MICEC Online

Simon Bird on Cree Life and Language

MICEC Online is a series of virtual educational presentations and discussions on themes of traditional parenting, food, medicine, crafting, language, storytelling, reconciliation and more.

The Manitoba Indigenous Cultural Education Centre is a not-for-profit charitable organization, and a member of the First Nations Confederacy of Cultural Education Centres. MICEC supports Indigenous language knowledge, traditional and contemporary cultural skills, and cross-cultural awareness.

Simon Bird comes from the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation and was raised in the community of Southend, Reindeer Lake: home to the Rock Cree. He was raised to continue the northern traditional pursuits, including fishing, hunting, trapping, running sled dogs, and more. He is the proud father of two children with his wife Naomi Bird. Simon currently holds a Bachelor of Education, a Master of Educational Administration, and a Master of Northern Governance and Development degree. Simon is a very proud fluent Cree speaker and wakes up Monday to Friday at 6am to get ready to teach anyone that joins his Facebook Live classes. #CreeSimonSays has over 22,000 members and continues to steadily grow as more people use technology to connect, learn, or simply laugh at posts that celebrate the social culture of the Cree language.

One of Simon's most valued skills is the work ethic he has learned from home through the practice of his traditional pursuits. The lessons taught in the bush are just as valuable within any modern context, in every walk of life. Simon believes it is critical to continue connecting with our traditions and learning from knowledge keepers while we still have them.

It is Mr. Bird's philosophy that continues to serve him well in his professional working career in the field of education. He has served as; a teacher, a Principal, Liaison, coach, language teacher, translator, Superintendent, Director of Education. Today Simon continues to serve First Nations Education as the Sr. Executive Administrator for the First Nations Education Administrators Association. FNEAA is a national membership-based association continuously striving to meet the needs of school administrators within First Nations Education systems. Prior to returning to the field of education, he served as Vice Chief of the F.S.I.N where he held the Education portfolio for the majority of his term.

Finally, Simon is concurrently pursuing his doctorate in Indigenous Language Revitalization at the University of Victoria. His studies stem from his first passion of teaching the Cree language to everyone willing to learn. On Simon's spare time he hosts a language initiative that is aimed at making learning fun through social media. He hopes that every member in the group will take a little spark of interest and flame a conversation of language lessons and concepts within the Cree language.

Thank you to the NIB Trust Fund for supporting MICEC Online.

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