Mudcat Café message #1206376 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #69992   Message #1206376
Posted By: dianavan
13-Jun-04 - 04:54 PM
Thread Name: Chinook Jargon Songs
Subject: RE: Chinook Jargon Songs
Thanks - I think what my grandmother spoke was the language not the jargon. I would like to hear the language and the jargon to see if I can hear the difference. I'm close to Langara so I'll take a look.

When I said 'extinct', I meant that it was the government designation. Of course we're not extinct (definitely assimilated) but I am so happy to hear that the govt. has finally recognized that we still exist.

It was not actually the settlers that pushed us out, it was the Hudson's Bay Company. Many people moved N.E. in an attempt to join others in a resistance. As they moved up the Columbia toward Canada (and Louis Riel) the U.S. calvary cut them off. Thats when they were put on reserves in the desert. That was a long time ago but I have never heard any opposition to settlers.

As it turned out, my grandmother and her sisters were separated from their parents and raised by Shakers at a mission. It was not an easy choice, but apparently it was the lesser of two evils - the reserve or the Shakers. My grandmother learned how to cook 'white' food, how to sew and how 'not to dance'. She was then married off to a Dutch-Indonesian seaman in Astoria. They went back to the land and started fishing. In those days, racism was not a big issue. In fact, if you wanted to survive, the best thing you could do was marry a Native woman because she knew how to live on the land and how and where to fish. Seems that white women were also in short supply.

Thats how I became a hybrid.

In fact, my mother is from a Danish family that settled and farmed that area. My father, from a family of fishermen in the same area. Sure, great, we are no longer extinct but only remnants remain. Land claims? Maybe - but I for one, have no desire to claim a nuclear power plant.