It started as a computer program to collect Cree words, and then through the help of two professors, community input and some computer expertise, the Cree Dictionary is now an iPhone application, and soon on Android as well.
Seven years ago, software developer Ahmad Jawad was helping the Ermineskine Cree Nation and Miyo Wahkohtowin Community Education Authority in the western prairie province of Alberta, in the community of Hobbema to put together a data bank of Cree words.
It started off with 500 words, then they got some help from Dr Earle Waugh of the University of Alberta and Professor Arok Wolvengrey of the First Nations University of Canada in the city of Regina.
The dictionary application now covers thousands of words, in Maskwacis Cree, Plains Cree, and Woodland Cree, in an easy to use format, which includes the original syllabic Cree symbols, and can be stored on your cellphone.
RCI’s Wojtek Gwiazda talked to Ahmad Jawad about the process of creating this online and mobile Cree dictionary.