Kamloops Wawa pictures, Part 4: The Indian Chiefs of British Columbia
Another photo from Kamloops Wawa #130 (July 1895), on page , is this historical treasure:
“The Indian Chiefs of British Columbia.”
Page 100 tells us a little about this illustration, in Chinook Jargon:
<Our Illustrations.> Ukuk mokst
piktyur msaika nanich kopa ukuk pipa, ukuk iht
‘pictures that you folks see in this newspaper, this first one’
kanawi taii tilikom ankati mitlait kanamokst kopa
‘is all the chiefs who once were (gathered) together at’
Shishil. Kanawi tilikom drit tlus tomtom pus klaska
‘Sechelt. Everyone was really pleased for them’
tlap ukuk piktyur kopa Kamlups Wawa pipa.
‘to get this picture (made) for the Kamloops Wawa newspaper.’
In the back row we also see several OMI Catholic priests. The overt reason for the gathering was probably for praying and religious learning, but in an interesting historical irony, those priests assisted the Native leaders in asserting their rights to the Crown.
A very great amount of the conversations that happened in such gatherings has to have been in the Jargon. These priests tried to learn the Coast and Interior Salish languages of the BC tribes they lived among, but always the language of shared fluency was Chinuk Wawa.