Temperance pledge, Stó:lō style (1893)
The other day in this blog I mentioned the epidemic of alcoholism in Indian country that we get a number of close glimpses into via the Kamloops Wawa newspaper. Under the influence of the Oblate Catholic missionary priests, some communities turned to the strategy of administering temperance oaths.
Here, from Stó:lō territory on the lower Fraser River of British Columbia, is an 1893 pledge that abounds in vivid details with every sentence, unintentionally showcasing the kinds of prohibitions Aboriginal people faced in every aspect of their lives in that era:
<Indian Temperance Society.>
Stalo tilikom klaska mamuk iht kompani pus
iskom plich. Iakwa msaika nanish iaka lo ukuk
kompani. Kwinam iaka lo ukuk kompani:
<1o> Ilip lo. = Ilo makmak lam. = Ilo klatwa
kah lam mitlait. = Ilo klatwa kanamokst tilikom klaksta
The Stó:lō people have formed an association to
take a pledge. Here you folks can read the rules of this
association. There are five rules of this association:
<1st> First rule. = No drinking alcohol. = No going
where there is alcohol. = No going around with people who
<2o> Mokst lo. = Kanawi son tanas son pi pulakli
klatwa styuil kanamokst kanawi tilikom.
2nd. Second rule. = Every day in the morning and at night,
go to pray together with everyone.
<3o> Tlun lo. = Pus iht tilikom kopa ukuk kompani
makmak lam, iaka piii kakwa:
Pus ilo wash iht tala $1.00
Pus wash mokst tala 2.00
Pus Å tilikom tlun tala 3.00
Pus wash man kopa ShK lakit tala 4.00
Pus taii wach man kwinam tala 5.00
3rd. Third rule. = If a person from this association
drinks alcohol, they pay as follows:
If unbaptized, a dollar ($1.00)
If baptized, two dollars (2.00)
If they’ve taken communion, three dollars (3.00)
If a watchman of Jesus [church policeman], four dollars (4.00)
If a head watchman, five dollars (5.00)
<4o> Lakit lo. = Tilikom kopa ukuk kompani klaska
alki klatwa ashnu kopa taii pus klaska tlap laplitas
pus klaska tsipi kopa mamuk kopa Sondi, tamanwas
mamuk, shim mamuk, Sawash dans, patlach pasisi
slaal, ankati mimlus mamuk, pi kopa kanawi ikta lisivik
wawa pus ilo tilikom klatwa.
4th. Fourth rule. = The members of this association
will go kneel for the leader if they receive a punishment
for their mistakes: for working on a Sunday, medicine-man
activities, immoral acts, Indian dancing, giving away blankets,
slahal [Indian gambling], things to do with the dead, and for anything the bishop
says for the [Indian] people not to go be around.
<5o> Kwinam lo. = Alki tilikom kopa ukuk kompani
klaska kikuli tomtom kopa klaska taii, kopa klaska
wach man. Alki iht tilikom kopa ukuk kompani shako
taii wach man kopa ukuk kompani, pi ka [SIC] kanawi tilikom
kopa ukuk kompani klaska kikuli tomtom kopa ukuk taii
pi kopa wach man pi kopa klaska liplit.
5th. Fifth rule. = The members in this association will
be humble for their leader, and for their
watchmen. One person in this association shall become
the head watchman for this group, and everyone
in this association will be obedient to this leader
and to the watchmen and to their priest.