1901: The new JP astonished the [Native people]

In BC, Chinook Jargon stayed in use more vigorously and longer than it did south of the border.

I mention this because, in 1901, it seems doubtful to me that these Native defendants were quite as astonished by a CJ-talking judge as they are characterized here.

We have ample files by now of Chinuk Wawa being used in Pacific Northwest courts.

I sense racism in the following news coverage. No surprise, for that era.

Now, can you understand the Jargon words dropped into the following article? The publisher assumed his readers would have no difficulty with them…



The new J.P. astonished the Indians. August and Jimmy, Indians, charged with having been drunk and disorderly, were brought before George Thompson, J.P., in the provincial police court, and upon satisfactory proof of hyiu patlum and cultus potlatch having been submitted by Provincial Constable Harry McIndoo, His Honor, who is one of the few J.P.’s in British who [sic] Columbia who can “hyas kloosh delate wawa Chinook,” fined them $5 each and costs, or one month in the skookum house. His Honor admonished the erring braves in choice Chinook to their astonishment and no doubt great moral benefit.

— from the Vancouver (BC) Daily World of July 10, 1901, page 3, column 3

Hyiu patlum = háyú pʰáɬ(-)lam ‘much drunkenness’ or perhaps more grammatically: hayu-pʰáɬ(-)lam ‘being actively drunk’.

Cultus potlatch = kʰə́ltəs-pá(t)lach ‘gifting; having a Native potlatch’, which is weird because it’s not mentioned in English above.

Hyas kloosh delate wawa Chinook = hayas-ɬúsh dléyt wáwa chinúk ‘very well really speak Chinook’. This is a somewhat weird phrasing in Jargon.

Skookum house = skúkum-háws ‘jail, prison’.

qʰata mayka təmtəm?
What do you think?