the rainbow cree book

Canadian author transcribes Cree story that could've been lost for the next generation

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a national holiday that recognizes and commemorates our country's legacy of Residential School and the treatment of Indigenous peoples in Canada. 

Although many tried to erase their history, Indigenous cultures, globally and in Canada, should be something to platform, celebrate and learn about.

Canadian author Jean Miso wants to do just that, and has created a book that retells a story that was only passed down through generations by word of mouth. 

the rainbow

The Rainbow is a Plains Cree story that has only been passed down orally until Jean Miso had it written down.

James "Smokey" Tomkins, who is Métis, is the keeper of  The Rainbow. The story explains how the Great Spirit created a balance within our world's ecosystem.

As he was dying of cancer, Tomkins approached Miso and told her she would be the best person to retell the story so it would live on.

Jean was the first person James told the story to in English so she could write the book. She then had the story translated back into Cree so that Cree learners could learn their language.

the rainbow

The book features the story told in English, Cree syllabic, and Roman orthography for those who want to learn the language.

The Rainbow not only retells the story in English but also has the story written in Cree syllabic and Roman orthography, which uses letters from the English alphabet to represent Cree language sounds.

She also made a Youtube video so that readers could listen and follow along with the book.

Miso believes that we should be honouring the people who were here before us and the keepers of our beautiful land. With this book, Jean wants to raise awareness of Indigenous culture and help make their lives a little bit better.

the rainbow

Jean wants to celebrate and raise awareness of the beauty of Indigenous culture.

Proceeds of The Rainbow and her other books are donated to veteran and Indigenous charities.

Jane Miso will be at the Indigenous Legacy Gathering at Nathan Phillips Square on September 30 to sell and sign her books as well as give more information about them.

Photos by

Fareen Karim

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