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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C. Unpublished manuscript and lessons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

Ronnie Tessler fonds

  • 12
  • Fonds
  • 1986 - 1987

The fonds consists of photographs created by Ronnie Tessler between 1986 and 1987 documenting a canoe project by Nisga’a carver Norman Tait. The project was abandoned in the summer of 1987, and the canoe was left uncompleted. The photographs depict models for the canoe, transportation of the log for the canoe to the Museum of Anthropology, ceremonies performed throughout the project, and various stages of work on the canoe and model. Additional photographs from this period depict a totem pole-raising ceremony at Capilano Mall in North Vancouver, as well as portraits of Les Baker, a model Tait wanted to use for a “white man” mask. The fonds is arranged into a single series: Norman Tait canoe project and related materials.

Ronnie Tessler

Book 5: Learning Kwak'wala The Sounds of Kwak'wala

Item consists of a recording of Learning Kwak'wala: Book 5 The Sounds of Kwak'wala, and it features Agnes Cranmer, Margaret Cook, and Jay Powell engaging in vocabulary and grammar exercises in the workbook, Jay Powell asks the questions in English and Agnes Cranmer and Margaret Cook give the response in Kwak’wala; Side A: pages 5-28, covers the names of most of the Kwak'wala speaking peoples and their dialects, the Kwak'wala alphabet, how to pronounce vowels, consonants, the glottal stop, and the barred Side B: pages 29-52, continues with how to pronounce the barred L, and covers the rest of the consonants, back consonant sounds, rounded consonant sounds, explosive consonant sounds, and double letter sounds, one English translation on page 33 refers to the cedar bark daces as "Indian dancing," also the English translation for someone of African descent on page 45 uses the word "Negro." Recorded on both sides.

Book 7, tape 2: Learning Kwak'wala

Item consists of a recording of Learning Kwak'wala: Book 7 This One That One, and it features Agnes Cranmer, Margaret Cook, and Jay Powell engaging in vocabulary and grammar exercises in the workbook, Jay Powell asks the questions in English and Agnes Cranmer and Margaret Cook give the response in Kwak’wala; Side A: pages 26-40, starts with exercises for buying something that is or is not in sight, and continues with who something is for when they are or are not present, the grammar for doing something and the subject is either present or absent, past tense forms, future tense forms, pointer words, action words without objects, and action words that take objects; Side B: pages 40-57, continues past tense exercises on page 40, and covers how to say and adjective does not apply to someone, when someone is not doing something, the words for very and really, positive and negative answer patterns, grammar to ask what someone is doing, and what someone did in the past. Recorded on both sides.

Book 3: Me & My Clothes, Learning Kwak'wala

Item consists of a recording of the Learning Kwak’wala book 3, Me & My Clothes, and it features Agnes Cranmer, Margaret Cook and Jay Powell engaging in vocabulary and grammar exercises in the workbook, Jay Powell asks the questions in English and Agnes Cranmer and Margaret Cook give the response in Kwak’wala; Side A: pages 4-26 , goes over parts of the body, whether or not they hurt, types of clothes, who the items belong to, where items are, different types of hats, colors, if the clothes are new, and numbers, and clothing worn at ceremonies (the vocabulary is on page 26 but the audio says pages 24-25 have the list) audio stops abruptly after the list. ; Side B: pages 24, 28-30, goes over the types of Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw dances and how well someone can perform them, and the grammar to describe things "right at hand" and things "further away but visible, briefly refers to Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw dances as "Indian Dances" in the English translation of the sentences. While Jay Powell says that the rest of the tape is a recording for Book 5, there was no other audio after that point. Recorded on both sides.

Book 4: Learning Kwak'wala, Dogs, Cats and Crows

Item consists of a recording of the Learning Kwak’wala book 4: Dogs, Cats and Crows, and it features Agnes Cranmer, Margaret Cook, and Jay Powell engaging in vocabulary and grammar exercises in the workbook, Jay Powell asks the questions in English and Agnes Cranmer and Margaret Cook give the response in Kwak’wala; Side A: pages 33 and 4-13, begins with the Kwak’wala alphabet and covers numbers, the names of animals, how to express if someone does or does not have an animal, how to describe animals; Side B: pages 12-29, continues with farm animals and covers woodland animals, birds, sea animals and items found on beaches, and how to express hunger. Recorded on both sides.

Book 9, tape 2: Learning Kwak'wala Series

Item consists of a recording of the Learning Kwak’wala book 9: Workbook and accompanies Book 6: Saying Everyday Things, and it features Agnes Cranmer, Margaret Cook, and Jay Powell engaging in vocabulary and grammar exercises in the workbook, Jay Powell asks the questions in English and Agnes Cranmer and Margaret Cook give the response in Kwak’wala; Side A: pages 33-57, continues from the rest of the exercise on page 33, and skips the game portions of the workbook. While Jay Powell says that the answers for the game portions are on side B, no audio was recorded on that side. Recorded on Side A, no sound on Side B.

Book 10, tape 1: Learning Kwak'wala Series

Item consists of a recording of the Learning Kwak’wala book 10: Workbook, and it features Agnes Cranmer, Margaret Cook, and Jay Powell engaging in vocabulary and grammar exercises in the workbook, Jay Powell asks the questions in English and Agnes Cranmer and Margaret Cook give the response in Kwak’wala; Side A: pages 5-17, the exercise for page 13 in the book is different from the tape's version (with the exercise on page 14 according to the tape), and the pages on the tape are ahead by one from the workbook; Side B: pages 18-31. Recorded on both sides.

Book 10, tape 2: Learning Kwak'wala Series

Item consists of a recording of the Learning Kwak’wala book 10: Workbook and accompanies Book 7: This One – That One, and it features Agnes Cranmer, Margaret Cook, and Jay Powell engaging in vocabulary and grammar exercises in the workbook, Jay Powell asks the questions in English and Agnes Cranmer Margaret Cook give the response in Kwak’wala; Side A: pages 32-49; Side B: pages 50-59. Recorded on both sides.

Gitxsan

Series documents Jensen and Powell’s work with and visits to the Gitxsan speaking villages in North Western British Columbia. Jensen and Powell worked with the Gitxsan to produce language and culture material.

Jensen’s first visit to Gitxsan territory was in 1975, before they began to work with the communities. Jensen was asked to accompany Dr. Marjorie Halpen of the Museum of Anthropology, Amelia Sussman Schultz (a former student of anthropologist Franz Boas) and UBC grad student Carol Sheehan McLaren to Prince Rupert and various Gitxsan villages. The impetus for the journey was that Schultz was interested in recovering her old dissertation notes that she left with William Beynon, a hereditary Tsimshian chief who served as ethnographer, translator, and linguistic consultant to anthropologists including Boas. Although she had never completed her dissertation, in her retirement she regretted leaving the information. During this trip Jensen photographed the Gitxsan villages through which they travelled, making special note of the burial houses and totems she encountered.

Two years later the Gitxsan band approached Jensen and Powell to create language and culture materials. Powell secured the funding through the BC Ministry of Education and the federal government.

Powell and Jensen lived and worked with the Gitxsan in the summers from 1977 to 1981. The first three years were spent focussing on what they have termed the Eastern dialect. In this period they lived and worked in Kispiox, staying in a teacherage the first year (a small apartment built for housing teachers), and moving in the second year to the back room of the house of one of their linguistic informants, Clara Harris. The third year they again lived with Clara Harris until halfway through the summer when they decided to expand the project to include the Western dialect: at this time they moved to Kitwancool (now known as Gitanyow) where they again lived in a teacherage. The final two summers they returned to Kispiox to live with Clara Harris.

Powell worked with a number of linguistic informants, including Clara Harris, Edith Gawa, and Mary Johnson for the Eastern dialect, and Solomon Marsden, with the help of Ivan Good, Maggie Good, Cindy Morgan, Edith and Abel Campbell, David Milton, Olive Mulwain, Fred Johnson and Jeffrey Morgan for the Western. The materials produced throughout the Gitxsan project are divided into Eastern and Western Gitxsan. The books produced for the Eastern dialect were called Gitxsan for Kids. The books for the Western dialect were called Learning Gitxsan. In addition to the educational material, other resources were developed including illustrated alphabet sheets, the Northwest Coast Word List (which was intended as the basis for a full dictionary, a goal that did not transpire), and the Gitxsan Teacher’s Manual.

As was the case with all the communities they lived in, Powell and Jensen found that work and recreation in small Indigenous communities blended together, and many of the activities they took part in were incorporated into the language materials produced. Jensen photographed the cultural activities they attended, and they made audio and photographic records of Elders reminiscing about what they referred to as the “old ways.” Both Jensen and Powell were adopted into Gitxsan tribes during their time living in the region: Jensen to the Firweed Clan, and Powell to the Lax Gibuu, or Wolf Clan, both of Kispiox. This series comprises all the records created during their stays in Gitxsan villages.

The series consists of nine sub-series:
A. Field notes and correspondence
B. Research
C. Published educational materials
D. Unpublished manuscripts
E. Tsimshian-Gitxsan materials
F. Eastern and Western Gitxsan recordings
G. Eastern Gitxsan photographs
H. Western Gitxsan photographs
I. Doreen Jensen
J. Gitxsan artist photographs

Portrait of two men in front of tipi, view four

Two men sit in front of a tipi. The one on the left wears native clothing. The one on the right wears western style clothing and is writing in a book. The front flap of tipi is open and debris scattered in the grass in front. Structures and trees in background.

Fred Ryckman

Portrait of man and woman

A man and woman in western-style dress, pose for the camera. The woman holds onto her hat. Several individuals on horseback are visible behind them.

Fred Ryckman

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