Section 2.11 Tla’amin - šɛ nuxʷɛɬ hɛga Mɛnaθey
Written by: Veselin Jungic and Mark MacLean
Illustrated by: Simon Roy
Tla’amin translation by: Mabel Harry, Karen Galligos, and Oshelle, Tla’amin Nation
This is not a traditional Tla’amin story but one that could be told in any First Nations community. The story appealed to us because of it descriptive language and presented a challenge to translate. The story also has a math focus and we hope to encourage teachers to use it.
θiyɛčɩs qomɩys Menaθɛy. payɛʔot ɬaxɬaxtən. hɛɬ ša kʷʋkʷpas hɛga ša čɩčyɛs ƛoƛoɬot. payɛʔot ʔikʷ kʷaʔənəns ninijɛ kʷ yɛyɛθotss Menaθɛy.
Menathey is 5 years old. He is very mischievous. He lives with his grandfather and grandmother. They are very patient with his antics.
"t̓ˢapawč,xaƛ kʷatˢ hojuxʷ tɛʔɛ kʷaɬt, natəm ša kʷʋkʷpas. hɛwhew ʔajumiš mot ša kʷaɬt, nas kʷ nonohom. ƛɩšƛɩštas šɛ ʔɛmaθs hɛga qəmqəms ga hahas qaqsɛm ʔasqič.
“I am busy, I want to finish this feast dish”, said grandpa. A beautiful feast dish. He tells his grandson and friends to go and play outside.
hɛhew ʔit ʔi:mot t̓okʷ. hojɛyʔɩƛ̓ qʷɛt. ʔukʷtəm kʷʋnɛtas ʔɛʔajuxʷas qaqsɛms. ƛɛƛxʷatawnatəm Kespaul ga gatasəm kʷɛʔɛt nijɛ kʷa t̓aθəmays.
It is a very beautiful day. They ran down to the beach. Everything they saw sparked a new game. Kespaul spoke, “lets see who can throw a stone the furthest in the water”.
heyɛʔot toxʷoxʷəs nəms kʷ ʔi: xajays - tətlɛčeyin, θačays,ʔi θič̓. tawtawusaman ta kʷɛt Menaθɛy kʷ ʔi: xagis.
The boys quickly learn that a good stone that will travel far must be - oval, smooth and flat. Menathey walked far along the beach looking for good rocks.
θoga kʷumšɩn ta ƛɛʔɛgən. k̓ɛlɛtšɩn kʷ ƛəqƛak̓t ƛaqəm.
He went towards the bushy area. He tripped in the long grass.
ɬaxʷiš ʔi θo hɛgayin. tˢaqɛqʷan kʷ tamas. jaqa kʷa nɛ ša nuxʷɛɬ. xoxmotoɬč nɛʔas, panosʔot ʔata ƛaqəm.
He fell over headfirst. Menathey hit his head on something. All of a sudden he saw the canoe. It must have been there a long time, covered over in grass.
kʷɛʔeš Mɛnaθey. jik̓ʷtas ʔičsans. papkʷɛtas ta nuxʷɛɬ. ʔaʔot kʷ moʔos̓ ʔi: qajɛʔot qʷašqʷiš ninijɛ kʷ θiyɩčs. qeyɛtas kʷ qəmqəms. qʷol jɛƛʔaw.
Menathey stood up. Rubbing his forehead. He stood looking at the canoe. Even though his head hurt he was very excited about his discovery. He yelled for his friends. They came running.
nɛ kʷ kʷakʷɛšit ta tutəmtamiš, qapqaptas ta nuxʷɛɬ. hɛhew xoʔoɬomiš. hɛhew ti:mot. “kʷɛnayɛčɛ qayɛmɩxʷ tət ʔowoɬɛtoɬ?” natəm Menaθɛy.
The boys stand around the canoe. Rubbing their hands over the top of the canoe. It looks very old. It is very big. “I wonder how many people it would have held”, said Menathey.
“čɩmčɛ θuxʷɛns xoʔoɬos ta hititoɬ?” natəm Kɛspaul. niʔyɛxʷɛgas kʷ qaqsɛmos. nɛ kʷ ga taqəm kʷənas gət yiqašoɬ ta nuxʷɛɬ.
“I wonder how old it is”, said Kespaul. The boys forgot about their game. They spent a long time talking about who might have used the old canoe.
qajɛʔot taqəm ʔi: ƛaʔayin čɛčuqomayčəm Kespal. “hɛhewč qaqəm. qʷaga hošt ʔɛɬtan,” hot Kɛspaul. ʔukʷ ʔot kʷal qaqəm. jɛʔɛyƛ θo ju.
As they were talking, Kespaul's stomach started to growl. “I am hungry. Let's go eat”, he said to his friends. Everyone started to realize that they were also hungry. They ran home.
jɩƛ ju Mɛnaθɛy kʷ nes kʷʋkʷpa ʔɛʔɛxɛtas ša ti kʷaɬt. hotot qayɛhəm hanəm qʷašqʷiš Mɛnaθɛy. šoʔosəm kʷʋkʷpas. papkʷatas ta q̓ax ʔičsɛns Mɛnaθɛy. “čɛmoɬčxʷ?” natəm kʷʋkʷpa. niyɛxʷəm Mɛnaθɛy ša ʔičsɛns. ƛaʔayin tawtas šɛ kʷʋkʷpas ninijɛ kʷ θiyɛyčs ša nuxʷɛɬ. qʷayin tasɛčoɬ kʷ qʷomis.
Menathey ran home where grandpa was carving a huge feast dish. Menathey is shouting excitedly. Grandpa looks up. He saw the bruise on Menathey's forehead. “What happened”, asked grandfather. Menathey had forgotten that he had bruised his forehead. He began to tell his grandpa about the canoe they found. “It must be at least a hundred years old”, said Menathey.
qasqasem kʷʋkʷpə. “toxnɛxʷčšɩn nuxʷɛɬ. θoxʷɛns kʷa ƛɛƛɛʔos. hɛɬ šatˢ manoɬ hɛga ša ʔayɛštanos ʔa hitoɬ." hɛhew ti qasems ša kʷukʷpas ninijɛ kʷ qʷaqʷθəms. "hɛhew kʷa čɛčigat mot ʔakʷ hayhi ʔikʷ θaθčɛʔəm. ʔukʷtəm hayhitaygasoɬ. kʷanɛtačxʷ ša čɛlas xatɛkʷ asqičs ša ƛaqt ʔayɛ? hayɛwoɬ ʔasnə p̓ap̓ɛmoɬ.”
Grandfather had a big smile talking about his story. “They were the best builders and carvers. They were able to do anything. You know those three totem poles in front of the longhouse? It was each of their work”.
nonpeganəm Mɛnaθey hɛhew kʷ ƛačts,“namθam kʷatˢ ƛoƛsəm, ʔukʷsam tam hayhitən, nam kʷatˢ hɛhew.” gayɩtˢəm ʔatˢ kʷʋkʷpa kʷisəm kʷʋnas kʷɛnayɛ ʔayɛštanos ʔatˢ čɛčmɛqʷ? saʔa, čɛlas,mos,θiyɛčɩs,kʷanas kʷɛʔɛt?
Menathey was thinking just as he was about to fall asleep, “when I grow up I will also be a builder and carver. Just like them. I will ask grandpa tomorrow how many brothers his father had. Two, three, four, five or more…”
gayɛɬtanč: čɛmasčɛ nonpeganəms Mɛnaθey kʷʋnas kʷɛnayɛ ʔayɛštans ša čɛčmeqʷs - saʔa, ,čɛləs, mos, θiyɛčɩs,kʷanas kʷɛʔɛt?
Question: Why did Menathey think that that his great grandpa might have two, three, four, five or more brothers?