Acclaimed Cree playwright Thompson Highway has just released two of his most famous plays in his mother tongue of Cree.
The two plays, The Rez Sisters and Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing, became available in Cree as of November 8 though they have been available in English and French since the 1980s.
Ironically, Highway told the CBC that when he wrote the plays almost 30 years ago he would hear them in his mind in Cree, yet the text came out on paper in either English or French. He feels these new Cree versions are in fact the original versions.
Highway says Cree is a more natural language to him as it is his mother tongue and neither his parents nor his two eldest siblings speak English.
At the official launch party for the Cree re-releases held at the University of Ottawa, Highway said he would like to encourage more Aboriginal thespians to perform in their Native languages because they are an endangered species. It is his hope that more Aboriginal writers write in their Native tongues as he credits them as those who have the means to save these languages.