More about Ktunaxa use of Chinuk Wawa

I’ve been having a look into Leonard Corwin Brant’s book…


(Image credit:

…This is “Kootenai Indians of the Columbia Plateau: A Gathering of History, Ethnography, and Sources” (Rathdrum, ID: Northwest Research and Publications, 2013).

On page 137 we hear about Irven Brant arriving at Bonners Ferry in far northern Idaho, in the summer of 1887.

Very few Indians could speak English, so communication was done by sign language or Chinook jargon.

Rose Causton, a local historian of Bonners Ferry, is quoted on page 146 in reference apparently to the 1890s or turn of the century:

Several years ago the Kootenai earned many dollars each year by working for the white people. They carried water from the river to houses for 25 cents per barrel and some muck-i-muck (food).

These highlights reinforce the picture that we already were building, that Chinuk Wawa came late, but held on longer, in Ktunaxa country around the Idaho-Montana-BC border.

qʰata mayka təmtəm?
What do you think?