Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
May 31, 2010
Mark's Gospel gets a new translation into Cree
KIPLY LUKAN YAWORSKI
SASKATOON - A new version of the Gospel of Mark in the Plains Cree language is the first step in a new project to provide an up-to-date translation of the New Testament.
The new translation, sponsored by the Canadian Bible Society and Wycliffe Bible Translators of Canada, was launched here May 19.
The publication of Mark's Gospel is part of the larger Western Cree Bible Translation Project, which aims to publish the entire New Testament and about 40 per cent of the Old Testament into the Plains Cree "Y" dialect, said project coordinator Ruth Heeg.
The translation was completed by the Rev. Stan Cuthand, an Anglican priest from Saskatoon, with Cree readers continuing the long, ongoing process of reviewing the translation, she said.
Over the past 150 years there have been other translations of Scripture into Cree, including one by Oblate Father Gerard Beaudet, who recently died in Saskatoon.
However, in any language, ongoing and updated translations are needed to ensure the Bible will continue to be accessible and understood, said Heeg of Kitchener, Ont., who works with the Bible society's translations department.
"I am getting to know the Bible much more deeply. I have found this spiritually fulfilling," said Gayle Weenie of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Parish in Saskatoon, who has been involved in the review process for the past two and a half years.
"It has opened up a new way of reading the Bible."
The entire process of working on the Plains Cree translation has also had a healing dimension for Weenie, whose parents attended residential schools, where they were forbidden to speak their native language.
In spite of that, her father persevered, and taught his family to speak Cree.
"It was hard for my father that his language was not accepted. And now it is being accepted, and we are being welcomed and encouraged. It is kind of coming full circle."
Dolores Sand, who recorded the audio CD that accompanies the print version of the Gospel, said working on the project has enhanced her own knowledge of the Bible and her language.
"I think it brings the Bible to us, however you want to read Cree," said Sand, a graduate of the Saskatoon Aboriginal Lay Formation Program.
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