Course Spotlight: FNLG 133 - Introduction to Cree

June 27, 2018

This fall, Darlene Willier is running FNLG 133 - Introduction to a First Nations Language, with a focus on Cree. The course runs from 5:30pm - 8:20pm every Wednesday at the Burnaby campus. There is only room for 18 people, so sign up early and quick if you want to guarantee your spot! There are no prerequisites and the language is taught from the ground up.

This course is perfect for students who think they may ever be interested in studying first nations languages, take field studies courses, or look at the phonetic and morphological systems of a language that differs wildly from English and other European languages.


Course Outline

First Nations Language Plains Cree is a 3 unit university-level course that provides instruction at the introductory level. Students will focus on the spoken use of Plains Cree including basic conversation, greetings, introductions, prayers, household vocabulary and an introduction to the Plains Cree orthography. Students will learn the spoken use of Plains Cree through classroom instruction, games/activities, language labs and self-evaluation. Students will practice Plains Cree immersion speaking within the classroom environment and gain an understanding of how to continue with their language learning outside of their academic program.


This course will introduce students to the foundation of Plains Cree skills they will need to participate in Plains Cree basic conversation. At the conclusion of the course, students will: 

  1. Understand and say some 250 words in Plains Cree including vocabulary for clothing and body, classroom objects, food and cooking, community, relatives.
  2. Recognize and produce, with some accuracy, although not yet mastery, all sounds of Plains Cree, and how they are represented in the practical alphabet.
  3. Understand and produce yes-no questions/answers and questions about who (awina), what (kikway) and what happened (tansi kaki-esipayik)
  4. Understand and say sentences that include simple descriptions of people, their qualities, activities, and of objects and their qualities.
  5. Use the pointing words oma, awa, ohi and anihi, relating to animacy in simple sentences;
  6. Make introductions, stating place one comes from, name, and name of ancestors and relatives;
  7. Understand and use the possessives niya, kiya, wiya, (1st, 2nd and 3rd person singular) in simple statements and descriptions,
  8. Understand connections between Plains Cree and cultural traditions.