“People” are Indigenous

Learn this:


There is an endless supply of white men.  There has always been a limited number of human beings.

The word for ‘people’, tilixam in Chinuk Wawa (tilikom as spelled in Kamloops Wawa dialect), fundamentally means ‘Indigenous people’.

I’ve pointed this out any number of times.  Back in the day, you had to specify if you were extending the word to talk about folks besides Natives.

I can’t count how often I’ve come upon Jargon expressions like tilikom pi tkop tilikom — ‘people and white people’.

(If you’re thin-skinned, don’t read this comment.  It’s somewhat like the actual way that many Indigenous languages speak of white and black people, as when (Human Being) Old Lodge Skins, seen above, comments in the movie Little Big Man“Yes, the ‘black’ white man; I have heard of them. It is said that a ‘black’ white man once became a Human Being.”)

A lovely proof of the above idea is in something I was reading today [emphasis added]:

Satyurdi kopit sitkom son, tanas
Saturday afternoon, sev-

ayu tilikom chako kopa Kol Watir, iht iht
eral people came to Coldwater, a few

tkop man, pi tanas ayu sitkom tilikom
white men and several halfbreeds

Kamloops Wawa #199c (December 1901), page 97

I’ve used the indelicate 1901 local-English translation of sitkom tilikom there.  The point is, this expression means literally ‘half-people’.

And ‘people’ are Indigenous.

Chinook Jargon as an Indigenous-oriented pidgin/creole.  It doesn’t exist without Native people.