Kamloops + other residential schools, as reported to Native people in Chinook (Part 2)

More early reports of residential schools in British Columbia…


St Josephs Mission residential school for girls at Williams Lake, BC (image credit: Matters of the Moment)

The following are from Kamloops Wawa #70 (March 19, 1893), page 47.


     < Rev. Father Jacob. >     Iht liplit iaka nim Pir
                                              ‘A certain priest named Père’

Shakob iaka chi klatwa kopa Wiliams [1] Lik. Iaka klatwa
‘Jacob has just gone to Williams Lake. He went there’ 
tlus nanich ukuk skul kopa Sawash [2] mitlait kopa Wiliams Lik.
‘to take care of that school for Natives that’s at Williams Lake.’ 

     < Rev. Father Carion. >     Pi Pir Kariõ iaka
                                                ‘And Père [Alphonse-Marie] Carion who’

ankati mitlait [3] Wiliams Lik, iaka alta chako kopa
‘used to live at Williams Lake, he has now come to’

Kamlups pus iaka tlus nanich ukuk Sawash skul [4] kopa Kamlups.
‘Kamloops so he can take care of
this Native school at Kamloops.’
Wik lili alta pi nsaika opin [5] ukuk skul. Pus chako
‘Soon we will open this school. When it gets to be’

Ipril < 1 > iawa iaka halak [6] ukuk skul kopa Kamlups.
‘April 1st, then it will be open, this school at Kamloops.’ 


     Tlun sistir [7] chako tlus nanich ukuk nsaika Sawash
     ‘Three nuns have come to take care of this Native’

skul kopa Kamlups, kanamokst Pir Kariõ.
‘school of ours at Kamloops, along with Père Carion.’ 


Wiliams [1] Lik is written here in Chinuk Pipa divided into syllables, which is the usual way to write Chinook Jargon with this alphabet. But, ‘Williams’ apparently has 3 syllables: Wi.liam.s! I think this unexpected spelling is due to the influence of written English on Kamloops Wawa editor Le Jeune, because at the time, the name of that place was usually written with an apostrophe: William’s Lake. (It’s named for Secwépemc Chief William.) 

skul kopa Sawash [2] ‘school for Natives’ was one of the usual ways to refer to the residential schools in the 1890s; see footnote 4 for a synonym.

mitlait [3] Wiliams Lik is a synonym for mitlait kopa Wiliams Lik ‘(which) is at Williams Lake’. You don’t need to use the preposition kopa here, because mitlait is a typical Chinuk Wawa spatial-reference verb (a class that includes location & motion) — in itself, mitlait means ‘be there, be at’. 

Sawash skul [4] ‘Native school’ is another usual way to refer to the residential schools at the time; see also footnote 2.

nsaika opin [5] ukuk skul uses a brand-new borrowing from spoken English, the verb ‘open’. Compare this with the following footnote. 

iawa iaka halak [6] ukuk skul uses the good old CW word halak as an adjective (really a stative verb), ‘to be open’. You can also use this word in mamuk halak ‘to open’, which would be a synonym for the preceding footnote’s opin. As is typical, newer loans from English into CW have narrower, more specialized meanings, while older ones have broader, more generic semantics. 

sistir [7] is the usual word for ‘nun(s)’, taken recently from English ‘sister(s)’. Coincidentally, in BC Chinuk Wawa, sistir has also replaced the older CW ats for ‘one’s sister, one’s female sibling’. (But older CW aw ‘brother’ only partially got replaced by English brothir!)

Kata maika tomtom? What do you think?