“Kamloops Wawa” in The Stenographer magazine (Part 2)


Father Le Jeune of Kamloops Wawa heard about The Stenographer’s interest in his shorthand-written Chinook Jargon newspaper, and wrote a letter to the editor…

The Stenographer probably was, or became, one of Kamloops Wawa‘s “exchanges”. That was a custom of the era, in which periodicals swapped copies of each other’s issues. The idea was in part to provide a greater amount of material that each re-publish (with credit given to the exchange source in the form of a thank-you).

Editors of exchange journals also liked to print letters of recommendation from each other. An element of that kind of endorsement can be detected below.

There’s truly useful historical information in this short note from Le Jeune.

  • He notes the difficulties in training local Indigenous women as printers of Kamloops Wawa.
  • He also admits that his initial concept of a purely religious newspaper has already given way to a recognized Indian demand for news and other secular content.
  • And he has started putting English titles above purely Chinuk Wawa (and Salish) articles, as a concession to interested outsiders like his exchanges and White Catholics who subscribe in order to support his work.

lejeune stenographer 01

lejeune stenographer 02

Kamloops, B.C., Dec. 14, 1892


DEAR SIR: I found your December number on my return from visit [sic] to my several Indian villages. Many thanks for your kind encouragement. I find your paper a splendid publication, and will seize the occasion whenever it offers itself to bring your a new subscriber.

My little paper is, of course, a poorly gotten up thing. How could it be otherwise, having no help but myself and a couple of Indian women, wh now do the printing, etc., for me? I have to instruct them, and they learn slowly; hence the untidiness of some of the papers. 

I do not condemn the Pitman systems [of shorthand]; in [sic] contrary, I hold them in high esteem. I value your paper so much the more for the lucid way in which shorthand is taught therein.

I am ust beginning a new volume of the “Kamloops Wawa,” and have decided to make it as interesting as possible, by a variety of articles of general interest, leaving most of our devotional publications for extras and supplements. I also resolved to write in English articles of interest to our kind readers. I always put an English title to the items of interest to the natives alone. 

Yours very respectfully, 


— from The Stenographer, III:10 (February 1893), page 448

What have you learned?