1862: Siletz chiefs’ speeches for back-translation into CW (Part 2 of 6)

nayka wáwa drét háyú mási kʰapa David Gene Lewis, PhD.

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Image credit: Confederated Siletz Tribes)

Many thanks to Dr. David Gene Lewis, tribal researcher, for sharing this material on his site.

I felt it deserved attention from those of us who speak Chinuk Wawa.

It didn’t take more than a handful of years for the forcibly relocated Native people at the Siletz Indian Reservation to join together in voicing their complaints to the US government.

Care to back-translate the following early Siletz chief’s speech to CW?

Old Bill of the Rogue Rivers

I have not much to say to you now and will talk after a while. I will say to you things and talk straight (truth). I will say that the Indians hare are used like slaves, and have been ever since Metcalf left. We have but little to eat, and sometimes nothing at all. Potatoes that are rotten, are not good for any people to eat. Many of our people have no clothes. We have suffered much, and many have died, if you will let us go back to our country we can do better. Metcalf gave us beef and flour, when we first came here, and we want it now, or if you cannot give it to us let us go home and provide for ourselves. We were promised by Major Buchanan that we could return after four years, and we want to go now or have better treatment. This is my mind.

qʰata mayka təmtəm?
What do you think?

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