lhhwelu ’ula’ulh ’u thu snin’hwulh – Three people aboard a little canoe


Hul’q’umi’num’ sxwi’em’: lhhwelu ’ula’ulh ’u thu snin’hwulh
(Three people aboard a little canoe)

Ruby Peter describes a photograph from the Cowichan Valley Museum and Archives, showing three children in a canoe in 1920.


lhhwelu ’ula’ulh ’u thu snin’hwulh

Three aboard a little canoe


wulh hith yuhw tu’i shxaatth’ustun’.
This picture must be from a long time ago.

lhhwelu stl’ul’iqulh, ’ula’ulh ’u thu snuhwulh, snin’hwulh ‘’uhwin’ tthu snin’hwulh.
There are three little people. on board the canoe, a small canoe, a little canoe.

s’itth’um tthu ha’kwushus.
They are weaing dresses.

hay thu ’unwulh nilh yuhw ’uw’ sun’tl’e’, tl’ulqtel’ts’, st’um’eshun’u sqwinqwun thu ha’kwushus ’i’ thu sts’qw’un’u.
The one in the middle who must be the eldest, has long braids, and she’s wearing beads and earrings.

thu’inulh st’e ’o’ sun’tl’e’us hay st’e ’uw’ niis ’apun ’i’ kw’ lhihw.
She the eldest and must be around thirteen.

thu ’ehwiin’ ni’ ’u tthu q’lhan st’e ’ukw’ lhq’etsus sil’anum, ha’kwushus tthu stl’q’een’.
The little one in the bow must be around five years old, and she’s wearing a feather.

hay thu ni’ ’u tthu ‘’ile’uq ’uw’ st’e ’uw’ niis wulh te’tsus sil’anum. kwun’etus tthu xwuqw’ten thu stl’i’tl’qulh ni’ ’u tthu ’iile’uq.
The one is the stern must be around eight years old. The child in the stern is holding a pole.

st’e ’uw’ nilhulh xinupsum, xinupsum tthu ’i’ shhw’is.
It must be Greenpoint where this picture is located.

tu’inulh ni’ ’u tthu swi’wul’ thu nuts’a’ lelum’, ’uhwiin’ lelum’, ’i’ tl’uw’ ni’ thu thi.i.i lelum’, yuse’lu thu thithu hulelum’.
Over there in the background is a small house, and also a longhouse, two longhouses.

nilh ’iilh ’uw’ yath ’uw’ sht’es tthu hwulmuhw kwsuw’ ’ula’ulhs ’u tthu snuhwulh kws ’i’mush nem’s ne’ts’uw’t-hwum’ ’i’ tl’uw’ qul’et ’eli ‘uw’’aalh ’u tthu snuhwulh ’i’ nem’ ne’ts’uw’t-hwum’.
This is how it was with the Coast Salish people that they would just hop on the canoe visiting.

nem’s ’umshasum’ ’i’ ’uw’ snuhwulh tthu shhwula’ulhs tthu hwulmuhw.
Traveling by canoe was a means of transporation for the Coast Salish People.

hay ch q’a.

Ruby Peter, Quamichan Elder, August 10, 2011


Photography courtesy of Cowichan Valley Museum and Archives
Thank you to Kathryn Gagnon, Director

Hul’q’umi’num’ story and voice by Ruby Peter
Transcription and translation by Ruby Peter and Donna Gerdts
Sound recording and editing by Donna Gerdts
Video by Essa Gierc and Donna Gerdts