1896: Chief Andrew of North Thompson teases Chief Louis of Kamloops

Two Secwépemc chiefs show that they like each other…


Qelmucw at Yehelesten, Simpcw First Nation folks (image credit: Simpcw.com)

My Spokan Salish-teaching elder Pauline Flett, anyway, always said that if an Indian teases you, they like you.

I guess these two leaders had a high opinion of each other!

From Kamloops Wawa June 1896 No. 6 Vol. V Number 141:

The Introductory page contains an anecdotal story of nearly-60-year-old Chief Andrew (North Thompson) [Simpcw First Nation] learning to read Chinuk-Pipa writing with spectacles, once he…

“…saw his young men progressing in the knowledge of the Chinook writing.

He had to procure a set of spectacles, and to have a special edition writtten out in large characters by some of his men.

After a few days’ study he found out that he was not too old to master the shorthand, and he was so much pleased with his success that he at once wrote to Chief Louis, at Kamloops:

‘If you are not quite blind yet, you had better start in to learn the Chinook writing: you see, I am nearly blind, yet I am learning the “Wawa” Shorthand.’

He succeeded so well that he is now able to read anything in Chinook.

His wife has made the same progress in the study.

As an evidence of this, Mr. J.F. Smith, settler on the North Thompson, relates how, a few months ago having received from the Indians a note in shorthand, which he was then unable to read, he called upon Chief Andrew, to see if he could not make out the contents of the message.

Whereupon Andrew drew out his spectacles, and at once read the letter, explaining the contents to Mr. Smith, and concluding with the remark, ‘that previously the Indians had to recur to their civilized friends for the reading of their correspondence; now the contrary takes place.’”

What do you think?