This summer the University of Manitoba’s Summer Institute is offering a new and unique series of courses called Cree Language and Narrative.The three-week interdisciplinary session, under the umbrella of University of Manitoba Extended Education, focuses on language structure, the teaching and speaking of Cree and the Cree oral storytelling tradition.
Between July 26 and August 13, 2010, the Summer Institute is offering several courses including: Introductory Cree; Structure of the Cree Language (offered at different levels); and Cree Oral Stories. These courses are offered through the departments of linguistics, Native Studies and English, and through the support of the Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture.
The unique, interdisciplinary framework of the Summer Institute provides a different way to view Aboriginal Culture at the University, through the culture’s own teachings rather than through the lens of Western academic approaches.
In the third week, August 9 to 13, 2010, the Cree Oral Stories course will be led by Louis Bird, an Omushkego (Swampy Cree) elder from Peawanuck, Ontario. Bird is a storyteller and has spent a lifetime collecting, recording and telling traditional stories. During the session, Bird will share his stories and students will experience learning together through the power of storytelling that is deeply bound to a complex and living history.
Warren Cariou, Canada Research Chair in Narrative, Community and Indigenous Cultures describes Bird as “the greatest storyteller in the Cree language.” Cariou, also an associate professor in the department of English, will accompany Bird in teaching the course.
In the midst of the sessions, a free evening event will be hosted by Aqua Books on Thursday, August 11, 2010, at 7:00 pm. In addition to Bird, also participating will be Duncan Mercredi, a Cree poet from Grand Rapids, Manitoba, who has lived in Winnipeg for many years, and Joseph Boyden, a Giller Prize-winning Metis novelist whose work is inspired by Cree oral traditions.
All are welcome to enrol in any of the classes being offered.
Please visit the Summer Session website at: umanitoba.ca/summer, or e-mail the Summer Institute at: email@example.com
For more information about the Summer Institute’s series Cree Language and Narrative, contact:
Bill Kops, director, Summer Institute, at 1-250-374-1290 between July 28 and August 3 and 204-333-5324 after August 3, 2010.
Renate Eigenbrod, head, Native Studies, at: 204-474-7026.
Warren Cariou, director, Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture, at: 204-480-1066.