The bibliography is meant to provide a starting point for interdisciplinary research. It is by no means complete, but is comprehensive enough to provide a good foundation for beginning one's research. It also aims to provide a mix of linguistic, anthropological, and historical literature and hence to help acquaint scholars with work outside of their discipline.
The bibliography is divided into four sections: the first contains references to published editions of Jesuit Nêhirawêwin manuscripts (principally dictionaries), and the second includes work relevant to a study of Jesuit work on Nêhirawêwin. The third section contains work that treats the historical evolution of CINA dialects, in particular those east of James Bay. Finally, the fourth section is devoted to work on the history of missionary linguistics.
You should also consult the unpublished papers page for materials including dissertations and conference papers.
Individual prayers offer an interesting opportunity to examine missionary translation. Nêhirawêwin and CINA prayers varied a great deal over time and between denominations even though the original European-language forms of the prayers remained fairly constant. Because the original Latin, French, and English forms are accessible, comparisons of individual prayers can highlight the choices made by missionary translators. A better understanding of these choices is key to understanding the linguistic capabilities of these missionaries.
The evolution of prayer forms within a particular speech community may also offer a perspective on the evolution of speech within the community itself. Even though the prayers were most often written by missionaries who were not native speakers, an understanding of the changes made to a given prayer may offer one of the best opportunities to gauge the linguistic environments that informed the decisions to alter established texts.
To facilitate such comparisons, Massinahigan has begun an index of CINA-language prayers. The index is not yet complete, however, so please do not take the absence of a given prayer as evidence there is no CINA-language translation. It currently covers the Jesuit materials, but has yet to include most of the later Roman Catholic and Protestant texts.
Massinahigan hopes to provide a guide to relevant non-published materials. In the first two sections, you will find references to M.A. and Ph.D. dissertations and theses. Those that are not offered for download here can be obtained through ProQuest's dissertation and thesis database.
The third section lists conference papers. For these, you should contact the authors directly. If you have given a conference paper that you would like included here (and potentially offered for download), please do not hesitate to contact us.
The final section includes miscellaneous unpublished materials. Here we hope to offer reports, word lists, appendices and other materials for download. Should you work with the materials on this site, please consider offering any notes or word lists that you think might be of assistance to others. We would be happy to post such materials here and in this way avoid a duplication of effort. We believe that sharing such materials can help build a community of scholars interested in these materials.
There are a number of excellent online resources relating to CINA dialects. Here you will find links to online dictionaries, to websites devoted to particular CINA dialects and culture, and to archives and collections that house online copies of historic texts and maps.
The East Cree site (see Dictionary links) offers a downloadable dictionary that can be installed on a local computer, and the Innu Aimun and Western Cree (Nehiyaw Masinahikan) sites offer a downloadable app that can be installed on a desktop or mobile device. Also, please note that the Western Cree site is in fact a compilation of dictionaries, and that attention to the individual sources will allow for a better understanding of the entries.