The 1895 Chinuk Pipa Kompani
1895 Chinuk Pipa Kompani
Oh my gosh, I have just found the name of my next band. Dibs!
In the second and last issue of the mini-newspaper Shugir Kin Tintin / Sugarcane Bell, its editor — who seems to have been Father Le Jacq of Williams Lake — adopts a tactic that’s strangely often in evidence among Catholic priests of the time:
Le Jacq exhorts the Indigenous community members at Sugarcane Reserve, BC, to catch up with the Kamloops Indians. In the process of fanning competitive flames, he provides us our only knowledge of a mighty intriguing Indigenous formal association, the “Chinook Writing Association”.
Gold to Le Jacq!
< 3o > Wiht kopa kompani Kamlups tilikom tolo msaika.
#3. Also with respect to associations the Kamloops Indians are beating you folks.
Klaska mamuk skukum kompani pus drit fait wiski pi
They’ve formed energetic associations to really fight whiskey and
kanawi piltin mamuk; klaska mamuk skukum lo;
every kind of sinful activities; they’ve made strong rules;
klaska mamuk kaw klaska tomtom kopa ShK iaka oihat.
they’ve hitched their hearts to Jesus’s road.
Iht wiht kompani mitlait kopa klaska, iaka nim
There’s one more association that exists with them, called
Chinuk Pipa Kompani: <20> tanas man aias komtaks
the Chinook Writing Association: 20 young men who are highly skilled
Chinuk pipa mamuk ukuk kompani: klaska mamuk pipa
at Chinook writing made this association: they write
kopa kanawi kah ilihi sawash pus mamuk gitop tilikom
to the Indians of villages all over the place to wake people up
kopa Chinuk pipa, kopa kanawi tlus mamuk.
to Chinook writing and to all sorts of good works.
— Kamloops Wawa #131 (August 1895), page 119
Chinook Jargon was serious business in the Kamloops region of the 1890s!