Okanagan Grouse Woman – Upper Nicola Narratives

By Lottie Lindley
Edited and with an introduction by John Lyon
Foreword by Allan Lindley

In this book of Native American language research and oral traditions, linguist John Lyon collects Salish stories as told by culture-bearer Lottie Lindley, one of the last Okanagan elders whose formative years of language learning were unbroken by the colonizing influence of English. Speaking in the Upper Nicola dialect of Okanagan, a Southern Interior Salish language, Lindley tells the stories that recount and reflect Salish culture, history, and historical consciousness (including names of locales won in battle with other interior peoples), coming-of-age rituals and marriage rites, and tales that attest the self-understanding of the Salish people within their own history.

For each Okanagan Salish story, Lindley and Lyon offer an uninterrupted transcription followed by a collaborative English translation of the story and an interlinear rendition with morphological analysis. The presentation allows students of the dialect, linguists, and those interested in Pacific Northwest and Interior Plateau indigenous oral traditions unencumbered access to the culture, history, and language of the Salish peoples.

With few native speakers left in the community, Okanagan Grouse Woman contributes to the preservation, presentation, and—with hope—maintenance and cultivation of a vital indigenous language and the cultural traditions of the interior Salish peoples.

Lottie Lindley (Nicola Okanagan Salish) is a culture-bearer and one of the last fluent speakers of Nicola Okanagan. John Lyon is a postdoctoral researcher in linguistics at Simon Fraser University.


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