Cree Relationship Mapping: nêhiyaw kesi wâhkotohk – How We Are Related

  • Leona Makokis EdD, Resident Elder/Senate, University nuhelot’įne thaiyots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills
  • Kristina Kopp MSW, Research Assistant, University of Calgary, Faculty of Social Work
  • Ralph Bodor PhD, Associate Professor, University of Calgary, Faculty of Social Work
  • Ariel Veldhuisen MSW, Research Assistant, University of Calgary, Faculty of Social Work
  • Amanda Torres BSW, Research Assistant, University of Calgary, Faculty of Social Work
Keywords: wâhkohtowin, kinship, Indigenous child welfare

Abstract

nêhiyaw kesi wâhkotohk (how we are related) is a relationship mapping resource based in the nêhiyaw (Cree) language and worldview. The relationship map was developed incrementally through a five-year process of connecting nêhiyaw worldviews of child and family development with the wisdom and teachings from nêhiyaw knowledge-holders. Over time, in ceremony and with many consultations with wisdom-keepers, the authors began connecting the nêhiyaw teachings into a resource that would allow (mostly non-Indigenous) human service providers working with nêhiyaw children, families, and communities a means to understand and honour the relational worldview and teachings of the nêhiyaw people. This kinship map came to include nêhiyaw kinship terms and teachings on wâhkomitowin (all relations) in order to recognize all the sacred roles and responsibilities of family and community. In addition, the vital role of isîhcikewin (ceremony) and the Turtle Lodge Teachings (nêhiyaw stages of individual, family, and community development) became embedded within this resource, along with the foundational teachings that create balance and wellbeing that enable one to live miyo pimâtisiwin (the good life).

Corresponding author: Ralph Bodor at rcbodor@ucalgary.ca

Published
2020-03-19
How to Cite
Makokis, L., Kopp, K., Bodor, R., Veldhuisen, A., & Torres, A. (2020). Cree Relationship Mapping: nêhiyaw kesi wâhkotohk – How We Are Related. First Peoples Child & Family Review, 15(1), 44-61. Retrieved from https://fpcfr.journals.publicknowledgeproject.org/index.php/FPCFR/article/view/407
Section
Articles