As I Remember It: Teachings (Ɂəms tɑɁɑw) from the Life of a Sliammon Elder

Terminology and Orthography

This book spells Sliammon words using a linguistic orthography. The pronunciation guide to this orthography can be found here.

“Sliammon” is an anglicization of the word “ɬaʔamɩn” in Elsie Paul’s mother tongue. The word “Sliammon” therefore appears throughout this book as a direct quotation of Elsie’s English speech. Following Elsie’s stated preference, we have used the term “ɬaʔamɩn” wherever appropriate, and thus refer to “ɬaʔamɩn people,” “ɬaʔamɩn history,” and “ɬaʔamɩn practices.” We use the term “Sliammon” to refer to the place today known in English as the Sliammon village. When referring to the Nation, we use the legal designations “Tla’amin Nation” and “Sliammon First Nation” interchangeably.

We have also followed local, colloquial practice and used the term “Sliammon language” because “ɬaʔamɩn” is not a term that would be applied to the language. The language itself has been referred to using various terms over time. For more details, see Honoré Watanabe’s “Linguistic Introduction.”

A wide range of terms exists that refers to Indigenous peoples collectively: Native, First Nations, Indian, Aboriginal, Indigenous. Elsie employs several of these and her words are rendered verbatim throughout. In the supplementary parts of this book written by one or more of the other authors, we have employed the term “Indigenous,” as it is now widely used in international contexts.

As an Elder, Elsie is often called “Chi-chia,” which means “grandmother” in the Sliammon language. Elsie’s own Chi-chia has always been important to her, and many people – not only her biological grandchildren – call Elsie “Chi-chia” as a sign of respect and affection.

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