Dear Reader,

I am happy to present the new edition of the Cree Dictionary of Mathematical Terms. The previous edition, co-authored by Willie Ermine, Arzu Sardarli, and Ida Swan, was published in 2017 in a paper format. It was reviewed by Elder Jerry Saddleback, Professor Solomon Ratt (First Nations University of Canada) and a Cree-speaking teacher Nelson Benjamin Merasty. The project was supported by the First Nations University of Canada. All copies of the Dictionary were donated to First Nations schools across Canada. Since then, I have received many exciting comments from educators and students about this first Cree Dictionary of mathematical terms. Along with the positive feedback, the respondents keep addressing their request for additional copies. Considering the demand of our academic community, Ida and I decided to use the advantages of modern publication tools to develop an electronic version of the Dictionary. Working on the new version, we analyzed and considered the comments of readers of the first version. We also developed visual examples with Indigenous elements with the help of the Indigenous artist Larissa Kitchemonia. This edition was reviewed by Elder George McLeod (Stanley Mission) and Cree artist Lionel Peyachew. The proofreading was conducted by Steven Swan. The project was supported by the University of Regina within the Open Educational Resources Program.

I would like to take this opportunity and thank Elders George McLeod, Jerry Saddleback and Willie Ermine, professors Solomon Ratt and Lionel Peyachew, artist Larissa Kitchemonia, and reviewers Nelson Benjamin Merasty and Steven Swan on behalf of my co-author Ida Swan and myself for their outstanding contribution to this Dictionary.

I would like to thank the Office of the Associate Vice-President Academic, the University of Regina, for their support during our work on the project; special thanks to Open Education & Publishing Program Manager, Isaac Mulolani, for his patience and helpful advice that I received throughout my work on this project.

I also would like to express our most profound appreciation to readers of the first version of the Dictionary for their feedback. Working on this version, we did our best to consider all helpful comments and corrections. The Pressbook platform provides the opportunity to keep improving the Dictionary. I hope to receive further feedback from our respected readers. The comments can be sent to my email address,

Sincerely yours,

Professor of Physics and Mathematics
Indigenous Knowledge and Science
First Nations University of Canada


This is the first Cree Dictionary of mathematical terms. The project coordinator Arzu Sardarli writes that this project “was a challenging two-year endeavor.” How true those words are especially when you consider that the people involved in translating English mathematical terms into Cree all come from different communities and thus speak different dialects.

Jerry Saddleback is a Northern Plains (Y) dialect speaker from Maskwacîs, Alberta; Willie Ermine is a Plains Cree (Y) dialect speaker from Sturgeon Lake First Nation, Saskatchewan; and Ida Swan is a Woods Cree (TH) dialect speaker from Pelican Narrows, Saskatchewan. What they put together is an amazing body of work that will be useful in Cree Immersion schools.

This Dictionary of mathematical terms in Cree is a wonderful resource.
Congratulations to the project team and to the project coordinator Arzu Sardarli for providing us with a much needed resource.

Solomon RATT
Associate Professor of Cree Language Studies
First Nations University of Canada
[for the previous edition of the Dictionary]

The video of the interview with Solomon Ratt is available on the following website:


Another vital Cree education tool developed by Arzu Sardarli, Ida Swan and illustrated by one of our own fine art students, and soon to be master’s degree recipient, Larissa Kitchemonia. I commend you all for providing other alternative learning strategies by combining Mathematics, Indigenous language, and Indigenous Art. The Cree Dictionary of Mathematical Terms will be the departure point for other educational tools in the future to come.

Associate Professor, Indigenous Art
First Nations University of Canada


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CREE DICTIONARY OF MATHEMATICAL TERMS WITH VISUAL EXAMPLES Copyright © 2022 by Arzu Sardarli and Ida Swan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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