Book Review: Kinship Wheel-Wahkowtowin (Cree Language "TH" Dialect).Robin McLeod has been researching compiling and writing about kinship systems Noun 1. kinship system - (anthropology) the system of social relationships that constitute kinship in a particular culture, including the terminology that is used and the reciprocal obligations that are entailed of the Woodland Nehithawak (Cree) for several years. His interest in kinship systems evolved form extensive consultations with Elders and the teachers of Aboriginal languages in northern Saskatchewan. He has presented his work to various First Nations schools and organizations accepting feedback on how to teach this important and vital component of Woodland Cree The Woodland, or Swampy Cree, comprise the largest Amerindian group in northern Alberta. They are Algonquin linguistic stock. Prior to the 18th century, their territory was around Hudson Bay as far north as Churchill and east of James Bay to Lac Mistassini. and their social organization.
Prior to contact and to some extent today, the Woodland Cree have applied traditional ways of teaching to recognize relationships between members of kinship groups. Since the Cree language Cree is the name for a group of closely-related Algonquian languages spoken by approximately 50,000 speakers across Canada, from Alberta to Labrador. Dialect criteria
The Cree dialect continuum can be divided by many criteria. was used in everyday life, the people did not encounter difficulties with the terminology and the application on the ways of belonging and relating to relating to relate prep → concernant
relating to relate prep → bezüglich +gen, mit Bezug auf +acc their members. The Cree language embodied a value system of how people related to each other; it gave a name to the relations the kin had with each other and the respect accorded to certain individuals.
With five centuries of colonization colonization, extension of political and economic control over an area by a state whose nationals have occupied the area and usually possess organizational or technological superiority over the native population. and the attempts to assimilate the people, the Woodland Cree language began to deteriorate. The English language English language, member of the West Germanic group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic languages). Spoken by about 470 million people throughout the world, English is the official language of about 45 nations. was used to substitute the kinship relationships people had with each member of the Woodland Cree kinship group. Since there are no English equivalents for some of the Woodland Cree kinship terminology Kinship terminology refers to the words used in a specific culture to describe a specific system of familial relationships. Kinship terminologies include the terms of address used in different languages or communities for different relatives and the terms of reference used to , aspects of the relationship became confused or forgotten with the younger generations. The natural laws predetermined pre·de·ter·mine
v. pre·de·ter·mined, pre·de·ter·min·ing, pre·de·ter·mines
1. To determine, decide, or establish in advance: by a relationship system were not taught and recognized. Recognition of kinship terminology is important to how people relate to each other, particularly with the practice of teaching and learning related to roles and responsibilities associated through kinship systems.
Indigenous educational philosophy is about the education of the whole child surrounded by many types of learning styles and teachings. A child will learn about themselves through the teachings and how they will fit into the community as a member of a kinship group. Robin McLeod's kinship wheel offers a way of thinking about kinship which emphasizes wholeness. The basic framework calls upon a person to be introspective in·tro·spect
intr.v. in·tro·spect·ed, in·tro·spect·ing, in·tro·spects
To engage in introspection.
[Latin intr , learning about those who are and will be the younger generation. This model also presents the older generation based on how an individual is related to the kinship members of succeeding generations. The holistic framework provides a learner with a pattern and the order to learn about the Woodland Cree kinship system.
The kinship wheel provides a number of visual diagrams towards understanding how individuals are related to others within their kinship group. It is of interest to all Aboriginal people concerned with kinship and the concept of the circle in traditional teachings. I would recommend this work to be read by all educators and teachers of Indigenous languages. It offers new insights and further thought on the development of Aboriginal traditional kinship systems.
Cree Language and Indigenous Studies Instructor