirkness, Verna J. Kayas Ochékiwi Sípí | Fisher River Before 1950. Winnipeg, Manitoba: Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre,, 2015. First Edition, First Printing. ISBN: 9781927849101. pp. 97. Oblong 8vo. Pictorial boards. Replete black-and-white photographs, portraits, illustrations, facsimiles, et al. No detectable flaws, contents bright, clean, and unmarked with tight, sound binding. Appears unread; as new. As New. Hardcover. ”This book is a photo essay of life in Ochékiwi Sípí before 1950. The stories in the book are from Elder interviews that I tape-recorded in 1996. At the time, I spoke with several Ochékiwi Sípí Elders who were over the age of 80, having been born in the early nineteen hundreds. They told me, mostly in Cree, about how they made a living in their day through fishing, farming, hunting and trapping. I translated the tapes and selected parts of their conversations for this book. In 2006, I had occasion to listen to other Elders, a generation younger than the first group. I am of that group and we recalled events such as treaty time, things we remembered from our parents’ stories, some things we experienced ourselves, fond memories of Christmas concerts, Christmas Eve at the United Church, New Year’s feasts and other events. This book, therefore, contains stories of two generations of Fisher River Elders all intertwined within the various chapters. You will hear both male and female voices. In this work, you will find a large number of interesting photographs. In the early 1900s, Fisher River Cree Nation sponsored a Fisher River Oral History Project. The research team of students collected photographs from community members that depict life in Ochékiwi Sípí as it was in the old days. Many of the photographs presented in this book are from that collection. Others have been given to me more recently, along with sketches of certain items that I thought would be useful. The stories are told using the Fisher River vernacular (home English). Cree words, phrases, and sentences form part of the text followed by English translation shown in italics. This is to honour the Cree Elders who spoke to me in Cree and to show that our language is still alive. This book is meant to be a pleasant reminder of the good old days to those who participated in these stories or contributed photographs. Sadly, many of the Elders have passed away, but through this book their stories will live on. Kayas, Ochékiwi Sípí: Fisher River Before 1950 by no means tells the whole story of life in our community. There is much more that could be added and a wonderful result of this first effort would be if someone decided to continue the conversation in another book. It is my hope that this book will interest the younger generations and give tham an appreciation of the hard work done by their grandparents and great-grandparents, as they existed in a very different time. May it remind them to spend time with their grandparents today as each generation has something to share with the younger: Storytelling is an important form of teaching. Each generation has a story. This book is especially for the 140th Anniversary of Ochékiwi Sípí in 2015.” (#2568) $65.00