’ula’ulh ’u tu q’xuw’lh: Awakening Hul’q’umi’num’ language through Tribal Journeys

Colleen Manson

About me
’een’thu Xwukweybux. tun’ni’ tsun ’utl’ snuneymuxw, kwunu menulh Howard Manson (Adam and Emily Manson) ’i’ lhunu tenulh Eleanor Manson (Richard and Pearl Wyse). I am a language teacher for School District 68.  ’uy’ nu shqweluwun kwunus ’i ta’tul’ut tu Hul’q’umi’num’ sqwel.

My project
Each summer, ocean-going canoes from different families and tribes in British Columbia and the United States participate in the Tribal Journeys. The paddling experience connects us to the sea, strengthens our relationships to each other, and helps us develop physically and spiritually. The journey usually takes several weeks and at various locations we go ashore to be hosted by a First Nation. We meet together and do protocol—songs and speeches and story-telling. My project contributes by laying down speeches and stories in Hul’q’umi’num’, a Coast Salish language spoken on Vancouver Island. One story gives my account as a first-time paddler on the Tribal Journey, and another describes a particularly tough day of paddling going through Dodd Narrows. I share these stories with language learners with a hope of awakening their interest in Hul’q’umi’num’.

Key words: Tribal Journeys, Coast Salish, Hul’q’umi’num’, Snuneymuxw