Gi-a-wak (doggerel)

“Should you ask me, whence these stories?” — H.W. Longfellow There’s evidence in the following “Song of Hiawatha” clone that Chinook Jargon lies beneath.  For instance: You have the overt “Shaped his lips… Continue reading

Cree loan words into BC Chinook Jargon

Yesterday, in my article about Walter Moberly’s cool 1885 book “The Rocks and Rivers of British Columbia”, I asked about a word that some apparently Columbia River Shuswap (Kinbasket Secwepemc) guys used, likely… Continue reading

Kinbasket’s “Columbia River Shuswaps”, a railroad surveyor, and the Jargon

“The Rocks and Rivers of British Columbia” by the engineer/surveyor Walter Moberly (London: H. Blacklock & Co., 1885.) This is the sort of old Northwest book that’s not quite crammed full of the stuff… Continue reading

Blackfeet story

  Around the turn of the century, as they used to call 1900, a lot of Indigenous people were recorded as talking a mixture of pidgin English and Chinook Jargon. Here’s an Okanagan… Continue reading

Halo jawbone

At evening we walked up to Geary’s ranch, which he ” runs ” as a kind of hotel for the few travellers who pass this way. Conspicuous on the wall of the only… Continue reading

When your grandpa isn’t your chúp*

( * In honor of chup henli Zenk.) 🙂 When your grandfather isn’t your chúp, what do you call him? I’m not thinking here of the affectionate variants that you can find in… Continue reading

Chinuk Wawa places I visited last week

On my family’s vacation to the central Oregon coast this last week, we visited a number of Chinuk Wawa-named places: I know I’m leaving some out!  There are lots of them in that… Continue reading

Happy belated Victoria day, part 2

Yesterday I shared a Secwepemc girl’s tree-bark (!) postcard congratulating Queen Victoria on her 60th anniversary on the British throne. Today (in shorthand French): how that message was received.      Də d… Continue reading

Happy late Victoria Day from a Secwepemc girl

[Serendipity!  Updated 7/20/2016 when I discovered a clearer copy of her letter, with a French translation backing it up, in the next issue of Kamloops Wawa.] From an Indigenous girl in 1897:    … Continue reading

Girl with copying machine

This verbal portrait comes courtesy of The Prospector newspaper (Lillooet, BC), volume 7, number 7, February 9, 1905, page 3, second column, under the headline “Current Comment” (my comments follow below the image): One of the… Continue reading