What Chinook do you remember? ‘My name is Black Bear’

What Chinook Jargon do you remember? Send me your memories to post here! Tim Palmer, in the Facebook “Chinuk-Wawa” group, gave permission to share this one that’s connected with important historical events in his lifetime:

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(Image credit: University of Washington Press)

I was introduced to the Wawa in early 50’s while living with my grandfather in Yelm, Wa.

He grew up on the lower Columbia and Willamette early 1900’s.

It was still in some use then, and was used up around Celilo when he moved up river in 1912/13.

He cowboyed out in the Tygh Valley through WW1, said it was used [by] people clear down to Warm Springs.

I was really introduced in mid 60’s while involved in fish ins all over the PNW, the old men used it from Yakima to Frank’s Landing.

We young ones were taught to only answer police and F&G officers in the Wawa.

I still can quote “Nika nam Itswoot, Nika kopa Tyee Moses Illahee, kopa Ni Chewana illahee”.

Only textbook on it I could buy in early 60’s was E.H. ThomasChinook…A history and dictionary…which I still have…and use…

Dave here again — that Chinuk Wawa says ‘My name is Black Bear, I’m from Chief Moses country, in the Columbia River country.’

Hayu masi, Tim, for sharing your personal experiences!

qʰata mayka təmtəm?
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