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Vickie Jensen and Jay Powell fonds
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Vickie Jensen and Jay Powell fonds

  • 3
  • Fonds
  • 1969-2008

Fonds consists of records relating to the numerous culture and language projects that Powell and Jensen worked on since 1976. The communities with which they worked include:
• The Quileute of La Push
• The Kwakwaka’wakw of Alert Bay
• The Gitksan of Kispiox, Gitanyow, and surrounding villages
• The Nuu-chah-nulth of Vancouver Island
• The Musqueam of Vancouver
• The Seton Lake St'at'imc (Lillooet) of Shalalth
• The Shuswap of Alkali Lake, Soda Creek, Dog Creek, Canim Lake, and Sugar Cane
• The Haisla of Kitamaat
• The Nisga’a of Gingolx (Kincolith) and New Aiyansh

Most of the projects had an end goal to produce a book, language education materials, or teacher training materials. Often the education materials incorporated cultural lessons throughout. The records created in the production of the books are varied and reflect the intrinsic connection between language, culture, and daily activities in the communities. Powell and Jensen were co-editors for nearly all of the language books and materials produced. Although some of the projects reflected in the records were done primarily by Powell or primarily by Jensen, the vast majority of the work involves collaboration between the two in some aspect. As Jensen and Powell immersed themselves in the communities they worked for, often their personal photographs and records are interspersed with those relating to their work. This community involvement enhanced their relationships with the people with whom they were working and allowed them to experience and participate in cultural activities as part of those communities. This close relationship is reflected in and is integral to their work. Jensen and Powell have two sons: Nels, born in 1978, and Luke, born in 1981. Their sons travelled with them to the communities in which they worked and lived, and on their work trips and sabbaticals. Nels and Luke are also present in many of the photographic records.

The records contain a mixture of research, field notes, administrative records, and publications at various stages, in addition to audio and visual records. Field notes, for the most part handwritten, and archival research into language and culture groups was undertaken by Powell, whilst the majority of the photography, found in a variety of formats, was done by Jensen. Manuscripts and final publications were a combined effort and are included at various stages. Administrative records, including grant proposals, are found throughout.

Fonds consists of 13 series of records. Series are arranged according to community and/or project, and include:

  1. Quileute
  2. Chinook Jargon
  3. Kwak’wala (U’Mista)
  4. Gitksan
  5. Nuu-chah-nulth
  6. Salishan
  7. Shuswap
  8. Haisla
  9. Tait
  10. Northwest Coast artists
  11. Northwest Coast groups
  12. UBC totems/events
  13. Publications

Vickie Jensen and Jay Powell

Historical and research photographs

Consists of photographs taken of historical prints and artefacts relating to the Quileute. These were taken at a number of institutions, including Brigham Young University in Utah, the Washing State Archives in Olympia, The Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian, the Museum of the American Indian Heye Foundation, the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, and the University of Washington Burke Museum.

Old community photographs

File consists of photographs taken of old photographs owned by community members in La Push. Jensen took the photographs in the owner's home and provided the owner with a copy of the image she created.

ref # 3-1-H-2

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

Kwak’wala photographs

Consists of photographs taken of people and events in Alert Bay and surrounding Kwak’wala speaking communities. Photographs document the activities of the era such as potlatches, fishing, trapping, and activities surrounding the opening of the U’Mista Cultural Centre, and many were taken for the purpose of using them in educational language books.

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