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Section 6.4 Squamish - ETSÍM SKW'SHIM̓ IY TA HIYÍ STSEK̲

Written by: Veselin Jungic and Mark MacLean

Illustrated by: Simon Roy and Jess Pollard

Squamish translation by: Setálten, Norman Guerrero Jr. of the Squamish Nation

Na na7 kwétsi s7íxwalh, Etsím Skw’shim̓ kwi snas, lhik̲ na wa eswéts’wets’. Kwétsi nch’u7 skwáyel, Etsím Skw’shim̓ iy ta áyishs Nach’ím̓ Skw’shim̓ kwi snas, na nám̓wit txwnách’awtxw lha sí7lswit na7 ta lam̓s.

Small number is a young boy who gets into a lot of mischief. With his sister perfect number he visits their grandma who lives in a small village on their nations traditional territory.

Na há7lhstas kwis em̓ím̓ash ays ta lam̓s kwi ses mékw’ems k̲ex̲ nach’ es7átetem. Na kw’áchnexwas ta kw’ewkw’ín̓ sitn. “Na ha7lhs ta sitn” na tsut ta Etsím Skw’shim̓ kwis lha7n ta sitn.

Small number likes to wander around grandma’s house because whenever he visits he discovers something new and exciting. This time he finds an old woven basket. “Look how beautiful these patterns are,” says Small Number while touching the smooth surface of the basket.

“Na wa tahím̓ ta sitn lhen si7l” na tsut lha si7ls. “Nu chexw tél̓nexwas kwi ses tahím̓stas ti sitn tl’a t’kw’ámyexw?” na tsut lha si7ls.

“It was made by my great aunt.” Small numbers hears grandma’s gentle voice. “Do you know that this basket was made from cedar roots?”

Na wa kw’áchtas ta shíshich’us lha si7ls. Na tsut, “Ta new iy Nach’ím̓ Skw’shim̓ esk̲’éw̓ ta ents kwis nam̓ chet ek̲’ k̲éxwen ta t’kw’ámyexw kwáyles. Wi7ski na̓ chet ílhen kwis sen hánstumiyap, k̲’es tim̓á wa wanáxws chet ta x̲pay̓ ta stélmexw chet.”

Grandma looks at Small Number’s puzzled face. And says, “You, Perfect Number will go with me tomorrow to help me gather cedar roots. Now let us eat and I’ll tell you why cedar is a sacred plant for our people and how it can be used in many ways.”

“Chan wa k̲éxwen kwi t’kw’ámyexw na7 ta Tem Ek̲wáyanexw. Nilh melh welh sen p’í7nexw k̲ex̲ kwi t’kw’ámyexw kwins p’áyak̲en ta sitn na7 ta Tem Tik̲w’.” Na tsúntaswit lha sí7lswit kwi ses na" ta stsék̲tsek̲.

“I try to gather my roots in the fall after the rains and before the frost. That way I make sure that I have enough supply for the winter to make my baskets.” Says grandma to Small Number and Perfect Number when they entered the forest.

Na wa sum̓nálhen kwi ha7lháy̓ak̲ep ta stsék̲tsek̲ na ti slhém̓lhem natlh kwa Etsím Skw’shim̓ Na wa tkwayá7nminswit ta slúlum tl’a k̲w’ín̓exw chílhiw̓ilh na7 ta stsék̲tsek̲. “Stam melh táychiwilh ta hiyí slhék̲’wilh?” wa ta7áw̓n ta Etsím Skw’shim̓ kwis í7imesh na7 ta státax̲ay̓s.

It is a misty morning and Small Number can smell the sweet scent of the forest. He hears the birds singing to each other somewhere high in the trees. “What is behind those big trunks?” thinks Small Number and starts walking over the course woody debris on the forest floor.

Men wa shích’átsuts ta kw’up’chk̲ iy ta esx̲ítsk̲achxw welh tsítsixws ta stsék̲tsek̲ ch’it ta stakw. Na m˫i ch’íti ta stsek̲ na wa tsek̲wúsems “U... an ték̲w’em ti stsek̲!” “An tl’ák̲tiwa!”

He moves between fallen dead trees and the remains of large branches until he reaches the group of trees standing by a creek. Small number gets close to one of the trees and looks up. “How straight this trunk is!” “This tree must be at least 50 metres tall!”

Ses men kw’awch ta stak̲w. Na m̓i hiyí ta k̲él̓k̲elum̓s na m̓i aw̓íts tl’a skweníwsems ímen kwis kw’áchnexwas ta achcháwam sts’úk̲wi7 na7 ta stak̲w. “an k̲ex̲ sts’úk̲wi7 i tti!”

Then he looks down at the water. Small Numbers Eyes widen and the beating of his heart fastens when he realizes the creek is full of spawning salmon. “There must be thousands of fish here!”

Na wa tsek̲wúsem kwa Etsím Skw’shim̓ wa kwáyantsuts táychiwilh ta stsek̲. Ses men iy̓ím kwis skwálwens na kw’áchnexwas ta ílhek̲a7min ta swá7elt. Na wa kw’áchnexwas ta chésha7 míx̲alh iy ta cháchen̓at míx̲alh-ul-lhs wa emútswit lesí'ilh ta hiyí x̲ápay̓ay. “na ts7it, wa ílhen ta sts’úkwi7 ta míxalh” wa lhákat ta Etsím Skw’shim̓ “an ha7lh en skwálwen kwis kw’áchnexwas ti stsi7s!”

Small Numbers lifts his head and quickly steps back behind the tree. After a few moments, gathering all his courage, he peeks out at the other bank of the creek. There he sees a huge cedar tree and a black bear with her three cubs just under it. “So it’s true that bears eat salmon” whispers Small Number, “this is the most exciting day of my life!”

“Etsím Skw’shim̓! Chen tsun chexw kwis ch’ích’its ta ents!” Na wa tkwayá7nmins ta nekwéltns lha si7ls m̓i táychiwilhs. Na wa sheych’ántsuts ses men k̲’áts’usen lha si7ls. “An chen tem stl’i7 ta new lhen si7l” na tsuntm. “An chen tem stl’i7 ta new ímen, welh haw k̲w’exw ip’áak̲w’ulhmints!” na tsun lha si7ls.

“I told you to stay with me all the time Small Number!” Small Number hears his grandma’s quiet voice coming just from behind him. He turns around and hugs his grandma very tightly. “I love you so much grandma!” “]“I love you very much too, but please don’t scare me like this again!” replies grandma.

An ha7lh skwálwens ta Etsím Skw’shim̓ kwis ítim̓usem na7 ta stsék̲tsek̲ kwis tsuntm ta syets na7 ta la"s lha si7ls. “Chen kw’áchnexwas ta míx̲alh wa ílhen ta sts’uk̲wi7 lesí'ilh ta hiyí x̲ápay̲ay!” An hiyí ta slhék̲’wilh ta stsek̲ kwis ses men huy tek̲tk̲ách en síiyay̓ wa ip’áchstway kwis ses sheych’ántm tas chet

During dinner back at grandma’s house Small Number cannot stop telling grandma and Perfect Number about his adventure. “I saw bears eating salmon under the biggest tree ever!” The trunk of the tree was so big that I would need at least eight of my friends to hold their hands to get around it.

“Chen wa nan ti stsek̲... ta míx̲alh stsek̲!” “Haw k̲w’exw hans lhen cheshá7 kwins í7imesh mench’nch’ú7 na7 ta stsék̲tsek̲.”

“I’ll call it the Bear Tree! Just don’t tell Mom that I wandered through the forest on my own!”

Swelk̲w’áls: kw’in kwi síiya(s kwi ses sheych’ántem ta míx̲alh stsek̲?

Question: How wide was the Bear Tree?