This is what a map in Chinook Jargon looks like

It occurs to me that Iʹve never seen a map in Chinuk Wawa. So this was a good find. Itʹs meant to show how the house that the Virgin Mary was born in, and… Continue reading

Whiskey ravages Kamloops Indian Reserve

What follows is heartbreaking — in case you needed it proved to you that a pidgin language can communicate emotions — and you might feel like a cleansing, both before and after. But… Continue reading

Silver bells we can do, but cockle shells?

This question was passed along to me, and I thought it was worth a discussion: “I’m interested in the difference between the word for clam and the word for cockle, if there is… Continue reading

“In the future, everyone will ride this kind of horse”

*Scroll to the bottom for my Mother’s Day note 🙂 Talk about steampunk!  The guy was a straight-up 1890s geek: Father Le Jeune of the Kamloops Wawa showed his fancy for technology in many… Continue reading


Getting right to today’s idea, the fur trade and otters were way less important in the Pacific NW by the 1890s era of the Kamloops Wawa newspaper. So the old Chinuk Wawa words for… Continue reading How trade shaped an Amerindian Creole in the Pacific Northwest

And over at the site, another interview with that fella named after an early Northwest explorer about an early Northwest language. (David Douglas Robertson PhD.) (Chinuk Wawa.) A fun little read.

Life among the Hare Indians, in Chinuk Wawa

Today I’m sharing more humor in Jargon. Via Father Le Jeune’s reporting, Bishop Grouard has told us about life among the Crees and the Inuit; now the Athabaskan Hare Indians of Canada’s Northwest Territories:  … Continue reading

More Chinook Jargon in old Spokane

Jack Nisbet the other day was asking me how early Chinook Jargon was used in the Spokane area. I happened to find Randall Harold Kemp’s book, “A Half-breed Dance, and Other Far Western Stories: Mining… Continue reading

Amusing, with a donkey

Yay, more donkeys! Sometimes in his Kamloops Wawa newspaper, Father Le Jeune would try to teach people who knew “Chinuk pipa” shorthand some English. Like any teacher, L.J. gave some lessons that we have to… Continue reading

Life among the Inuit, in Chinuk Wawa

I promised this when I showed you “Life among the Crees, in Chinuk Wawa“, and I deliver. Visiting Kamloops Indian Reserve, Monsignor Grouard OMI of Athabasca is lecturing about his business trips. Now… Continue reading