Methow Valley, 1901: “I learned to speak their language, Chinook”

From Diana Hottell’s “The Whole Damn Valley: Voices from the Methow” (2007, Winthrop, WA: Shafer Historical Museum), page 55, ‘Perry Clark on Indians’:

whole damn valley

“There were far more Indians than whites here during the summers at that time [1901],” Perry recalled 75 years later.  One summer when Indians had come to the Methow Valley to catch and dry fish for the winter, Perry counted 32 tepees on Lake Creek.  

“Us boys took a liking to those people,” Perry said. “We’d go fishing with them, even though my father didn’t like them too much.  They took care of us, that’s why they tied my feet under the horse, so I couldn’t fall into the river if they horse bolted.  I fished with Methow George once.  He was a quiet old feller, he didn’t do too much talking.  And I got acquainted with Chiliwist Jim.  I learned to speak their language, Chinook, and sometimes I still speak it with Bill Robler just for fun.”  

[Perry saw CJ as the Indians’ language.  These would be Columbian Salish-speaking folks from the Colville Reservation.

chiliwhist jim

Chiliwhist Jim and family

I’ve previously blogged about Chiliwhist Jim in connection with CJ.–DDR]

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