Tansi Keya?

Welcome to the Sakaw Cree Online Language Project!

Sakaw “Boreal Forest” Cree is a variation of the ‘y’ cree dialect. It’s a cross between Woodland Cree and Plains Cree in north-central Alberta, Canada.

Sakaw Cree is the primary language of the Bigstone Cree Nation people, who live near the Hamlet of Wabasca in the Municipal District of Opportunity #17. This territory in Northern Alberta is part of Treaty 8 with the British crown that helped create Canada.

Unfortunately, decades of assimilation and genocidal efforts of the Canadian government have weakened the Sakaw Cree language base. This has caused young people to speak it less and less. This is my way of preserving the language as we all work on reconciliation. This website is working to achieve actions 13-17 of the 94 Calls to Action set forth by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

Preserving the Language

Sakaw Cree is not commonly mentioned with the other Indigenous languages on lists or on maps. Normally, we are either grouped with the Woodland Cree or the Plains Cree.

We’re attempting to help preserve the language with the help of my mother, other Elders, and family.

Preserving the Culture

Along with preserving the language, some Bigstone Cree culture and traditions may be covered on this website.

Support Our Work

Donations here will go to paying website fees, and the rest will go to my mother, Elders, and other contributors. Please click here now to donate!

Donations will allow us to create more lessons, add sound for pronunciation, and maybe even some videos.

First Lesson: Simple Greeting

From the very top of this page, we asked Tansi keya?

Tansi means “how” and keya means “you” so together as a greeting Tansi keya? means “Hello, how are you?”

When someone asks you Tansi keya? you would respond with Namoya nantaw, that means “I am good, nothing wrong.”

Right after Namoya nantaw you can add Ekwa Keya? that means “and how are you?”