Small Number and the Basketball Tournament- Cree

Small Number and the Basketball Tournament

Small Number is a young boy who gets into a lot of mischief. Twice a week, after school, he goes with his friends to the Aboriginal Friendship Centre. There the boys first have a snack and then they do mathematics for half an hour. Sometimes they do algebra in their workbooks, but usually they play mathematical games. They also love playing basketball in the Centre’s gym and wish to enter a tournament. Small Number demonstrates how a basic understanding of combinatorics can help in all aspects of life, even basketball!

APSCH AKICHIKIWAN IKWA KAMISIKTIT KOSKEWNTOWAN METAWEWINA (Cree Translation)

Cree Translation by Barry Cardinal from Bigstone Cree Nation
Written by Veselin Jungic, SFU, and Mark MacLean, UBC

Story Transcript: English and Cree

Apsch Akichikiwan esa mana ikenatohkunkeet kawaseewit. Uhkuma ikwa umsah (Koyask Akihtasowin) esa wetohkeemat, Misiyk esa oteenow eta kaweekitaw. Aya esa man,  neheyaw wechiwakanikumkohk intaw weechi  metawemat wechiwakuna. Pita esa mana imeetsutaw, ikwatowchih iksihnahamasootaw tansi kysakichiketaw.  Kymahk akihtasowin esa meena koynstohtakaw askow. Natohksi akichikewan metawewna esa askow metaweetaw. Apsch Akichikiwan esa mewetahk metaweet akihtasowin metawewna ohi.  Weya esa mamowachi nihtameetaweet ohi metawewna. Napisak esa mewetahkaw metawetaw neheyaw wechiwakanikumkohk.  Newo esa tapikwepinkuna ikwita eta kameetawetaw.  Newo ayuk esa mana metaweetaw seemak. Apsch Akichikiwan esa mamowachi apseesit eta uma kaweechihooweet, maka esa weya mamoowach chastapeet. Koy-asinowat  esa mana weechiwakun “Misiwasakameyak” mamowachi isohkapeyweet eta kawechehoweetaw.

Small Number is a young boy who gets into a lot of mischief.  He lives in a big city with his mother and his older sister Perfect Number.  Twice a week, after school, he goes with his friends to the Aboriginal Friendship Centre. There the boys first have a snack and then they do mathematics for a half of an hour. Sometimes they do algebra in their workbooks, but usually they just play mathematical games. Small Number’s favorite game is “Set”. He enjoys finding patterns faster than anybody else! What the boys like the most is to play basketball in Center’s gym.  There are four basketball hoops in he gym so each group of players can use just a fraction of the court. Small Number is the shortest guy in the group, but he is very fast and he is trying hard to be as good a player as his best friend Big Circle, the biggest guy on the team.

Metawewna esa nohtemeetaweetaw napisak neheyaw keesikihki, maka esa nikootawsihk ka-yitustaw pohkoh, ikwa keetsk neyanan itustaw.  Nistoh esa keetsk pakitinitaw kameetawetaw peyukaw metawewnihk. Aya esa ikoymskoytahkaw aweenhi uma kakoychimatow kawechimeetawemkotaw.  Misiwasakameyak kitoyeet “kintawemanoo awiyuk, chastapeet ikwa kinoosit maka aschi kanihta poosoweepinat pohkoh koskoyntowana tapikwepinkunihk".  Maka esa kiya ikskitakaw aweenhi kakoychimatow.

A big half-court basketball tournament will happen on Aboriginal Day and the boys want to enter it.  Each team is to have six players, with only three players on the court at one time.  There are only five boys in Small Number’s group of friends. The boys start talking about whom they might get to be their sixth player.  Big Circle says, “We need somebody who is tall, fast, and a good shooter!” All boys agreed.

Katuksihk esa wekowahk Apsch Akichikiwan, umamawa ikskitumeet keekoy mooskachikoot.  Kakoychimat esa, tanseekwa? Intohtakoot esa ikwa.  Intoonowayahk  awyuk kinoosit chastapeet, ikwa aschi kanihta poosooweepinat koskwentowana tapikwipinkunihk. Kawihtumakoot esa, “niteeteen kikskiteenow aweena awa kahkikoychimow.” Kanowapimkootaw esa Koyask Akihtasowina, keetsk esa kees iksinahamasoot akichikiwan. “Kisakitin ama” itat esa umamowa ikwa akoskitinat. Koyask Akihtasowin esa kanoowapimat, tansi maka okihk teehtakow teehtahk esa?

When Small Number came home, his mom noticed that he was quieter than usual. “What happened?” she asked. After listening to Small Number’s explanation, mom smiled, “Good?  Tall? Fast? And a good shooter? I think that both of us know a person like that!” and she looked at Small Number’s sister Perfect Number who was just finishing her math homework.  “I love you, mom!” yelled Small Number and hugged his mom tightly. Perfect Number looked at them very puzzled.

Kotahk keesikow esa Apsch Akichikiwan kanaskowat oweechiwakuna,  wihtumoowat esa "Taniki kiya kakoychimyuhk nimiss Koyask Akihtasowin?”itat esa. “Makana iskwees ikona” kytoyt esa Misiwasakameyak. Chastup tehe-puyt esa paskutch.  “Tapoy iskwees maka, kinohsoo, ikwa chatupew, ikwa aschih nahaskoo.” Kuytooytaw esa napisak kotakak.

The following day Small Number said to his friends, “why not ask my sister, Perfect Number?”  “But she is a girl!” said Big Circle, feeling his heart beating a bit faster. “Yes, she is a girl but she is also tall, fast, and a good shooter!” responded the rest of the boys in one voice.

“Koyask Akihtasowin weech metawemkoyaki.” Itweet esa Apsch Akichikiwan,“Neestanoo mamowih kuytatintoowuk umeetaweewuk seemak ikwa moya awiyuk kaneestohsoo.” Itweet esa.

“With Perfect Number playing with us,” continued Small Number, “we can have twenty different teams on the court and nobody is ever going to get tired!”

Misiwasakameyak cheecheekinuhk esa ustihkon, “Tansi maka isakihtumun ohi keekoya? Ikwa neya mamowachi nihtameetowyan, moya tooki nyweepin, sooskwatch tooki nametawan!” Itoyt esa.

Big Circle was scratching his head, “How can you calculate things like that? And, since I’m the best player, I have to play all the time!”

“Iksi tooki mitataht kotakak umetawewuk kametawewuk. Ikwa keesta meena sowatch mewemsk.” Itat esa Apsch Akichikewan Misiwasakameyakoh. Iksimat esa ikwa tupuseet. Napisak esa papihataw.

“In that case we can have ten different teams on the court… And she likes you too!” said Small Number running away form a very angry Big circle till their friends very laughing.

Tansi?  isikskitum?  Apshc Akichikiwan,  keespin weechmetaweenkootaw Koyask Akitasowina,  neestanoo mamowih seemak kakih-metawewuk umetawewuk?

Question: How did Small Number knew that if Perfect Number plays with him and his friends, then they would be able to have twenty different teams on the court at the time?

Credits and Acknowledgements

Voice:  Dexter Anakson of the Cree Nation - Piapot First Nation Band
Sound: Sarah Van Borek, Simon Fraser University
Music and Animation: Andy Gavel, Simon Fraser University
Producer: Veselin Jungic, Simon Fraser University
Director: Andy Gavel, Simon Fraser University

Special Thanks To:

Barry Cardinal of the Bigstone Cree Nation
Ozren Jungic, University of Oxford
Department of Mathematics, Simon Fraser University
Department of Mathematics, University of British Columbia
Faculty of Science, Simon Fraser University
Office for Aboriginal Peoples, Simon Fraser University
Pacific Institute For Mathematical Sciences
The IRMACS Centre, Simon Fraser University

This movie is part of the NSERC PromoScience project "Math Catcher: Mathematics Through Aboriginal Storytelling"