28 8 / 2014

At some point in the last few decades the word nəc̓aʔmat (in hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓) or nch’ú7mut (in Sḵwx̱wú7mesh) was said to mean “one heart; one mind” in the respective languages.

nəc̓aʔ or nch’ú7 are the words for the number one (#1). The thing added to the end of those words in both languages mean “a piece (of something)”. Examples could be cake, pizza, or food. Usable in sentences such as “I would like one piece of cake”.

In the 1980’s it was proposed to Coast Salish political leaders as a concept to express “political unity” in that a person or a group is but one piece of the whole.

Yet people make it sound like it is an ancient concept unique to Coast Salish culture.

How Fascinating!

25 8 / 2014

Using the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ writing system, note the differences in how these names are said in English compared to their historical or correct pronunciations in the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language. The names are written phonetically in the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language.

English: sləywatəwθ
hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓: səlil̓wət-aʔɬ

English: sqʷaməš
hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓: sqʷxʷaʔməx

English: məskʷiyəm
hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓: xʷməθkʷey̓əm

Using the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh writing system, note the differences in how these names are said in English compared to their historical or correct pronunciations in the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh language. The names are written phonetically in the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) language.

English: Slaywátewth
Sḵwx̱wú7mesh: Sel̓íl̓wit-ulh

English: Skwamesh
Sḵwx̱wú7mesh: Sḵwx̱wú7mesh

English: Meskwiyam
Sḵwx̱wú7mesh: Xwmétskwiyam


In both the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh writing systems, the names are written PHONETICALLY. In both writing systems the language is writing these names how it sounds —- again in that writing system.

It is not possible to write either of these languages “phonetically” in the English writing system because the English writing system does not have symbols for many sounds found in both languages.

As you may note, the English versions (sləywatəwθ/Slaywátewth; sqʷaməš/Skwamesh; and məskʷiyəm/Xwmétskwiyam) are quite different from their traditional conterparts.

I thought it may be interesting for people to see the differences this way, even if you can’t understand the symbols or read our writing systems, you may be able to see the differences still.

There is no obligation on anyone to learn the “proper”, “traditional” or “correct way” to say these names. These are names of places and people in the two local Coast Salish languages and both are correct depending on what language you wanted to speak. My advice is not to feel guilty for mispronouncing or not knowing. No one will fault you for that and you burden us who do use it/say it correctly with having to comfort you.

Be curious. Accept that you don’t know or don’t know how to say these things and that that is okay. If you want to learn then great. But don’t act like it is some horrible thing you’re saying sləywatəwθ instead of səlil̓wət-aʔɬ or Skwamesh instead of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh.

And if you learn how to say “Ha7lhshen ta a s7átsḵ. Ti-enchá chexw?”, you will get a cookie! Hahaha.

19 8 / 2014

Going up country…babe, don’t you wana go?

#SignFixed

Going up country…babe, don’t you wana go?

#SignFixed

18 8 / 2014

Dumbies made this sign backwards!!! lol

Dumbies made this sign backwards!!! lol

13 8 / 2014

07 8 / 2014

Backstage with A TRIBE CALLED RED! (at Squamish Music Festival)

05 8 / 2014

A language walk. This is a great game to practice THE DETERMINERS! lol

01 8 / 2014

'Wolves' made by Khelsilem. Enlarged Coast Salish Spindle Whorl made from yellow cedar. Made with (awesome) assistance from carver Ray Natraoro.

'Wolves' made by Khelsilem. Enlarged Coast Salish Spindle Whorl made from yellow cedar. Made with (awesome) assistance from carver Ray Natraoro.

18 7 / 2014

Getting long!

Getting long!

17 7 / 2014

Live from Qatuwas in Bella Bella. Host nation honouring Kwakwaka’wakw visitors!