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kiskeyitamowin (knowledge) has been passed on from many generations to the next, as kiskeyitamowin travels from our ancestors to us. Our cultural iyinisowin (wisdom) has been used by our people for so long, and it is essential for us to continue passing it along. It is the nākateyimowewin (responsibility) of us all to teach our awāsisak (children) and nōsisimak (grandchildren) the things that we learned as awāsisak from our own kihtehayak (elders).
Let us tell stories around an open fire and show our awāsisak how to hunt and forage. Let us show the younger generations how to use plants as medicine, and teach then when berries are ripe to pick. And while we teach, let us too learn. As much kiskeyitamowin that has been passed down, there is always more to learn, whether it’s it from a kihtehayah (elder), an awāsisak or from nature itself. Nobody is too old to learn, and nobody is too young to teach. Every single person contains a well of valuable kiskeyitamowin, and this is not exclusive to humans. Animals too know things that have also been passed along for many generations. Everything from survival techniques to knowing how to pick medicines when you’re sick can be learned from watching other creatures interact with the world.
All kiskeyitamowin is valuable. There is no such thing as knowing too much, and there is no such thing as sharing too much. In order to keep our Cree language and culture alive, we must continue to teach and learn from each other. You have the ability to keep our culture alive. It’s as simple as telling a story or sharing a few words that your grandparents once shared with you. Those who are willing to learn will always be listening.