Vanished Worlds, Enduring People

The Written Word

Kamloops Wawa. Kamloops, British Columbia, 1891-1923. [view]

Published by Father J. M. R. Le Jeune (1855-1930), an Oblate missionary in the interior of British Columbia, the Kamloops Wawa was a mimeographed newsletter offering "Indian news" in three parallel languages: English, a transliteration of Chinook jargon, and the jargon written in Duployan shorthand. Due to the Wawa’s wide circulation, both Indians and non-Indians learned to read and write this form of shorthand, developed by the Duployé brothers in France. It also encouraged the use of the Chinook jargon, a trade language combining words and language structure drawn from Pacific Northwest tribes with English and French terms. Local Indian tribes, who spoke a variety of languages, used the jargon to communicate with each other as well as with traders.

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