Connecting generations through hwulmuhwqun stories

Marlene Tommy

These hwulmuhwqun stories are about connecting generations. After learning the history of our people, learning the Hul’q’umi’num’ language was my way of connecting to those who are now gone yet live through their stories. The teachings passed down in these stories guide us through stages of our lives. They taught me to be independent, to have respect for everyone, and how to endure struggles and survive. Peoples’ struggles are different but how you overcome them is a virtue instilled through stories. The six stories created for this project share hwulmuhw values to language learners. When I was taught to knit Cowichan sweaters, I was taught patience. When we had a visitor, I was taught respect. I learned the importance of knowing the land around you because it contains food, tools, and medicines. Modern times have changed some of our needs, but the virtues you learn through stories will never change.

Keywords: Coast Salish culture; Hul’q’umi’num’ language; stories