Miskasowin askîhk: Coming to Know Oneself on the Land


  • Tammy Ratt University of Regina




miskâsowin askîhk is a nêhiyawêwin word that translates roughly “as finding oneself on the land.” Throughout this paper, I aim to tell a story about the journey I have taken on the land, with the language. The paper also addresses a process of coming to find myself throughout these experiences and relationships with land and language. Through my stories on the land, I have learned that I belong to the land and that the land teaches me. The article also shares what I have learned from Elders, Knowledge Keepers and literature. Namely, learning language on the land, with the land's resources, is an effective way to revitalize language and reclaim Indigenous identity in a balanced way. I finish this paper with the description of a project that I would like to research further. The project involves hand making beaded leather mitts while learning to speak nêhiyawêwin. This project is connected to asōnamēkēwin, a word in nêhiyawêwin that means that it is our responsibility to pass on knowledge that we learn. This is another important nêhiyawêwin phrase that guides me on this journey. It is my responsibility and I pass this responsibility onto anybody that I teach, to teach what they learn.

            Keywords: land-based learning, Cree language learning, language revitalization, best practices