4 Aboriginal letters from Spuzzum + North Bend

From Kamloops Wawa #115 (April 1894):

Letters from Spuzzum North Bend area (2)


[“]Naika tlap ukuk Kamlups Wawa pipa
pi naika drit aias tlus tomtom
kopa ukuk pipa. Naika nanish kata
ShK iaka drit aias klahawiam
pus mamuk klahawiam kopa nsaika
pi ikta mamuk ilo nsaika aiak
shako skukum tomtom kopa ShK?
Ukuk masashi iaka tolo nsaika
kakwa ilo nsaika shako skukum
tomtom. Pi tlus kwanisim nsaika
nanish ukuk pipa. Klunas alki
nsaika shako skukum tomtom kopa

“I received this Kamloops Wawa paper
and I really love
this paper. I read how
Jesus was really pitiful
to have pity on us
but why aren’t we quick[er]
to devote our hearts to Jesus?
This sin gets the best of us
so we don’t get strong-
hearted. But we should keep
readng this paper. Maybe some day
we’ll get strong-hearted for / Jesus.” — writer unknown, from Spuzzum

Letters from Spuzzum North Bend area (3)

[“]Naika nanish ukuk siisim kata
ShK iaka mamuk kopa wik saia mimlus
naika nanish kopa naika tomtom: wik
kata naika tomtom mash ShK.
Kanawi son naika kuli tomtom kopa
ShK naika kwanisim ashnu naika tomtom
kopa ShK.[”]

“I saw that story of how
Jesus acted near death,
I looked into my heart: no
way could my heart abandon Jesus.
Every day I run [in my] mind to
Jesus, my heart is always kneeling
to Jesus.” — “another man from Spuzzum”

***Dave’s note: The doubling of naika in naika kwanisim ashnu naika tomtom, literally “I always kneel my heart”, is ultra-characteristic of the Kamloops-area dialect of Chinuk Wawa. See my dissertation.

Letters from Spuzzum North Bend area (4)

[“]Naika yutl tomtom kopa ukuk Shinuk
pipa. Naika nanish kata ShK
iaka shako klahawiam pus mamuk
klahawiam kopa nsaika.[”]

“I feel happy about this Chinook
writing. I read how Jesus
became pitiful [in order] to take
pity on us.” — a 13-year-old boy from Spuzzum


Letters from Spuzzum North Bend area (5)

tilikom kopa NB klaska skul
kanawi son, shako tolo katikism
kopa Tomson wawa, wiht Å
styuil kanawi. Kanawi son
tanas son kanawi tilikom klatwa
styuil. Tintin wawa pi kanawi
tilikom aiak klatwa kopa Sondi haws
Kanawi tanas man kopa NB klaska
skul. Pi tanas klushmin klaska
tolo tanas man. Pi kopa ol man
ShB pi iaka klushmin klaska tolo
kanawi ol man.[”]

the people at North Bend are studying
every day, mastering the catechism
in the Thompson [Salish] language, also the communion
prayers altogether. Every day
in the morning everyone goes
to pray. The bell rings and all
the people go right to the church.
All the youths at North Bend
study. But the young ladies
outdo the young men. And among the elders,
Jean-Baptiste and his wife are outdoing
all the old folks.” — a communally-authored letter from the North Bend people to the Kamloops Indians

***Dave’s note: It was a funny feature of the peak Chinook-shorthand fervor in the region’s Native communities that groups would gather at the local “catechism house” next to the church, to practice shorthand and to make sure letters got written to all the other known shorthand-writing villages.