Monthly Archive: February, 2022

SO MANY Métis words in interior PNW languages (Part 3: Secwepemctsín)

If we list all the words that might be from French in the Secwepemctsín language, we see historical Métis influence.

1873: Rare Kwakwaka’wakw Chinuk Wawa

Not only is it kind of rare to find Kwakwaka‘wakw people quoted speaking Chinuk Wawa, but we also learn some colorful new expressions by listening to them do that.

“Shame pole”, an Alaskanism

An article inspired by seeing a certain Victoria judge’s name in association with Chinuk Wawa.

1892: More court objections to Chinuk Wawa

A tragic post-frontier court case involving Lummi (Coast Salish) people gets snarled up in questions of allowing Chinook Jargon to be used…

1862: A threat taken seriously

A threat made in Chinook Jargon in frontier-era Victoria was understood loud and clear.

1914: Pioneers appeal for “Indian war” pensions

Some big names among early Settlers appear here: Oregon Trail memorial promoter Ezra Meeker, Lower Canada rebel and Champoeg participant FX Matthieu, and women’s rights activist and publisher Abigail Scott Duniway…

1909: Job wanted ad, “speaks Chinook”

I would love to learn whether this advertisement secured its author the sort of job he wanted!

1897: A Klondike version of the “sitkum dollar” joke, with a celebrity

The famous “Poet of the Sierras”, Joaquin Miller, spoke Chinook Jargon.

1917: Obituary of preacher to Colville tribes

Chinook Jargon remained in use longer in back-country places than it did in the cities of the Pacific Northwest.

1912: Claptrap??

In post-frontier era towns, in the Chinuk Wawa heartland, the language was quickly seen as passé.