Secwepemctsin (Shuswap)

[aka Shuswap, Secwepemc, Secwepemctsín]

Classification: Salishan


critically endangered


CBC Radio One Legends

An Overview of THE LEGENDS: A CBC RADIO LEGACY PROJECT (Shuswap) Capsule: We transcribe, translate and produce foundational stories of Canada’s Aboriginal communities, for broadcast on CBC Radio. These adaptations are dramatized and recorded in English and the native language of each community, and form an archive for nationwide language and cultural preservation programs. a) What is it: These distinctive community productions create regional, national, and international radio and digital programming, showcasing the mosaic indigenous cultures that make up the vast continent of Canada. For too many Canadians the Aboriginal peoples of this country are those people over there, on the reserve, in the darker parts of cities, living in poverty. Much of this has historical roots in the creation of reserves and in the paternalistic Indian Act that many would argue limited their educational and economic development. What it didn't limit however is their rich cultural history. This project shines a light on aboriginal culture in a way most Canadians have never seen or heard. For the First Nations of Canada it gives pride to language rejuvenation and historical traditions and in so doing may help improve cross-cultural awareness and appreciation. b) What we do: - We record ancient Aboriginal legends told by Elders in First Nations or Inuit communities, from the Atlantic, to the Pacific, to the Arctic. - Since 2002 we have worked with 12 communities, and dramatized more than 100 First Nations stories. - We collect and transcribe oral narratives in the original language; then translate, adapt, lightly dramatize, cast, and record their stories for broadcast on Canada’s national airwaves. c) Our methodology: - The source of all these stories is always the Elders and first language speakers in each community. - All recordings take place in the community: the Elders, the dramatized versions (in English and the original language), and all music and songs. - All sounds are authentic and gathered on location. d) What we produce: - A one-hour show featuring a collection of dramatized indigenous pre-contact stories, each 5 to 15 minutes in length, with narrative links. - Stories that tell how the universe, the skies, the earth, and all its creatures were created, how heroes, tricksters and spirits win battles, solve mysteries, and change the world. - Polished productions using local performers, traditional music and songs, with unique richly textured sound beds unlike anything else on radio. - Interactive bilingual or trilingual CD Roms. - Web content for CBC’s Aboriginal dedicated portal. - An archive of powerful stories representing thousands of years of oral history. - Recordings for language revitalization, entertainment and pride. e) Communities Involved: To date we have worked with the following communities in Canada: The Inuit of Baffin Island, Nunavut The Mushuau Innu of Natuashish, Labrador The Shuswap of Salmon Arm, British Columbia The Old Massett Haida, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia The Mi’kmaq of Eskasoni, Cape Breton, Newfoundland The Blood Tribe, (Blackfoot) of southern Alberta. The Pekaukamiulnuatsh (Montagnais of Lac St. Jean), Quebec The Gwich’in of the Northwest Territories, N.W.T. The Kwak’wala of Alert Bay, B.C. The Ahtahkakoop Cree of Sandy Lake, Saskatchewan The Six Nations of the Grand River, (Cayuga), Ontario f) Next Steps: The Legends Project is currently working with the Six Nations of the Grand River, Ontario. In 2011 we recorded Stories from the Longhouse (spoken in the Cayuga language). Including each of the Six Nations in this project is an ambitious undertaking, but we hope to work with the Mohawk, Seneca, Oneida, Tuscarora and Onondagas during the next two years. (Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora are considered ‘severely endangered’.) Legends of the Shuswap: The Secwepemc People of BC Language: Secwepemctsin Language Family: Interior Salish Location: Salmon Arm British Columbia Facts: The Secwepemc Nation is made up of 17 separate bands who share common language, values, culture, and stories. The language they speak, Secwepemctsin, is endangered in spite of two language immersion schools (in Chase and Kamloops). They lived semi-nomadically, wintering in pit houses, living off the bounty of the land, including the salmon from the inland rivers. Project details: This collection of traditional oral legends was recorded, dramatized and produced in the North Okanagan, using bilingual performers, original and traditional music, unique vocalizations and natural sounds from this rural BC community. These ancient stories are adapted to capture the lessons taught thousands of years ago, when oral storytelling was part of child rearing and entertainment. The late Mary Thomas was an invincible force in building trust and understanding between her culture and the settlers. Her legacy continues… Dramatized Legend: We have adapted and lightly dramatized more than 100 legends. The 'scripts' are recorded twice: in English, with elements of the native language used in dialogue and for place names; and then recorded completely in the native language. Whenever possible a written copy of both versions is archived. Below is a sample page from a dramatized version of a Shuswap legend, Chacha. Chacha MUSIC Song: Cha cha, under SOUND RIVER RUSHING, SWELLING, TRICKLING, CHICKADEES CALLING, ANSWERING NARRATOR This is a story my granny would tell us and we would always cry. There was an elderly couple who had two beautiful daughters. Every year they would go to the lake to pick berries. The older daughter would often stand beside the lake just gazing out but never saying a word. This one time, she disappeared. The family looked and looked for her, but they couldn’t find her. And then the seasons changed, and they had to leave. SOUND LONELY WATER, COOL THIN WIND NARRATOR Every year they returned to look for their daughter but never saw any trace of her. G/MOTHER Oh, if only I could find out where my daughter has gone. SOUND DISTANT REMINISCENT WIND, AS WATER SPIRIT APPEARS DAUGHTER (distant voice) Mother, I’m here, stop looking for me. [Sec] G/MOTHER (gasping) Aaahh. NARRATOR She looked out, and there, coming out of the water was a young, beautiful woman, her long black hair falling into the water. SOUND WATER, SUSPENDED - A CRESTING NIMBUS CLOUD (her G/MOTHER’s breath.) End of sample.

CBC Radio

CBC Radio

Jan. 1, 1970

Producers: Leah Shaw, Barbara Worthy, Dave Redel. Contributors for this audio sample include: Louis Thomas, Alestine Andre, Lucille Bell, David Serkoak, representing the following communities: The Inuit of Iqaluit, Nunavut, Old Massett Haida of Haida Gwa


CBC Radio

CBC Radio 2012