A professor from Stanley Mission is being recognized for his decades-long work in revitalizing the Cree Language.
Solomon Ratt is an Associate Professor at the First Nations University of Canada and has been named to the Saskatchewan Order of Merit.
“I was surprised and pleased,” Ratt said of being chosen and nominated.
He recalls Cree language instruction started to gain momentum in the 1980’s, recounting at that time there was not many instructors or materials.
“When I first started, there was hardly anybody teaching the language anywhere. The schools were just thinking about it. Some schools did have their programs, but they were teaching the classes at your school as a topic of interest. And there were hardly any materials for them to work with back then,” said Ratt.
“So, it’s been really a good process to watch happening all these years, because now most of the universities in Western Canada have our teaching Cree introductory classes, few of them are teaching intermediate classes. A few other schools are also teaching immersion classes out on the land out immersion, immersion Camp settings, land-based education is also picking up. And as we speak, a lot of those things are done Cree language, these are things you didn’t see back in 198- 85, when I started out. It’s good to see a lot of interest has picked up.”
He said his acceptance speech will contain Cree, then translated to English.
Ratt joins five others in the Sask. Order of Merit, including long-time former Okanese Chief Marie-Anne DayWalker-Pelletier. A ceremony is planned for November.
(Photo of Solomon Ratt. Facebook)