Poem: Snuneymuxw

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by Sewit (Thomas Jones)

ni’ ch ’a’lu tun’unuts?
Where are you from?

’een’thu p’e’ tun’ni’ ’utl’ snuneymuhw.
I’m indeed from Snuneymuhw,

shtun’ni’s tu tsi’elh musteyuhw.
where the honorable people come from.

stem ’a’lu kw’u ’i le’lum’utuhw?
What do you see?

’i tsun le’lum’ut tu tumuhw ’utl’ snuneymuhw,
I see the land of the Snuneymuhw,

tu tumuhws tu yuw’e’nulh musteyuhw.
the land of the first people.

stem ’a’lu kw’u ’i hwiin’eem’utuhw?
What are you listening to?

’i tsun hwiin’eem’ ’u tu snuneymuhwqun,
I’m listening to the Snuneymuxw language,

tu sqwels tu t’at musteyuhw tun’ni’ ’utl’ snuneymuhw.
the language of the ancient people here at Snuneymuxw.

stem ’a’lu kw’u mukw’ ni’ shtatul’st-hwuhw?
What all do you know?

mukw’ tthu ni’ shtatul’st-hween’
Everything I know

’i’ ’uw’ nilh tu snuneymuxw
is about snuneymuhw

’u tu s’aa’lh tumuhw ’i’ ’u tu s’aa’lh shtun’aalhtun.
about our land and about our heritage.

’een’thu p’e’ tun’ni’ ’utl’ snuneymuhw.
I’m indeed from Snuneymuxw.

’een’thu p’e’ tun’ni’ ’utl’ snuneymuhw.
I’m indeed from Snuneymuxw.

An alternative version of the first question —

ni’ ch ’a’lu tun’unuts? Where are you from?

that is more parallel in structure to the other questions is:

stem kw’ shnuhiimut-s kwun’ shtun’ni’?
What is the name of the place you are from.


Recited by Sewit (Thomas Jones), and sound recording and editing
Written by Sewit (Thomas Jones) and Sti’tum’at (Ruby Peter)
Transcribed and edited by Donna Gerdts