The First Nations communities of western Canada have a rich heritage in their knowledge of the aspects of nature and have for generations recognized the vast diversity of plants that help to nourish and heal. The purpose of this book is to provide a resource for the Little Red River Cree Nation that not only aids in identifying species of plants, animals, birds, fish and insects local to the area, but also teaches children and adults alike Cree names, traditional uses and name origins. Elders in the community gathered to record information about the ways they used local plants and animals, information shared only orally from time immemorial, until now.
We hope to use this title as a model to present to other First Nations communities to gauge their interest in having a similar title for their region.
This is a localized field guide that would include local plants, animals and birds including their Cree names (in syllabics and roman orthography), as well as traditional uses. The goal of the book is: if a child sees a plant, animal or bird in the forest, they would have the opportunity to find it in this book and learn its Cree name and uses. It would also give families an opportunity to sit around a book, discussing traditional activities and uses instead of congregating around a television. The book project is currently not-for-profit, and will be distributed locally within Little Red River Cree Nation.