Inland Cigar Manufacturing Company ad, 1903


Stik Sawash?

For sheer humour & bizarre, possibly unintentional, homage to some of the Indigenous traditions that were insulted earlier in the same issue of Kamloops Wawa, my favourite advertisement in Chinook Jargon is the following:


< Inland Cigar Manuf. Co.
Limited Liability,
Kamloops, B.C. >

Wik na maika mitlait tabako, taii?
Have you no tobacco, Chief?

     Tlus maika patlach naika tanas taboko [SIC],
Give me a bit of tobacco,

pi naika mamuk smok iaka kopa taii
and I’ll smoke it for the Chief 

      kopa sahali.
in the sky!

— Kamloops Wawa #206 (September 1903), page 84

The joke, or jokes, being that this ad was written by a priest (Father Le Jeune), but it looks like he’s referencing the traditional Indigenous ceremonial use of tobacco!

As we understand from other issues of his little newspaper, Le Jeune indeed enjoyed the occasional cigar.

His sense of humour shows through often in Kamloops Wawa, as it does here.

As I remember another issue’s cigar-related anecdote, the Father wryly recounts that the news (and tobacco) agent on board a train he was riding to a mission village asked him to take over his concession for a few minutes, so he could go do something else. Apparently the passengers got quite a surprise to find a collared religious man calmly puffing away and asking five cents for the news…

Speaking of the priest criticizing people’s behaviour, more than once in (other) issues of Kamloops Wawa, Le Jeune pleads with his Native readers not to spend their scarce money on tobacco, alcohol, and sugar, and catch up on their delinquent subscription fees.  So it’s funny to see him promoting smoking here!

You’d never guess it, but the tobacco industry and the Inland Tobacco Company of Kamloops were quite the going hometown concerns.  Numerous sources testify that this company employed dozens of people, rolling Cuban imported tobacco…and surprisingly, leaf that was grown locally.