Soon there won’t be any more “rewinduuh” or “honkuu-je-hornuum” heard around the Mistissini band office.
The band has set up a Cree Language Department to promote Cree language use in band business. The department’s two employees will offer Cree employees of the band courses to improve the quality of their Cree. They will also translate band documents into Cree to make them more accessible to the public.
“It’s something we wanted to do for quite a while now,” said Thomas Neeposh, the band’s director of operations.
Mistissini is one of the first Cree communities to establish an entire department devoted to promoting Cree in the workplace. The band has had Cree translators for five or six years, but now the work will be done out of a permanent department by order of a Band Council decision on April I. The program is funded with federal funds under the Cree-Naskapi Act; before, it was paid for with Cree money.