Public service announcement: “alki” is not the future tense

Or, the Alki Point ūüôā In the interest of sharing knowledge of good Chinuk Wawa, I want to share how to use the words that you’re usually told mean “future”, “present”, and “past”… Continue reading

Street Chinook: dyspepsia!

There’s a rule of thumb¬†we use when documenting a language: get the speaker to talk about a near-death experience. ¬†The reason for doing this is that you get the least filtered, most natural… Continue reading

Delirium tremens in the Okanagan

A whole lotta shaking goin’ on! ¬†Hands, bodies, souls. ¬†Not to get too personal, but the following is in honour of a loved one who died in a similar way about this date… Continue reading

Temperance pledge, StoŐĀ:lŇć style (1893)

The other day in this blog I mentioned the epidemic of alcoholism in Indian country that we get a number of close glimpses into via the Kamloops Wawa newspaper. ¬†Under the influence of… Continue reading

Johnny Harper gets married & dies

The 1890s were a transitional time in the southern BC interior. Many Aboriginal people had been married in the old traditional way. Missionary priests were promoting Catholic marriage. Sometimes, a person would postpone… Continue reading

You, government White man, why don’t you first have a look at this Chinook writing?

The sequel to my post yesterday continues Father Le Jeune’s rant against White cynicism. Again, look closely. ¬†The differences between what Le Jeune writes in English (pretty civilly) and his Chinook Jargon (translated… Continue reading

White good, Indian bad

A racist Catch-22. ¬†Paraphrased: The only good Indian is one who you turn into a White person. ¬†The only easy way to acculturate the Indians is to use Chinook Jargon. ¬†Chinook Jargon is… Continue reading

Alcoholism and the first literate generation

I’m not intentionally connecting alcoholism with¬†the introduction of literacy to people who had never known it, but you’ll often find the two subjects cheek-by-jowl in the letters of the Oblate missionary priests. One… Continue reading

“Nawitika” there’s a “hymn” pronunciation of Chinuk Wawa

Short post: “Nawitika” there is a “hymn” pronunciation of Chinuk Wawa. It amounts to throwing extra vowels in. This breaks up some of the consonant clusters that are harder (for European missionaries) to… Continue reading

Shaina man mamuk kansih kakwa

Which Chinese language is this? “The Chinese count like this:” (Kamloops Wawa issue #31, 19 June 1892, page 122) Shaina man mamuk kansih kakwa, <1.> iit ¬† <6> lawk ¬†¬†‚ąę Sondi lat bai… Continue reading