Kapawe’no First Nation – It’s a typical morning at Kapawe’no Nehiyawak Kiskinahamâtowikamik (School), but there’s something in the air that makes it anything but ordinary. In the gymnasium, grade K-1’2’s are gathered, their faces brimming with anticipation. The music program, lead by Mr Fred Mack is about to perform the “Tansi – Hello” song with the Grade K-3’s as part of the Nehiyawewin morning session, a cherished ritual that bridges ancestral teachings with the joy of learning.
As the first notes fill the room, the younger students are the first to sing, “Tansi – hello,” their voices pure and excited. The room erupts in harmony when they ask, “Tansi kiya – how are you?” and respond, “Namoya Nantow – I am fine.” The children then warmly invite each other to “Pihtikwe – come on in” and “Api – sit down.”
As the song reaches its crescendo, the children raise their voices to say, “Tapwe miyawsin ipi Kihokawiyin – It’s nice that you’ve come to visit.” They then inquire about each other’s lives, asking “Tante ikitohtiyin – Where have you been?” and urging each other to “Mahti acimo kiwiyiositayin – Please tell me what you’ve been doing.” The song wraps up with the heartfelt request for storytelling: “Mahti acimostawin – Please tell me a story.”
Last modified: October 2, 2023