Chinuk Pipa in the Trenches – William Pierriche’s letter from the front

Fellow Secwepemc veteran Julian Boyce of the Canim Lake Band posing with his rifle. Julian fought in both world wars. Learn the names of Canada’s Indigenous veterans in the tribute list here.

In 1916 a letter was published in the Kamloops Wawa newspaper. The letter was written by a certain William Pierriche, from the Neskonlith Band near Little Shuswap / Chase, BC. William had joined up and recently arrived in England on his way to the front in WW1. Unfortunately the original Chinuk Wawa letter does not survive (to my knowledge at least). The contents of the letter only survive in a French translation made by Kamloops Wawa editor Jean-Marie-Raphael Le Jeune.

David Robertson recently published the translation of William’s letter on his site, saying a back-translation would be a nice addition to this website. Well I took him up on it in Kaltash Wawa No. 10. If you’d like to read my back-translation of that letter in Chinuk Pipa check it out there. That said, not everyone can read Chinuk Pipa, so today I’d like to transliterate it for you here (see Dave’s post for the English). The spelling is what is most typical for Chinuk Pipa:

11 novimbir 1916

bramshot kamp

inglish ilihi

naika tlus papa pir lshyun kopa kamlups

naika mamuk pipa kopa maika. naika tlus. ilo naika sik. 13 son pi 14 pulakli nsaika kuli pi alta nsaika tlap inglish ilihi. 5 son nsaika ayu kuli inatai kopa solt chok. mokst son aias sik naika pus nsaika klatwa kopa ship. mitlait ayu win. skukum win. wiht chako snas. ayu snas.

last sondi nsaika mitlait kopa styuil haws. mitlait ayu solshir pi ayu liplit. liplit klaska iktas kakwa solshir klaska iktas. pi pus klaska chako lamas, klaska lolo liplit iktas. naika pi naika tilikom aias tlus nsaika tomtom. nsaika haha milalam pi iskom ⊕ [likalisti]. iawa naika tomtom klatwa kopa naika tilikom kopa kamlups, shushwap, pi kanawi kah ilihi.

last son naika mitlait kopa london tawn. kopa sik haws naika nanich ayu man klaska itluil drit kakshit. klaska kilapai kopa fait. iawa pus nsaika klatwa kopa tawn, naika nanich ayu solshir chako kilapai. wiht klaska kakshit. klaska mash ayu pilpil. nawitka naika nanich ayu tawsan kakwa man. naika wawa kopa klaska. klaska wawa kata fait. klaska wawa pus skukum klaska fait pi wiht skukum klaska styuil. wal kopit naika tomtom klatwa kopa fait pi ikta naika mamuk iawa.

ilo naika mash tomtom kopa naika tilikom klaska mitlait kopa bisi. ilo naika sik tomtom kopa ukuk lapilitas naika tlap. naika iskom kanawi ikta ST [sahali taii] tiki mamuk kopa naika. pus iaka tiki pus naika kilapai, tlus kakwa. skukum naika mamuk pus naika tilikom mamuk kakwa ST iaka wawa. pus iaka tiki pus naika chako mimlus kopa fait, tlus kakwa. ilo klaksta man skukum pus mamuk hloima naika tomtom. pus ST tiki pus naika piii ukuk naika masachi, aiak naika piii. naika nanich ayu tawsan solshir, kakshit klaska itluil, klaska pilpil kuli, pi ilo klaska tlap sik tomtom kopa ukuk lapilitas. tlus tomtom klaska kopa ukuk pi skukum klaska styuil.

wiht naika wawa naika tilikom kopa bisi: ilo mash tomtom naika. tlus msaika mamuk hilp naika kopa styuil. ilo kopit iakwa ST mitlait. iaka mitlait pi mamuk kakwa iaka tiki kanawi kah kopa kanawi kah ilihi. klahawiam naika tilikom kopa kamlups, shushwap, ETS [etc.]. klahawiam pir lshyun.

naika wiliam pirish

William Pierriche

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