Háusayáyu'u du glwa
(Heiltsuk Translation)

Written by Veselin Jungic & Mark MacLean 
Illustrated by Simon Roy 
Heiltsuk Translation by Constance Tallio and Evelyn Windsor

Small Number and the Old Canoe – Heiltsuk

In Small Number and the Old Canoe, mathematics is present throughout the story with the hope that this experience will make at least some members of our young audience, with the moderator’s help, recognize more mathematics around them in their everyday lives. Using terms like smooth, shape, oval, and surface, and mathematical phraseology like It must be at least a hundred years old, the artist skillfully presents reflection (symmetry) of trees in water, and so on. The idea behind this approach is to give the moderator a few openings to introduce or emphasize various mathematical objects, concepts and terminology. The short film is a little math suspense story and our question is related only to one part of it. The aim of the question is to lead to an introduction at an intuitive level of the concept of a function and the essence of the principle of inclusion-exclusion as a counting technique. The authors would also like to give their audience an opportunity to appreciate that in order to understand a math question, one often needs to read (or in this case, watch) a problem more than once.

Story Transcript: English and Heiltsuk

Small Number and the Old Canoe – Haulaæas  -  Háusa  du  gl„a

small number and the old canoe

Small Number is a little boy,

Haulaæa’uis  wísm  háusláya. 

 

And he is always getting into mischief, 

Gi  hiálaœam  nánúætuba la. 

 

He is in the care of his grandparents. 

’Císlasuis  ©aq©¡pási,

 

for they put up with the way he plays. 

’Ksa¥asi  wáñiqas  hialama  Óám¬ínisi. 

 

Grandpa has to carve a feast dish,

’Kiágilaxv  ©a©mpasi  æúœva ßiálaçiÒ. 

 

Go out and play with the other children

Gi Óauá  yápa  háusªá’ qn  láisi,  Óámæuls  du  „áukvas  þiþapxv,

small number and the old canoe

It’s a nice spring sunny day

HáixÒalapsis  ha¥¢þs  pxlas  ðvqªá,

 

And they ran down to play in the water.                                                                                  

gi Óauá  ðíðþvnçs lá  Óámæa  la  „a’ámpaþi,

 

everything they see sparks a new game

’Hákœa²ás  duqvlasusi  wáli  œáyaþ’aidailas  Óáluæts  Óám¬íní,

 

And Small Number’s friend Big Circle suggests they see who can make a stone skip the farthest on the surface of the water.

Gi Óauá œa¥aþ’ait ’Qaikasas klxsm qn ÓágvaÒia¥alanás †ísm gila çþ’áitsi la „a’ampaþi,

 

The boys learned if they want their stones to go far, they had to use a flat oval shape stone.

Há¬akaiœa’ áuæ’aÒªa wi’ísmáþi ñaþvi msªá qn þvísgílís †ísm  hiá©lmsi yíáqægilá¥asi  paætus  glætúxs†uxvs  tism

 

Small Number walked far looking for the rock that will win.

Yiálaglis  Háuláæas  Háusªá  þvíþvsgílá  líta  †ísmáts  Óáikuá¥u

small number and the old canoe

He was walking in the grassy area and he kicked into something, and fell head first into an old canoe hidden in the grass.

Tuá  laglisi  la  ðít¡isaþi  gi  Óauá  œáœnþÞála  µnúxvs  µás.  Kíþçu  xváðvná  guædia  †á¥álá  la  ð톙áþi.

 

 Even if he hit his head he was very happy over his find

Waxv’™i  ƒuxválá  háix†iási  gi  „alas  Óáiðqªas  œákanþvasi.

 

He called out to his friends, they went running to him

Yáuþvªi  „áukvasi  gi  Óaua  ðíðvªá  lákáqi                                                                  

small number and the old canoe

The boys were standing around the canoe

ßaxßuis  wi’í™áþi  la  „uistayas  xvákvÞáyaþi

 

They were touching the sides of the canoe

’Pakaxdaþvu  wuwakiaþsiþs  xvákvÞáyaþv

 

I  look old and look big to them

 ©aialaxs†uxv’ila  œáikas†uxv

 

Small Number asks

Gi Óauá  haúmá  Háuláæas Háusªá

 

How many people do you think will fit in there, asked Big Circle.

G¢caukvi  dítgváÞm  xvuti¥aus  qn  haiæþv  láþv ’quik  ñix  k¬xsm

 

How many generations ago was it built?

G¢acáukviþndilic  ’ÒíÒu„lstuá  la¥acþv  þsílásu

 

The boys forgot the game they had been playing

’ƒlístaœam  wi’ísmáþv  Óám¬íná¥asi

 

They were talking about the canoe wondering who could have used it.

Gi  Óauá  pðváláœams  gl„áyáþi  œa’áuƒiþsda  yiaqæats  gl„aka’auaþi

 

As they were talking Big Circle’s tummy began to growl

La  bípðválá¥asi ’Qvúm¬áláx’it   tðiás  ’Qáikas  K¬xsm

 

I’m hungry  “Let’s go eat”, he says to his friends.

Pu„ís™Þúgva  ’waixsints  hmsa,  niki „áukvasi

 

And they all ran home

Gi  hauá  ðíkþv’it  lái ñakv

 

Small number ran home

’Kíþvla  Haulaæas  háusªá  láiñakv

small number and the old canoe

At the place where grandpa was carving the surface of a huge (wooden) dish

La  la’asas  ©a©™pasi  ðiálagiæ  wus©mi¥as  œáikaska’áuás  æúœva

 

And he shouted

Gi Óauá  Óátªá

 

And he looked up

Gi  Óauá  †iþsísta  dúþv’it

 

He saw the bruise on Small Number’s forehead

Dúqvªái  Óáxváyá  la  „úgvíwáyas  háuláæas  háusªá

 

What happened asked grandpa

’Wíx’ítxdas  nix  ©á©má  háum

 

Small Number had forgotten that he bumped his head and started to tell Grandpa about finding the canoe

’Òlísta  háulaæas  háuslá-ya  la¥asi  †s’ála  háix†iási,  gi niæas  qaka¥si  gø„a

 

I found an old canoe down on the beach.  It must be at least a hundred years old.

’Qákánúgva  gl„a gvauæ  la  wi¬iaþi  laganmits  „ú¹nxstáis’ila  „ásålásasi

 

Granpa smiled, it was one of the fastest canoes of our village.

Møxvlá  ©á©ámpa  œa’áuÒÞugva  gø„áyáþi  Mnúkvis  yixálágvuts  gø„as  qnts  gvúkviásaþ.

small number and the old canoe

It was built by my father and two of his brothers.

’Háƒasugvauæis  qs  Óaumpa  du  má’álukvas  „aœvásí

 

Grandpa proudly continued, all the sons of my grandfather were known as the great carvers

Níætu  ©á©mpa  gi  níæas ’hágám  sásmás  qs  ©á©má  œa’áuƒnþvs  yis  „alas  Óáikímás  ðiá

 

You know those three (old) totem poles in front of the bighouse

’Ga’áuæ’msu  qi  yúdúkvas  çu„áþsi  la  „u„áþsiás  ßiáçiaþi

small number and the old canoe

Each of them was built by one of my uncles

’Hágámi  ðiásus  qs  µnúkvas  xvæmp

 

One evening before going to sleep, Small Number thought,  I’d like to build a canoe and totem poles just like my ancestors

Mnúkvis ©ánúæ  Óábas  laxstasaiæa¥asi  qn  ðaæ’it  ÿxsílíþsdnugva  du ’cu„áþsigila  ©viála  qs  Óáiámbiægvaiædia.  

small number and the old canoe

I will ask my grandfather tomorrow how many brothers his father had, two, three, four, five or more

HáumáÒÞugva  ©á©má  æansÒats  gncaukv  „í„aœváyaci  Óaumpasi, ma’alukv, yúdúkv, múkv, sðaukv, duñaþvi œáinám.

 

Question:  Why did Small Number think his great grandpa had two, three, four, five great grandparents?

’Mási  xvútagiæts  háuláæ’uas  háusªá  qits  ma’áluxv, yúdúxv,  múxv,  sðåúxv  ©á©as¬ayats ©á©mpasi.

Credits and Acknowledgements
 

  • Written by: Veselin Jungic, SFU and Mark MacLean, UBC
  • Illustrator: Simon Roy, Victoria, B.C.
  • Director: Andy Gavel, Simon Fraser University

Special thanks to:

  • Tom Archibald, Simon Fraser University
  • Peter Jacobs, Squamish Nation
  • Ozren Jungic, University of Oxford
  • Kwosel, Seabird Island First Nation
  • Kwelaxtelot, Seabird Island First Nation
  • Susan Russell, Simon Fraser University
  • Erin Tait, Nisga'a Nation
  • Department of Mathematics, Simon Fraser University
  • Faculty of Science, Simon Fraser University
  • The IRMACS Centre, Simon Fraser University
  • Office for Aboriginal Peoples, Simon Fraser University
  • Pacific Institute For Mathematical Sciences

This story is part of the NSERC PromoScience project "Math Catcher: Mathematics Through Aboriginal Storytelling"

Financial support provided by NSERC, PIMS, UBC, the IRMACS Centre, and SFU