Cree Language Revitalization at Our Lady of Seven Sorrows

Cree people across Turtle Island are seeking a renewed sense of pride in their heritage, free from the shadows of historical trauma.

The Catholic Parish of Our Lady of Seven Sorrows in Alberta is spearheading an initiative to revive the Cree language as part of the community’s prayers and hymns, with the goal of instilling a renewed sense of pride in Cree Catholics that transcends the painful legacy of the residential school system.

While educational institutions in Maskwacis, Alberta have made strides in teaching verbal and written Cree, the art of singing hymns in Cree remains at risk of fading away. The Parish recognizes the importance of preserving this beautiful legacy, especially as older members of the community possess the knowledge to pass on both traditional and modern hymns. The goal is to bridge the generational gap and ensure the continuity of this cultural and spiritual treasure.

With support from the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund (IRF), the Parish aims to make the Cree language an integral part of individual and communal prayers. The funding will cover teacher salaries, hall rentals, and all necessary materials. The project seeks to revitalize the language and heal through the restoration of cultural practices, fostering a sense of pride and identity for Cree Catholics.

By embracing this initiative, the Our Lady of Seven Sorrows Parish strives to contribute to the broader journey of reconciliation, creating a space where Cree people can reclaim, celebrate, and pass on their linguistic and spiritual heritage to future generations.

Archdiocese of Edmonton