Search Results for: smallpox

Smallpox in Chinuk Wawa

There’s a word for that. Devoted readers may realize that this blog has so far only touched on one of the biggest issues in Pacific Northwest history: smallpox.

1994: BP Harris’s arguments for a pre-contact Chinuk Wawa

[Updated several days after posting.] There’s an article by the late UVic linguist Barbara P. Harris, one of the co-founders of the Chinook Wawa Gathering that helped revitalize this language, that’s worth your… Continue reading

1913: “The British Columbia Orphans’ Friend”, and Salish and Nuučaan’uɬ folks

The “Historical Number” (issue) of a post-frontier Catholic charity’s periodical preserves interesting scraps of Chinuk Wawa…

1862: Haidas could communicate with us only via Jargon-speaking newcomers

A man who had been part of a gold rush to the Stikine River while Alaska was still Russian territory notes how limited chances for communication in Haida Gwaii were back then.

The Dalles, 1904: Corpse talks to undertaker

We’ve seen a Chinuk Wawa séance with the spirit of an executed Cayuse chief, but here a physical corpse talks Jargon. 

Again, mixed Chinook-English in central BC’s late frontier

A Klondike gold rusher, and later a Pulitzer Prize recipient, today’s author is an attention-getter.

Sheepshanks! “A Bishop in the Rough”

A 1909 biography of John Sheepshanks, Bishop of Norwich, who spent time in early British Columbia. “A Bishop in the Rough“


It’s such an ancient pitch But one that I’d never switch ‘Cause there’s no nicer witch than you — Frank Sinatra, “Witchcraft”


Education and health care…

The Journals of George M. Dawson: British Columbia, 1875-1878 (volume 1)

An excellent document of Chinook Jargon use — especially in the underdocumented northern end of its range — from a fella who put real effort into learning it, at a time when the pidgin… Continue reading