Giving Thanks

Giving thanks is one of the protocols of Indigenous Peoples worldwide.

ka-nanāskomowāk ōma kīkway isīcikēwin ka- itotācikātēk kinanow ininiwak misiwēyita askīhk.
Listen to Cree

The We Are Fire Toolkit emerged out of the perspectives of First Nations and Métis Peoples who live in Treaty 5 territory and the traditional homeland of the Métis Nation. The language they use to convey their sacred knowledge of fire is respected and acknowledged.

kinanaw ōma iskotēw apacīcikan ka-ōcipanik ka-isi wāpātakīhk ininiwāk ēkwa apītāwikosisanāk ōta ōci Treaty 5 nitaskiynan ēkwa kayāsōci otītiyniwāk apītāwikosisanāk. pīkisēwewin ka-apicitacik ka-wītamākēcik kanātēnītākwan kiskēnitamowina ōci iskotēw mitōni kistēnitakwan ekwa nistānakacikatēw.
Listen to Cree

In Swampy Cree culture, “giving thanks” is about respecting the ethic of reciprocity (apacītowin). This generally means “we need to help each other” in Swampy Cree dialect. When we ask for the stories and knowledge of Elders and Knowledge Carriers, it is important to provide something in return. Protocols were followed.

ōta maskēko ininiwāk isitcikewin, “nanaskomowin” ōma kistēnitawakwan ōma apacītowin. ispīk ka kwēcīkēmowāk acimostākēwina ēkwa kiskēnitamowina ōci kētēyak ēkwa kiskēnitamowina ōkanawēnīcikewāk, mistī ispītēnētakawan ka kwēmīnat kīkwan. isīcikēwina ni-pimitisayanan.
Listen to Cree

Sharing lived experiences and ways of knowing in returning Indigenous-led fire practices to the land is a journey rather than a destination.

ka wītamāk kakē pē-isi-waskāwītacik ekwa kiskenītamōwina kā kweskīpanīk ininiw ka-nikanōtak iskotēw kākētwam itotāmowinā ōta askik isi ka pimōtēywin mina itōtēwin.
Listen to Cree

We Are Fire: A Toolkit for Applying Indigenous-Led Fire Practices and Western Fire Management in the Saskatchewan River Delta is an online knowledge product based on findings from a literature review and a series of interviews carried out in Cumberland House, Saskatchewan and the surrounding area during the Muskrats to Moose: Braiding Cultural Burning and Western Fire Management Project.

kinanaw ōma iskotēw: ōma apacīcikan ōci ininiwak ka nikanōtacik iskotēw kākētwamitotamowina ēkwa pakisimōtāk iskotēw ōpimipanītāwak ōta kisiskāciwani-sīpiy maskēko askiy ōki kiskēntāmowina ōtā ōci ka-kinawpacikatēk masinahikana ēkwa kayās-ācimowina ōta kaministikōmināhikōskāk ēkwa wāsakāskamīk mēkwāc ōma wacask isko moswa: apīkēwin nēhinawātisiwin pasiskewin ēkwa pakisimōtāk iskotēw opimipanītawāk kamamawi osītāk.
Listen to Cree

 

Funding was provided by Natural Resources Canada – Emergency Management Strategy – Wildland Fire Resilience Initiative.

sōniyāw paminikēwin ōci Natural Resources Canada – Emergency Management Strategy – Wildland Fire Resilience Initiative.
Listen to Cree  

The We Are Fire Toolkit was co-developed by the following collaborative and multidisciplinary group of people.

kinanaw ōma iskotēw apacīcikan ki-mamawi-ōsītawāk ē-pimitsamāk māmawi-wīcītowin ēkwa niwītatoskēmākanak.
Listen to Cree

Giving thanks provides the beginning point of respectful relationships not only with the land but with the people who took part in providing guidance to the Project. We give thanks to the practices, people and resources associated with making We are Fire possible.

Muskrats to Moose Project Team

Alex Zahara, MES, PhD candidate

Project advisor, researcher

Heritage: Settler of Ukrainian, German and British descent

Amy Cardinal Christianson, PhD

Project advisor, Indigenous fire specialist

Heritage: Métis; Métis Nation of Alberta

Chris Dallyn, BSc, RPF

Fire science specialist

Heritage: Irish, Welsh, English, German and Russian

Cliff Buettner

Project advisor, forestry and emergency protective services program director

David Young, BSc

Project advisor, Indigenous policy analyst

Heritage: Ketegaunseebee Anishinaabe nini/Garden River First Nation

Donald W. McKay

Elder, fluent Cree speaker, retired conservation officer

Heritage: nēhinaw/Cree Elder

Graham Strickert, PhD

Project advisor, environmental scientist and educator

Heritage: Canadian - German, Welsh, Irish and British

Laura Chaboyer

Cree-English translator and educator

Heritage: nēhinaw iskwēw/Cree/Métis Woman; kaministikomināhikoskāk/Cumberland House

Madeline Walker, PhD

Copy editor, writing specialist, author and educator

Heritage: German/English/Mixed European

Michela Carrière

Artist, business owner, certified adventure guide, herbalist and wilderness first aid responder

Heritage: Cree/Métis

Natasha Caverley, PhD, CCC

Project manager, management consultant and educator

Heritage: Multiracial Canadian - Algonquin/Jamaican/Irish; Whitney and Area Algonquins

Renée Carrière, BEd, MEd

Author, educator, mother, ally of change

Heritage: Canadian; kahministikominahikoskak/Cumberland House

Solomon Carrière

Cree-speaking Science Knowledge Carrier, business owner, fisher, adventure guide, trapper, ally of change

Heritage: Cree/Métis/First Nations

Tanya Gadsby, BFA

Infographic designer

Heritage: Māori/Ukrainian/Scottish

Tom Spetter, Visual Arts (Diploma)

Website designer and graphic design artist

Heritage: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation

Interview Participants

Audrey Fiddler

Heritage: Cree, Métis and Representing the late Ben Fiddler

Darlene Sahyes

Heritage: Cree, Métis, iskwēw

Donald Fiddler

Heritage: Cree

Donald Nabess

Heritage: Cree

Durwin McKenzie

Heritage: Cree

Franklin Carriere

Heritage: Cree

Glen McKenzie

Heritage: Cree

Howard McKenzie

Heritage: Cree

James Stewart

Heritage: Cumberland House Cree Nation

John Carriere

Heritage: Cree

Les Oystryk

Heritage: Canadian/Ukrainian

Murdoch Carrière

Heritage: Cree

Philip Constant

Heritage: Opaskwayak Cree Nation

Sean McKenzie

Heritage: Cree

Tim Trottier

William Sewap

Heritage: Cumberland House Cree Nation

Peer Reviewers

Anonymous Reviewer

Brady Highway

Wildland firefighter

Heritage: Rocky Cree - Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation (Assin’skowitiniwak)/Saskatchewan

Bryan Fraser, BSc, MA, MDiv

Policy analyst

Heritage: Scottish/German

Colleen Nina MacColl-Buck

Grade 11 student at Ministik Community School in Cumberland House, Saskatchewan; resides in Treaty 5 Territory and the Homeland of the Swampy Cree Métis.

Colleen is passionate about cultural land-based activities such as Queen trapper events and learning to speak in the Swampy Cree language.

Heritage: First Nations, Cumberland House Cree Nation community member

Dane de Souza, MIF

Former wildland firefighter and Métis wildfire researcher

Heritage: Métis, Mixed European

Denise McKay

Community Researcher – Prince Albert Grand Council Wildfire Resilience Initiative

Heritage: Mihkoskiwakak Nehiyawak - Red Earth Cree Nation - Plains Cree - Y-dialect

Herman J. Michell, PhD

Independent scholar, researcher, author, consultant and educator 

Heritage: Woodland Cree heritage and speaker; Inuit, Denesuline and Swedish ancestral background

Joe Gilchrist

Traditional Fire Carrier

Heritage: Secwepemc and Nlaka’pamux Nations/Skeetchestn Indian Band (British Columbia)

Jordan Twist

Wildland fire community researcher; artist

Heritage: First Nations Canadian; Treaty 6 Plains Cree

Paul Courtoreille

Wildland firefighter, forest officer/peace officer (forestry), wildfire investigator, wildfire ranger, Fire Knowledge Carrier, trapper, fisher and hunter

Heritage: Métis, Gift Lake Métis Settlement (Alberta)

Robert (Bob) Patrick, PhD

Associate professor; chair, Regional and Urban Planning Program - Department of Geography and Planning, University of Saskatchewan

Heritage: Welsh/Irish heritage

Robert W. Gray, BSc

Certified wildland fire ecologist

Heritage: American/Canadian

Ryan Lee Carriere

Métis Nation Saskatchewan Eastern Region 1 Regional Representative, trapper, fishermen, subsistence hunter, educator

Heritage: Métis, Swampy Cree

Scott Murphy

Heritage: Canadian of Irish-Scottish descent

Toddi A. Steelman, PhD

Dean of Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University; past president, International Association of Wildland Fire; past Executive Director of the School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan

Heritage: American

Youth Artists

Cache Deschambeault

Cache has always enjoyed art. He spends a lot of time creating things. Cache feels that he got his creativity from his mom and that he always wanted to be like her. He is very honoured and excited to be part of the Muskrats to Moose We are Fire Toolkit project.

His artistic style is sketch drawings using coloured pencils.

Ché Highway

Ché Highway is a Member of Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation, Grade 9 student at Aden Bowman Collegiate and aspiring palaeontologist. She enjoys animating videos and drawing in class.

Jordan Twist

Jordan Twist (they/them) is a member of the James Smith Cree Nation on Treaty 6 territory. With their experience as a self-taught artist, they have completed two public murals that can be seen in South Hill Mall and Saskatchewan Polytechnic—both located in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

Kain Torgersen

Grade 8 student at Ministik Community School in Cumberland House, Saskatchewan.

Kimione Aries Laliberte Peekeekoot

Lexie Shaw

Grade 9 student at Ministik Community School in Cumberland House, SK. She loves expressing her understanding of the world around her in all forms of art.

Photography and Videography Credits

Alex Zahara, MES, PhD candidate

Project advisor, researcher

Heritage: Settler of Ukrainian, German and British descent

Brady Highway

Wildland firefighter

Heritage: Rocky Cree - Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation (Assin’skowitiniwak)/Saskatchewan

Graham Strickert, PhD

Project advisor, environmental scientist and educator

Heritage: Canadian - German, Welsh, Irish and British

Indigenous Leadership Initiative

Michela Carrière

Artist, business owner, certified adventure guide, herbalist and wilderness first aid responder

Heritage: Cree/Métis

Solomon Carrière

Cree-speaking Science Knowledge Carrier, business owner, fisher, adventure guide, trapper, ally of change

Heritage: Cree/Métis/First Nations

We further acknowledge all the wisdom shared with us about Indigenous-led fire practices and settler and state-led fire management across the generations and across cultures (Indigenous and non-Indigenous allies)—past, present and future, from Youth to Elders

ni-nistānan kakinow kiskēnitamowina kawētāmakwakōk ōci ininiwak-kanikanōtacik kākētwamitotamowina ēkwa mistikōsiwak iskotēw ōpimipanītāwak ka-ānskopānīk ēkwa nānatok isīcikēwina (ininiwak ēkwa mwac ininiwak niwītatoskēmākanak) otānāk, anōc, ēkwa nikan, oskāyak mina kētēyak.
Listen to Cree