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Archival description
United States of America Series
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Quileute

Powell first went to La Push, the Quileute village in Washington State, in 1969 to complete research for his PhD dissertation Proto-Chimakuan: A Reconstruction. While he documented the language he also developed relationships with the local families. During Jensen’s initial visit to La Push, the couple began their first collaborative work with the Quileute, as Jensen photographed the community for eventual use in a language book.

Powell completed his dissertation in 1974, but the language revival projects had only just begun for Jensen and Powell. Over the next 36 years, they spent time in La Push every year, sometimes travelling down for a weekend, and sometimes staying for a month or two. The results of these regular visits are a number of general linguistic books for adults and children; Big Books on culture specific themes to be used in schools; teaching materials to be used by Quileute language and culture teachers; cultural resource studies; dictionaries; and translated stories and resources for smaller language revitalization projects. The records in this series consist of Powell’s research notes; drafts and outlines for the language books; photographs documenting the community; Jensen’s photographs taken of particular subjects for use in language and culture books; audio and visual records of events, stories, and cultural activities.

Jensen and Powell have a continuing relationship with the Quileute and are currently involved in an ongoing language revitalization project. Another dictionary is due to be published in 2009.

The series consists of eleven sub-series:
A. Research
B. Field notes
C. Administrative records
D. Publications
E. Village life photographs
F. Modern basket weavers’ photographs
G. Counting book photographs
H. Historical photographs and artefacts
I. Photographs of La Push folks
J. Audio recordings
K. Quinault materials

Chinook Jargon

Series is made up of records relating to the creation of a Chinook Jargon dictionary, a Big Book created for the Quileute on Chinook Jargon, and lessons for a Chinook Jargon class at Langara College. Powell documented the use of Chinook Jargon in LaPush during research on the Quileute language. His informants used Chinook Jargon regularly, and he began to research the history of its use on the Northwest Coast with the intention of writing a book about it. The manuscript for his book was accepted by the publishing company Douglas and McIntyre, but as Powell was not satisfied with his work, publication did not take place. However, he did produce a number of works that have been used for education purposes in LaPush as well as in British Columbia.

Series comprises six sub-series:
A. Research materials
B. Field notes and correspondence
C. Unpublished manuscript and lessons
D. Chinook Jargon dictionary files

Northwest Coast groups

Series consists of photographs documenting events in various communities throughout British Columbia and Washington State. These include community photographs in Mt. Currie; the Salish Linguistic Conference in Oman, Washington State; a Robert Davidson Pole Raising; coverage of NWC artifacts at the National Museum of Copenhagen in Denmark; coverage of 1992 Nuxalk Potlatch at Bella Coola for Canadian Museum of Civilization; and photographs of a Haida bentwood box.

Between working on language and education projects, Jensen was often hired by communities to document important events, such as pole-raisings, conferences and potlatches. This series consists of the photographs taken at those events.