Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Got my braces removed today!!! I'm not sure about the actual result, but my teeth feel wonderful to be free of those horrible wires. After six years, I tried to claim the all time longest record - but they told me someone had braces for eight years. Can't imagine. But I'm free, thankfully.  

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sweet Sixteen

My little girl turned sixteen and celebrated tonight with family. On her special day, it is hard for me to imagine how time has flown. She's still my little girl, and yet she is almost grown up. These birthdays are getting bitter-sweet for me. 

Totem Pole Blessing

Last Friday, I participated in a totem pole blessing that was part of a multi-community protest against the transport of coal through Native American communities. 

The overall purpose of the protest was outlined on the organization website: "The proposed coal export projects would affect Native American communities all along the transportation corridor. Mining, hauling and shipping coal would damage culturally and spiritually important landscapes, traditional livelihoods and lifeways, and, by damaging ecosystems and fishing grounds, would impinge on treaty rights."

I encourage my readers to get more information by reading their website or this website

I told the people that I usually try to avoid overtly political events, but this event was not political in my mind. It is about protecting the environment and our native ways of life. It is about the spirit of the land, and so for me, it transcends all political differences.

Jewell James, a member of the Lummi Nation near Bellingham, Washington, carved the totem pole with the support of his community. The pole was then transported to tribes throughout the Pacific Northwest where community members and spiritual leaders offered their blessing and support. 

After leaving Spokane, the totem pole will visit other communities to receive their blessing. Finally, the pole will be raised in British Columbia. 

Jewell brought a spirit of laughter, humility, and strength to the blessing ceremony. 

Twa-le Abrahamson of the Spokane Tribe organized the Spokane portion of the event. She is active in our community in the support of tribal sovereignty, culture, and ecological preservation. 

A salmon detail at the base of the totem pole. 

Miss Gathering at the Falls. 

No Coal Exports.

A detail photograph of the eye happened to also capture a yellow jacket and its shadow. 

Vincent Feliciano traveled with the totem pole. He spoke to me passionately about his art and his desire to make a difference with other young people. He also spoke to me about setting a good example for his son. His words were powerfully inspiring. 

The pole rested on the back of a flatbed truck. 

Carol Evans represented the Spokane Tribal Council. 

Twa-le addressed the media. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Les Miserables

The family saw Les Miserables tonight at Spokane Civic Theater, and it was an awesome show! 

Dakota played several chorus roles throughout the show, but his most compelling scene was at the barricade during the French Revolution. Wearing the red cap of the freedom fighters, he fired his musket onto the advancing soldiers. But his character was shot and he fell to his death. At the moment he died, Rhonda and I looked at each other. It was only a play, but our son acted his own death, and in a way, he represented all the young men who die in real, flesh and blood wars. 

Beside our son's role, I was impressed by the vocal quality of the singing, especially that of Jean Valjean and Javert. Loved the show! It will be playing at Civic for the next month.  

Friday, September 20, 2013

Sushi with Friends

Had an amazing lunch today with two amazing friends, Pamm and Carole. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of all of us. Maybe Carole will send a copy. Anyway, I miss the time we all worked together at the Adult Education Center, so it was great - restorative actually - to reconnect. 

Actually Carole, this is a great picture of you. 

I'm not usually into photographing my food, 
but the sushi looked good. Great presentation. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Climate Change Causing an Increase in Poison Ivy

A few weeks ago, I wrote about finding an increase in poison ivy at Little Falls. I didn't mention that I also saw a dramatic increase of  poison ivy surrounding the petroglyphs in Tum Tum, Washington. And of course, not to mention the plants growing at Drummheller Spring. It was strange to imagine why this plant is increasing so much. 

Then I found an article that blames climate change for the increase. In experiments, exposing poison ivy to increased carbon dioxide results in significant growth. This makes me wonder about the growth I have witnessed this year. Check out the article here

Deccio Award

My head is still spinning from an award that was made this morning at the Fall Convocation for the faculty and staff of Spokane Community College. Today I received the Deccio Award for Excellence in Equity. According to one college website, "the award is given for demonstrated commitment to the principles of equity and respect for others in personal and professional life; a commitment to fostering an appreciation for diversity and the strengths it brings to the community colleges; and a commitment to the mission of the colleges."

To be honest, I really can't imagine why I received this award, especially when I saw the other nominees and all their amazing contributions to the college. It was a truly humbling experience, but they said some very nice things about me, and if anything, I see this award as an opportunity to promote equity and diversity within the district and the larger Spokane community. 

CCS Chancellor Dr. Johnson congratulated me
at the moment the award was announced. 

Angela Wizner and Dr. Johnson 
presented the award. 

The award. 

One funny side-note: there was some confusion with the medal. Apparently, the order was not made in time, so they gave me a temporary medal. When I looked at the inscription on the back, I was surprised to see the name of my friend and colleague Dr. James Mohr. I couldn't stop laughing. Anyone who ever attended meetings with Jim will remember that he always liked to keep things rolling with "food, fun, and fabulousness." 

Someone on the committee asked if they could take the medal back until I received my own. I said, "Heck no! I'm going to wear this medal all day. How often does anyone get to be the fabulous Jim Mohr?" Unfortunately, I just don't think my brain is wired to be quite as fabulous as Jim. Even so, I couldn't pass up my opportunity to try. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Our First Communion

As mentioned previously, I visited the special collections archive at Gonzaga University where I was able to handle several Jesuit documents written in the Kalispel language. I posted pictures of "Our First Communion," and now I am posting a different version of a similar First Communion text. This second book was also written by Father Kelly, but probably with a different audience in mind. It is similar, but has some differences. 

The second Kelly text did not have an English version, so I attempted my own reverse translation. In some cases, it was difficult to know the placing of the lines, so I simply guessed based on where I thought they sounded best. A few times I was unsure of the exact word, either because the original was unclear or because my own Salish is limited. In any case, I hope this partial translation spurs interest in the old Salish texts and becomes a resource for further research. 

I should mention that these photographs are posted with an understanding of "fair use." Since my translation and blog are new creations, I consider it acceptable to copy limited facsimiles for educational purposes. Gonzaga University owns the original documents, so I would encourage researchers to contact the special collections archive to see a complete copy of these papers.  

My translation follows below. If I have made mistakes, I welcome suggestions or corrections. 

Translation of the Book Our First Communion 
by Fa. William R. Kelly in the Kalispel Language

1. łuʔ t sqsip, | ta epł teʔstem’, | ta ep sqelixʷ.
A long time ago, | there was nothing, | there were no humans.

2. kʷen’t łuʔ t k’ʷul’ncutn | k’ʷul’is esya teʔstem’.
Then the Creator | made everything.

3. łuʔ t k’ʷl’ncutn | k’ʷul’is łuʔ sp’q’niʔ | kʷen’t esya łuʔ kʷkʷusm.
The Creator | made the sun | then all the stars.

4. łuʔ t k’ʷl’ncutn | k’ʷul’is łuʔ sewłkʷ | kʷen’t łuʔ stulixʷ.
The Creator | made the water | then the land.

5. łuʔ t k’ʷl’ncutn | k’ʷul’is łuʔ es clcil | kʷen’t łuʔ skʷalulexʷ.
The Creator | made the trees | then the plants.

6. łuʔ t k’ʷl’ncutn | k’ʷul’is łuʔ xʷixʷey’uł | kʷen’t łuʔ es xʷexʷeʔe.
The Creator | made the animals | then the flying birds.

7. łuʔ t k’ʷl’ncutn | k’ʷul’is łuʔ swewł
The Creator | made the fish

kʷen’t nk’ʷuʔmntwis(?) łuʔ l’ sewłkʷ.
then he gathered(?) them in the water.

8. kʷen’t hoy łuʔ es ec’ew’t | łuʔ t k’ʷl’ncutn
Then finally at the last | the Creator

k’ʷul’is łuʔ sqltmixʷ | u łuʔ smʔem.
made the man | and the woman.

9. łuʔ es šʔit sqltmixʷ | šey’ adam,
The first man | that was Adam,

kʷen’t łuʔ es šʔit smʔem | šey’ eve.
then the first woman | that was Eve.

10. adam šey’ łuʔ skʷesc | łuʔ es šʔit sqltmixʷ.
Adam was his name | the first man.

11. eve šey’ łuʔ skʷesc | łuʔ es šʔit smʔem.
Eve was her name | the first woman.

12. łuʔ t k’ʷl’ncutn | k’ʷul’is es šʔit xest,
The Creator | made it the most good,

kʷen’t es milk’ʷ xest | adam u eve.
then altogether good | were Adam and Eve.

13. łuʔ t k’ʷl’ncutn | t’k’ʷntes adam u eve
The Creator | placed Adam and Eve

łuʔ l’ es šʔit xest snq’ʷolłqtn, | łuʔ l’ xsulexʷ.
in the most good garden, | in the good land.

14. l’ šey’ adam u eve | axilm esya teʔstem’ | u łuʔ k’ʷl’ncutn cuʔuntm.
There Adam and Eve | did all things | the Creator told them.

xest sewneʔ łuʔ | sqʷlqʷelc k’ʷl’ncutn.
They listened well to the Creator’s speech.

15. l’ šey’ u es npiyelsmisti | l’ esya teʔstem’
There they enjoyed (?) | everything

l’ esya l’ čen’ u ec’xił | u kʷtunt es npiyelsi.
and in all things as they were | and they were greatly happy.

16. hu p’n nk’ʷuʔ sxlxalt | łuʔ sxʷelmn čxʷuymis
But one day, | the devil visited them.

kʷen’t kʷupis | č’ t’ey’eʔ | adam u eve.
then he pushed them | toward evil | Adam and Eve.

17. l’ šey’ (kutleelis) łuʔ adam u eve qs t’ey’eʔ.
That was how ____ (?) Adam and Eve became bad.

18. adam u eve nunxʷeneʔmis łuʔ sxʷelmn.
Adam and Eve believed the devil.

ssewneʔmis łuʔ sqʷlqʷelc sxʷelmn.
They listened to the devil’s speech.

19. u tl šey’ | u č’stwilš | łuʔ č’ k’ʷl’ncutn | u kʷeys łuʔ t’ey’eʔ.
And from there | they grew bad | toward the Creator | and they took evil (sin).

20. adam u eve tl šey’ | u hoy nunxʷeneʔmis | łuʔ k’ʷl’ncutn.
Adam and Eve from there | they stopped believing | the Creator

ta k’ʷulis łuʔ teʔstem’ | u łuʔ k’ʷl’ncutn cuʔys.
they did not do anything | the Creator said to them.

21. kʷen’t łuʔ k’ʷl’ncutn | yoyot nčselsm(?). | yoyot aymt.
Then the Creator | was strongly displeased(?). | He was strongly angry.

22. xʷl šey’ łuʔ k’ʷl’ncutn | paqmstes łuʔ adam u eve.
That is why the Creator | punished Adam and Eve.

23. kʷen’t wičis łuʔ sxʷelmn łuʔ adam u eve
Then the devil saw Adam and Eve

u łuʔ kʷeys łuʔ t’ey’eʔ | u kʷtunt lemt łuʔ | sxʷelmn.
and when they took evil (sin) | and greatly glad | was the devil.

24. kʷen’t łuʔ l’ šey’ | u č’stwilš | u kʷił nčstin.
Then that was how | they became bad | and they took sin.

25. kʷen’t łuʔ sxʷelmn | nem lemt | łuʔ ne qe kʷnnułils łuʔ qʔenpleʔ
Then the devil | will be glad | when he succeed in taking us

łuʔ ne qe kʷił nčstin.
when we take sin

26. u xʷl stem’…? | nełi es mistes | łuʔ t k’ʷl’ncutn | m qe paqmłils
And why? | It is because he knows | the Creator | will punish us

łuʔ ne qe ƛlil | u es t’uk’ʷ | łuʔ qe kʷił nčstin.
when we die | and it is set down | when we take sins.

kʷtunt łuʔ t’ey’eʔ | łuʔ l’ qe spuʔusč’ | u qe es xʷuy | es sulip.
Big is the evil | in our hearts | and we are going to the burning (hell).

27. kʷen’t łuʔ t k’ʷl’ncutn | pentč qeqs olqʷšiłls | łuʔ xʷl qaqł nxstin.
Then the Creator |always will help us | so that we will obtain the good.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Salish Archive

As part of my doctoral research at Gonzaga University, I was able to see a number of old Salish documents held in the special collections archive. For example, I was able to see an original "Kalispel Dictionary" published by Father Giorda in 1870. The book was still bound in its original deerskin cover. Other documents were handwritten in Latin and Salish. 

The document pictured here is a sample of "Our First Communion," written by Reverend Kelly. The original book was written in English, but handwritten Salish notes follow the text. I will post one other sample tomorrow. 

(These samples were posted under the terms of "fair use" and do not constitute an attempt to reproduce the entire text).  

o jesus, qe k'ʷul'ncutn
Oh Jesus, our Creator.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola. 

I included the stature as part of the 'faces' 
depicted the other day. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Welcome to 60s

It's been a few weeks, but we finally got to see pictures from the CYT Spokane's production of Hairspray. These pictures were from my big scene: Welcome to the 60s. I'm not sure about the expression on my face, but I'm still loving the blinged-out jacket. 

Les Miserables

Dakota's picture appeared once again in the Spokesman-Review, this time on the cover page when the paper reported Civic Theater's upcoming production of Les Miserables. His photograph reminds me somewhat of "Where's Waldo?" in the sense that you have to enlarge the photograph and search, but he's there. I couldn't be more proud. (Thanks to my sister Michelle for the tip). 

The full article: 


After posting about the Faces of Spokane, one of my readers and Facebook friends wrote, "Don't forget Mother Joseph." This inspired me to include some of the other photographs from my day in downtown Spokane. In particular, I decided to include some of the sculptures created by Wayne Chabre

Wayne Chabre's work was commissioned 
by the Spokesman-Review.

And here I remember Mother Joseph.

William H. Cowles

James Glover

Mary Arkwright Hutton

Aubrey L.White

The Battle of Spokane Plains

A few weeks ago, I drove to Wellpinit with my friend and former student Lucas. We were just passing Fairchild Air Force Base when he said, "Have you ever seen that stone on the side of the road?" 

"Which one?" I asked. 

"It's that one where Army bragged about defeating the Indians," he said. I had noticed the stone on the side of the road, but never stopped. We didn't stop that day either. But then he mentioned it again a few days ago, so we finally stopped to look. 

The monument is in the shape of a four-sided basalt pyramid, maybe eight or nine feet tall. It bears a plaque that reads: "The Battle of Spokane Plains was fought near this spot on September 5, 1858 in which U.S. troops under command of Col. George Wright defeated the allied - Coeur d'Alene, Palouse, and Spokane Indians. Erected by - Washington State Historical Society." 

Bragging indeed - and strange to think that we passed this stone close to the anniversary of the battle - 155 years later. Actually, a century and a half doesn't seem like a long time, and yet as Indian people, our world has completely changed. 

A full view of the plaque. 

The monument with Fairchild in the background. 

Highway 2 is visible in the right-hand side of this picture.
Our shadows are cast into the grass.  

The sunset over the battle monument. 


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