1862: Siletz chiefs’ speeches for back-translation into CW (Part 4 of 6)

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


(Image credit: Oregon History Project)

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.

Care to back-translate the following early Siletz chief’s speech to the CW it was made in?

En-ches-sa Chief of the Sixes

I want you to write my words and send them to the President. I don’t want to offend you, but I want to talk straight to you. It may be the last chance that I will ever have. If the President was here, I would talk to him as I do to you. I am an old man and not ashamed to talk. Mr. Geary promised to write to the President, but that is the last I heard about it. I don’t want to be an Indian any longer. We were told that we would soon be like white men, ff we come to the Reservation. My people have lost all confidence in the white men, but I have not. I want you to give us all the help you can, I fear when I die my people will scatter like birds. I have no confidence in Mr. Biddle. I want another agent, that will give us what you send here for us, and not sell it, and starve us. I know that you sent the ship here with flour and clothes for the Indians. I know that some of my people have died from hunger and cold. Do you think one blanket is enough for four or five Indians, and that one shirt or pantaloons will last all year. If you want us to live like white men you must help us, as we want all the help we can get. We want carts to haul our potatoes and wood in. Our women pack everything now.

Is that the way white people do? I want a gun. If I had a gun I could kill some elk. I want my people to be permitted to go outside to work for clothes. I want something done with the whites. I have never received any good from them. My people want camp kettles, and other things to cook in, We want to live like white people, and we look to you for help. I hope that you will let me have a gun. I hope Mr. Magensen (this is the Farmer) will not leave us. We could not live without him.  This is my mind. I am done.

qʰata mayka təmtəm?
What do you think?