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Tlingit Conversation #43
Speakers are Jeeskú Jimmie Johnston and Tánk Smith Katzeek. Videorecorded by Naakil.aan Mark Hans Chester on August 13, 2010, in Teslin, Yukon Territory.
This material is based on work supported by National Science Foundation grant 0853788 to the University of Alaska Southeast with Ljáaḵkʼ Alice Taff as Principal Investigator, and by National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship 266286-19 to Ljáaḵkʼ Alice Taff. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation or National Endowment for the Humanities.
Tlingit transcription by X̱ʼaagi Sháawu Keri Eggleston with Anita Lafferty and by Koolyeiḵ Roberta Littlefield with G̱ooch Tláa Anne Johnson. English translation by Shakʼsháani Margaret Dutson with Alice Taff, X̱ʼaagi Sháawu Keri Eggleston with Saakayí Anita Lafferty and by KoolyeiḵRoberta Littlefield with G̱ooch Tláa Anne Johnson. Edited by XXX.
SYMBOLS: Brackets = {false start}. (added for clarity). [translator/transcriber's note]. ??? = canʼt understand. « quotation marks for Tlingit text». Time-aligned text for this video was accomplished using ELAN ((Versions 6.0 (2020), 6.1 (2021), and 6.3 (2022) [Computer software]. Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, The Language Archive. Retrieved from
Gwál i jeedé aa át, ách gax̱duswóo, yá, yá kanajúx át x̱á.
Maybe they will send you one of the taped things [tapes] that they're recording, you know.
I dachx̱ánk'i sáani ḵa i yátx'i, mhm, has agux̱latéen.
Your grandchildren and your children will watch it.
{I gax̱}I kei gax̱du.áx̱ch,
They'll be able to hear you,
ldakát yéixʼ.
Ch'áagu aayí,
Long ago,
áaa, haa léelk'u hás yéi s x̱'ayaḵáayin,
yes, our grandparents used to say that,
«Á x̱oox̱ yá kg̱wasa.áax̱
“They will hear it (listen to it) among them,
aadé yoo x̱'eeyatángi yé.»
the way you're talking.”
«Lingít aaní tóoxʼ yá kg̱wasa.áax̱.»
“They will hear it throughout the Tlingit world. “
Yéi áwé.
That's right.
A yéi áwé haa yatee.
That's how we are.
Haa yóo x̱'atángi ch'ás yaa nas.áx̱.
Our language is being heard.
Hél border ḵustéeyin x̱á ch'áakw.
There didn't really used to be a border, you know, long ago.
Mmm. Aaá.
Woosh x̱ánx̱ da.aadín hél daa sá, [at shooḵ] aaá, yeedát ḵu.a.
They used to visit each other, (with) nothing, [laughter], now however.
Yá yées ḵáa áwé woosh x̱o̱odé da.aadí ch'as wé at duná een. Aaa.
When the young people get together, they just drink with each other. [When the young people get together, itʼs with drinking.] Yes.
Gushé áyá ḵa yú gwál x̱ʼéide.
I wonder what they always used to talk about.
Has daayax̱aḵá neech, has adanáa neejín á x̱o̱o tlél ch'u tleix̱ áwé has oodanáaỹch.
I always tell them, among those who always used to drink, they're not going to drink forever.
Ch'a gooxʼ sá at ḵuwaháawu has aa oodanáaỹch, a g̱óot.
Just wherever it was, when it happened that some of them drank, then without it. [They left it.]
A g̱óot yaa has na.átch.
They just walk away from it.
Yeedát ḵu.aa áwé,
Now however,
chʼu tleix̱ tle a x̱o̱ox̱ áwé, aaa, yéi has yatee.
they are always, yes, among it. [They live right among it.]
Dáx̱náx̱ yatee ax̱ yátx'i.
I have two children.
Shaawát haa jee yéi téeyin áwé, (ḵut) wutuwag̱éex'.
We used to have a daughter then, but we lost her.
Wé húnx̱ kei uwawát.
The oldest brother, he grew up.
Chʼi tleix̱ at danáa nich, dei ch'a du een yóo x̱'ax̱la.átgi neech, ch'a tléik'.
He drinks all the time, then I always talk to him, but no.
Hél du.áx̱ch kwshé?
He doesn't hear you, perhaps?
Eh, no! [At shooḵ]
No! [Laughter]
[At shooḵ]
Chʼas tsu wé at daná.
Still he drinks.
Tlam (tlél) uháan yéi haa utéeyin ḵa haa léelk'u hás.
Us, we weren't that way, and our grandparents too.
Hél ḵu.a, ch'as áwé s du jee yé teeyí
If they donʼt just have it on hand there
ch'i tleix̱ hás.
they keep going. [they still go on]
Sh daa yéi has jidanéiyin
They used to do it for themselves [work on it, putting up food],
ldakát át.
Daa sá,
daa sá s alyéix̱.
whatever they're building.
Keitl has du jeewú téeyin a x̱o̱o aa, Mmm, ax̱ éesh ḵa ax̱ léelk'u hás tsú. Mmm.Toboggan.
They used to have dogs, among them [agreement] my father and my grandparents too. [agreement] Toboggan.
Yá yeedát áwé,
toboggan has oolyéx̱jin. Áaa.
they always used to build toboggans. Yes.
Á wéit, sleigh yóo duwasáakw, «yées xát'aa» a yóo duwasáakw. [At shooḵ]
There it's called a sleigh, “new sled” it's called. [Laughter]
Á tsú.
That, too.
Has amliyéx̱ch k'idéin.
They always built it well.
Ḵa wé dog harness, yeisú ch'a hásch áwé s aḵéis'in.
And the dog harness then they used to sew them themselves.
Á wéit xaas doogú,
The cowhide there, [The word “xaas” most llikely refers to cowhide. In earlier times and in some places “xaas” referred to bison or giant buffalo, but nowadays it refers to large ruminants such as cows, horses, oxen.]
goodáx̱ sákwshé yéi s du jeex̱ has du.eex̱ín? Mm. [At shooḵ]
I wonder perhaps where they got it from? Mm. [Laughter]
Yú Whitehorse aa yei yagwéin,yáadáx̱.
Vehicles are traveling to Whitehorse from here. [A group, or fleet, of vehicles are traveling.]
Yú Whitehorse, they all be.
That Whitehorse, they all be.
Yá highways chʼa kʼát,
This highways (highway), once in a while,
x̱at tsú.
me too.
Ḵa keitl, á yóox̱, dog sled,
And dogs, for dog sleds there,
a yís aḵéis'in, Aaa,. that moose hide.
they used to sew moose for it, Yes. that moose hide.
A yóot, has tsu aa de máa yateeyí sʼé,
Over there, they still stay there first,
pretty near one month, yá taakw eetí.
pretty near one month, in the summer.
Yá yeedát at ḵuwaháa, yú shaa,
Now the time has arrived, over there on that mountain,
shaa kaadé yoo a.átgi.
when people regularly go on the mountain.
Ách a yís ḵa tléiḵw, nís (niyís) kaadéi daadunéiyin. Aaá.
So for that and for berries, in preparation they used to work on [gather] them there. Yes.
It was good!
Á x̱o̱o aa, á wé yaakw yee, íxdei.
Some of them, there, in boats, downstream.
Áwé, Johnsonʼs Crossing yóo duwasáakw ḵu.a; íxt áwé.
They call it Johnsonʼs Crossing however; itʼs downstream.
T'á aax̱ has asg̱eiwúwun.
They used to seine for king salmon from there. [There were fish camps downstream from Johnsonʼs Crossing, where families set nets and also drift-netted at night for king salmon (also known as chinook), in August.]
Aaá. He.
Yes. He. [emphasizer]
Kei yáaxʼ a x̱o̱o aa, yeedát ch'a yá yéi yatee, áwé, tlíl yú aadé téeyi yé utí.
Up here, some of them, now itʼs still that way, (however) itʼs not that way now over there.
{at} X̱át tsú.
Me, too.
Yéi daadunéiyin.
They used to do that.
Yá yeedát,
At this time,
táakw eetí woosh x̱ó̱ode da.aadí,
when they [people] came together in the summer,
tlél jee yáadu a yáx̱ sʼeenáa ḵoostí, yéi áwé gaslight.
there didnʼt exist here anything like [electric] lights; there were gaslights.
{mhm} Hél,
hél deep freeze.
no deep freeze.
Yá yées x̱o̱ox̱ tle a ádí áwés.
This was a new thing among them.
«Aadóo sá s
dleeỹ tlél du jeet?» yóo sh x̱'adawóos'inch, áwé.
they always used to ask each other, “doesn't have meat?”
And then, dáx̱náx̱ áwé yaa nagwéitch [at shooḵ] asxʼeetdé.
And then every time two people would go out hunting.
Dzískʼw has du jeet dusxʼeedí áwé.
They hunt moose for them.
Yú, aan i g̱eiwú anáx̱ anasaḵoox̱ch.
Over there, with your fishnet, they always boat along there.
Aadóo áwé has .íxʼ neech
Whoever it is, who is always calling out to them
gé yóot, aadé x̱áat yei áwé a.aadín, Aaa. neech du jeedáx̱. [At shooḵ]
over there at that place, they would always go to get some fish from them. [Laughter]
Aaá. [At shooḵ]
Yes. [Laughter]
Has x̱ó̱ot, tíl ch'a x̱ʼéis,
Among them, not just that for them to eat,
dleeÿ ḵáa jee yéi nateech.
people would have meat to eat.
Áx̱ áwé yei {has oo} has aa oosxookch, jiyís, Mhm. daa sá máa sá.
And so there, they always dry it for (them), Mhm. whatever,
A x̱ó̱o aa eet aa,
For some of them,
yaa shunaxíx áwé, wé tsá ch'a g̱óot ḵáa aadóo sá s een has na.átch.
it is running out, only then another person, whoever it is, always goes with them.
Yéi áwé has ḵustéeyin. Aaá. Mhm.
That's how they used to live. Yes. Mhm.
Áwé dleit ḵáa aayí, they eat shóoga ḵa tee.
The white manʼs own, they eat sugar and tea.
Always, thisʼs the one we used to get.
Always, thisʼs the one we used to get.
Tlél néekw has awuskú, x̱á,
They really didn't know sickness, you know,
Aaa. ch'aagu ḵáawu. Aaá.
Yes. long ago people. Yes.
Tlél néekw has awuskóowun.
They didn't used to know sickness.
Mhm. Yaa tl'átgi káax̱,
Mmhm. From out on the land,
Yeah, has at x̱áayin. Yeah. Yeah.
Yeah. they used to eat. Yeah. Yeah.
Yeedát ḵu.aa, stórede yigoodí.
Now you go to the store.
[At shooḵ] Áaa. [At shooḵ]
[Laughter] Yes. [Laughter]
Hél yéi kayátxʼi yéi yanéekwch. Mmm.
Children didnʼt always get sick. Mmm [agreement].
Used to be my uncle too.
Used to be my uncle too.
Tlél tláx̱ k'idéin yoo x̱'eitángi, my, old, he was old.
He didn't speak very well, my, old, he was old.
Wé téix̱ ajináḵch itkʼ ???
He would hand over ??? his boiled food.
Yee éen áwé yéi daayaḵa, Hmh.
He would say to you all, Hmh.
"I'm gettin tired of that store meat; thatʼs white man meat," he say. [At shooḵ] "White man meat. White man meat!"
Á áwé tléix' aa yéi ayamsiḵaa,
And then one of them said,
«Haa daat gi sá dleit ḵáach? Dleit ḵáa áwé ix̱á.» [At shooḵ]
“Arenʼt white people around us? You are eating white people.” [Laughter]
[At shooḵ]
Oh, you got a kick out of it? [At shooḵ] Yeah.
«Á daa jeet dleit ḵáa sáwé ix̱á?» [At shook]
“Are you eating white people?” [laughter]
Dleit dleeyí ash xáashi, dleit ḵáa á, ax̱ dlaak'. Hm.
My sister cuts up white manʼs meat, for white people there.
Ax̱'awóos', «Wáa sá yei kg̱watée á
She was asked, “How will it be there, when
yá dleey, dleit ḵáa dleeyí, shuwuxeexí?
this meat, white manʼs meat, runs out?
«Yáx̱ yee gux̱sax'áaḵw ,»yu.á.
“You will forget how,” they say.
«Hél gí ax̱aayí át áwé? »
There wonʼt be anything to eat, will there?”
yéi ayawsiḵaa,
she told him,
«Hél haa toowú tin utí uháan.
“It doesn't look that way to us.
Yeewháan ḵu.aa, yee kg̱waláaxw.
You guys however, will starve.
Uháan ḵu.áa yáa tl'átgi kaax̱ át toox̱á.»
We however, we eat off [from] the land.”
[At shooḵ]
Sh wudlik'átl'. Yeah.
He became quiet. Yeah.
[At shooḵ] Yeah.
Yeah, maybe {I should} we should go in there for a while, I guess. Yeah.
Well as I say {coughs} you can
can do so much with {all the} all the people there. That, we put together what ever we could.
All (over),
ldakát yéit has ḵuwateen yáat'aa hás. Mhm.
they traveled all over, them. Yes.
First time my, has du een, Mhm. haat yan, yáade ḵux̱waateen. Oh yeah.
First time I travelled with them Yes. towards here. Oh yeah.
Oh, yáat'aa tsu,
Oh, this one, still
s áwé een, du tuwáaxʼin,
with them, he used to want,
they were drinking.
Á wéit, héenxʼg̱aa yé áyá haa. "Every time I come home," he say, "I catch shit. I catch shit all the time," he say.
There, at that place for getting water.
This guy saying, «Hádaa, this heart tsú gí isheexch chʼa neechx̱.» [At shooḵ]
This guy say, “Oh my, this heart, do you also run every time in vain?” [Laughter]
Sometimes the Indians, they know quite a few jokes, eh! [At shooḵ]
No meaning, just, just Yah. like it that. Yeah. Yeah.
Well I guess thatʼs an hour, say you did a little more, say what you could say anyway. Ahaá.
Thatʼs nice talk to you! Aaá.
Ch'a k'át, yáx̱ kei jix̱wsitán aadé yóo x̱ʼeeyatángi yé.
After all, itʼs as if Iʼm raising my hand up to the way you are speaking. [Iʼm enjoying / I like the way you are speaking.]
Iʼm go inside now I guess, {mm} [at shooḵ] for a while anyway. Oo hú! [At shooḵ] Yeah. [Recording break]
Oh ouch! [Laughter] Yeah.
Yeisú áwés daak has áx̱ ḵo̱ox̱jín,
Still they always used to travel out there,
kei has ool.aatch áwés,
they always picked up,
ch'as ldakát áwé naaw x̱ʼé jiyís. Mm.
just all the alcohol for drinking. Mm.
Tlél yéi yaa ḵunaháaỹch wéitʼaa yáadáx̱ Whitehorset tsú yei anaḵúx̱u.
It doesn't take that long, that one from here, when they are going by boat also to Whitehorse.
[At shooḵ]
Ḵúx̱dáx̱ áwé,
Returning back, it is,
{sh} wéi héen naadaayí, Aaá. géide.
against the current. Yes.
Yéi s akanéegin, about one week, I think. Ho !.
They used to say, about one week, I think. My! [It would take about one week, coming back against the current.]
Yéi áwé kanayéilʼ héen, yei s naḵúx̱u.
It was calm water, when they were travelling by boat.
Áwé, gántiyaagú dax̱ Whitehorse yéi yatee aa.
Steamboats were in Whitehorse there. [Steamboats were also called riverboats, sternwheelers, and paddlewheelers. One of those was actually named ʼWhitehorseʼ.]
X̱at tsú yáa kei ḵúx̱jin.
I also used to go up along here [by boat].
Ch'a yéi googéink'. Mm. Good.
Just a little. Mm. Good. [Referring to milk being poured into his cup of tea or coffee.]
Wéi yaakw tlein,
The big boat,
Lingít áwé pilotx̱ s satéeyin. Aaá.
Tlingit people used to be pilots. Yes.
That Whitehorse yóo duwasáakw tléix' aa áwé.
They called it ʼWhitehorseʼ, the first one. [One of the big steamers was called the ʼWhitehorseʼ. Here Jeeskú starts giving the names of some of the paddlewheelers.]
Keno. [The name of another old Yukon River steamboat, riverboat, sternwheeler, paddlewheeler.]
Caska, and,
Caska, and, [The name of another old Yukon River steamboat, riverboat, sternwheeler, paddlewheeler.]
Daaḵw.aa yéixʼ sá tleiyéi yéi teeyin gí?
Which places was it that they used to stop?
Whitehorsedáx̱ áwé yáadáx̱ kéi uwaḵoox̱jin, Mhm. gántiyaakw,
From Whitehorse, the steamboats used to run up from right here,
ḵa yá Dáwsondé, Mayo, áa yaa ḵúx̱jin. Mhm.
and some of them regularly used to go to Dawson, Mayo. Mhm. [Dawson City and a town east of Dawson, named Mayo.]
Ch'a aan áwés, ka tsoowultx̱ ???
However they on ???
daa sás du jee yéi nasteejí.
whatever they had, it was always that way.
They are going there.
Right, táakw niyís,
Right, in preparation for winter,
éil' , koox ḵa dée ḵa
salt, rice and tea and
??? agéide x̱o̱odéi s ḵúx̱u aadé has du jee yéi nasteech. Áaa huh.
they meet with them when they are travelling and regularly carrying it to them. Yes, just so.
A x̱ó̱o aa, yaakw, {ch'as} has ch'as has yeix̱.
Some of them they just built boats.
A x̱ó̱o aa á wéixʼ,
Some of them there,
wéit átgin a x̱ó̱o wuneiyi aa.
they used to always go there, it happened among them.
Skágway náx̱ áwé {haa}
Through (via) Skagway
haa jiyaháa engine.Yaakw gi nákw,??? just amazing.
our engine that was delivered. That boat ???, just amazing.
Wéit, {Ska} Skágway,
At Skagway,
a whole train, Áaa, to Whitehorse there.
[passengers go on] a whole train, Yes. to Whitehorse there.
A x̱ó̱o aa gántiyaakw, yeedát. [At shooḵ]
Now, some of them (passengers) on the steamboat. [Laughter]
I donʼt know, tlél góo gi u.aa, húch. Tatgés áa .aa.
I don't know, he isnʼt sitting there, is he, him. Yesterday he was sitting there.
Oh right, that Matthew?
Oh right, that Matthew? [Likely referring to Matthew Thom, a Teslin elder.]
Tlél haat wugoodí yéi gí.
Did he not come here?
That gántiyaakw,
That steamboat,
gán een áwé yéix̱ yaa kagajooxch.
it used wood to run places each time.
[At shooḵ]
A yís,
For it,
gán dux̱ó̱ot'in, Áaa. ḵa yá Deisleen yáaxʼ á yéi du.úxk. [At shooḵ] Oh yeah.
they used to chop wood, Yes. and they put it on the shore of Teslin [Lake]. [Laughter] Oh yeah.
Aag̱áa áwé,
And then it is,
daax'óon dollars a shú tléix' át kaayí. [At shook]
four dollars for one cord. [Laughter] [A pile of wood 4 feet wide by 4 feet high by 8 feet long is a cord.]
Yéi áwé jiḵéiyin.
Thatʼs what they used to pay.
Yeedát ḵu.aa déix̱ hándit.
Now, however, itʼs two hundred.
Aaá, tlél kéi yan dusḵéin ,x̱á?
They are not finished raising the price, right?
Ch'as yú áyá.
That's how it is.
Áaa. Yeah.
Át tsú wéit tʼáagu yasátk, x̱á,
There too, at that place, back inland itʼs fast, you see,
kei naakéededáx̱ áwé,
from Northward upstream,
ká jixeexín.
it used to run on it.
Á tóode there was shóog̱aa, tea, káafee,
There was sugar, tea, coffee inside it,
milk, rice, anything. Yep.
Kei uwawát
It measured up to
tleidooshú jinkaat ḵa keejíni,
sixty-five (feet])
[at shooḵ] yéi kawugeiyi.
[laughter] that big.
Yei na.átch á wéit, g̱eiytoo.
They go down there all the time, in the bay.
Aaá. Kagéet yaakw g̱eiyw̃ú kei chʼas s átjin áwé dax̱ wudzigéiyi á.
Yes. They regularly used to go up to meet the boat in the bay to pay for them.
Déi áwé, February yei át áwé swans has na.átch atx̱á ká,
Then, in February, they regularly go there for swans, for food,
kéitl een. [At shooḵ]
with dogs. [by dog team] [Laughter]
At 45 miles yéi kunaaléi,
At a place 45 miles distance, [45 miles up Teslin Lake, there is an old town whose name was «Tlax̱aneisʼ Ḵoowú»”Kingfisher Den”. The town is also called Johnston Town.]
áwé yéi yatee x̱ateex̱ín.
that is where I used to stay.
Aax̱ áwé, yoo wtuwa.átgut gutóode.
From there, we regularly went into the bush.
Tsu awdigaan. [At shooḵ]Yeah. Mhm.
Its sunny again. [Laughter] Yeah. Mhm.
Yáaxʼ has amliyex̱ a canoe wooyík ??? ya kináa aa át tán. Áaa.
Here at this place they have made a canoe; itʼs sitting up there off somewhere. ??? [wooyík = off somewhere]
Has awusḵo̱ox̱ún yá Whitehorsedáx̱, Ahaa. [at shooḵ] to Dawson. Itʼs shallow.
They drove boats from Whitehorse, Yeah? [laughter] to Dawson. Itʼs shallow.
Hás chʼu tle ??? daak has áḵo̱ox̱un. Hm. Hé!
when they also used to boat out ???. Hm. My!
Heidé áwé nasḵinch [at shooḵ] ??? yá át.
It flew them all over towards there, [laughter] ???, this thing. [Jeeskuʼs hand gestures seem to indicate that the boat was changing direction fast, perhaps in the current, and then perhaps by pulling and paddling.]
Áx̱ áwé lidzee.
Itʼs difficult there.
Yei s daaḵw.aa woogootch g̱aa jís [at shooḵ] ash amshigóok.
They learned which one (which way, which channel) was good to go on. [Laughter]
Sheiyí ákyá, yaa? Hé?
Is this spruce, here? Huh?
Daaḵw.aa aas áyá?
What type of tree is this?
Daaḵw.aa aas sé? Hmm. Yisikóo gé?
Which tree? Hmm. Do you know?
Yisikóo gé?
Do you know?
Daa sáyú?
What is that?
What kind of wood?
What kind of wood?
Itʼs a
Itʼs a
Yú éil' yaax̱ dax̱ du.oo. Mhm.
They have them along the ocean shore. Mhm.
A sheiyíxʼt jeewahaa.
Itʼs spruce that were sent.
Áaa yak'éi. Mm. Yeh.
Yes, good! Yes.
Áaa, that tree to us.
Fair trade.
Aaá. [At shooḵ] Mhm. Yeah.
Yes. [Laughter] Mhm. Yes.
Tsu kootéeyaa ágé?
Another totem pole?
Tsu kootéeyaa ágé?
Another totem pole? [Is it for another pole?]
Aaá. Yáadáx̱ áwé has amliyéx̱, yéi áwé, á, Ahá. keijín.
Yes. They made five from right here, so it is.
Kei Teslin yéidei wéit,
Up in Teslin, to the place there,
a daa yéi jiné á aa.
then it's worked on there, one of them.
Keith Wolfe.
Keith Wolfe. [Jeeskú is referring to Keith Wolfe Smarch, the carver of the poles at the Teslin Tlingit Heritage Centre.]
Áwé tóoḵ káa áwé dulyéx̱ ḵa daa yéis jiné, hú tsú.
The bottom of it was worked on and the new work around it, him too. [Keith Wolfe Smarch worked on the pole.]
I think the ladies are going to talk for a while. Would you guys like to stay here or go walk around, or...?
I'm gonna stay right here, ah. We stay here for a while there. Áaa.
I'm gonna stay right here. Stay here for a while there too. Yes.
I think {their} their camera is picking up our voices. Oh. Yup.
I think {their} their camera is picking up our voices. Oh. Yup.
Too much!
Ch'a aadéi yéi x̱at nay.oo! Aaá.
Forgive me, all of you! Yes.
Yak'éi háagu jís wé....
It's good (you) come here for...
Just shut it off for a while. Shut this one off so they can talk.
Ah háh. Ash tʼaawu. That...
Yeah. Its feather. That...
First time I see it, quite a few this summer, Ahah. just once in a while.
A áwé aax̱ yux̱ sateex̱ín.
That is, it used to be from it.
Gwál yéi yú eeḵ shaat yéi teeyi shakdé. Ahah.
Perhaps it was caught on that beach. Yes.
Want get me some more mud water?
Want get me some more mud water?
Yéi á. Wa.é tsú gé?
Thatʼs it. You too?
De áwé.
Tsóok', tsóok' gé?
More, more?
Xwéi! Tléik', aaa, ch'a {yé} yéisú x̱wa.oo. Áaa. [At shooḵ]
Whew! No, {yes} I still have some. Yes. [Laughter]
Tlax̱ ldakát yá wéekend áwé, ḵukg̱wat'áa, x'éig̱aa.
All weekend it will be very hot, truly.
A saayí gé ḵudzitee, yá áa?
Does this lake have a name?
Áa, am.
Teslin yóo duwasáakw.
Itʼs called Teslin.
Deisleen, yóot áwé duwasáakw.
That over there is called Deisleen.
Liyát'i héen. Ahah.
A long lake. Yes.
Ch'as héit.aa kḵwawóos' akamshixít aa, ḵa dei ch'áakw ch'a yeisú ax̱ shukát áwé kamdushxeet.
Just that one [referring to Teslin, Teslin Lake], I will ask her that she writes it, and since long ago still before me it was written.
Á saayí ḵwa yei s asáagun, «Déi-yee-s-lseen».
But they used to call it, «Déi-yee-s-lseen». [Jeeskú pronounces this slowly and carefully. This may be interpreted as “Trail-below-they-hide”. X̱ʼunei Lance Twitchell helped with this English interpretation.]
Long waters they say Uhuh. Yeah.
Gooshúḵ jinkaat yaawaxeex, mile, wé káaỹ.
It measures ninety miles.
Táakwxʼ, káa ka ḵunagwéijin.
They used to always be travelling on it in the winter in cars. [Jeeskú is referring here to his uncle George Johnston, who owned a 1928 Chevrolet, brought to Teslin by a steamboat. George Johnston used to drive his car on the ice on Teslin Lake during the winter.]
Ch'as yeedát ḵu.aa {tlagu} tlél káa káx̱ yaa ooḵoox̱ch.
Now however, no one travels along on it by car.
Yáadáx̱, yóode, both
From here to there, both,
keijin jinkaat káaỹ yéi kunaalí gí yáax̱ aa.
fifty miles, itʼs that far, isnʼt it, along here. [Here Jeeskú may be explaining that itʼs about fifty miles from where he and Tánk are sitting (at the Teslin Heritage Centre) to Johnston Town towards the head of Teslin Lake.]
Ḵukalt'éex' káade wtuwaḵoox̱, káaỹ áwé. Mhm.
In the spring we went miles.
axʼ kwshé áyin ???
There, ???
Too late áwé amtusiteen wéit
It was too late that we caught sight of it there,
Át kei nashéin.
It was extending up there.
Yeah, goodness, right in the point over there
át amligáasʼ á dléit yee dáat.
at that place they slid under the snow. [Jeff Leerʼs stem list has an entry for gaasʼ , meaning “to move rapidly through space end first”.]
Oof! A kináa aa, áyá t'éex' yéi áwé,
Oof! Over them is ice, it is,
ách áwé ḵúxdei aawasháat. Huh.
and so it grabbed [pulled] it back. Huh.
Oh, wow. Áwé.
Oh wow. Right.
Át tlél g̱wadlaan, but it was cold, springtime. Áaa. Yes. A wéit,
It wasnʼt deep, but it was cold, springtime. Yes. Yes. At that place,
aas so high.
(there was) a tree so high.
Á amtuwatee, about yéi big, daax'oonínáx̱ aa yatee.
We took it there, about this big, four of them,
chʼa digéi áyá akamlisee.
just big it is, he got near it.
Yeah, yoo kamtuwas'óow̃.
Yeah, he chopped it.
Tsá, yoo kamtuwas'óow̃, yéi yoo kamtuwas'óow̃ a wéit.
Then, he chopped it, he chopped it there at that place.
Áwé, {coughs} Náʼ.
Itʼs, {coughs} Here. [NMCH hands them something to drink.]
Gunalchéesh. Daa sáwé.
What is it?
At amtuwayeeḵ.
We hauled it.
Ch'a g̱unéi ugootch,
It began to go,
g̱unéi amsixeex.
it started to run.
Tʼíxʼ a jeewú {ah}
Rope was on hand
keich ??? yáatʼaa akaawa(dzaas.)
He tied this thing around him up here. [Jeeskúʼs gesures seem to indicate waist-high.]
Oohoo. [At shooḵ]
Oohoo. [Laughter]
Hu. Si.áat' wé héen.
Wow. The water was cold.
Kakʼkwéiy, «Dikéede eesheexch, gú.»
The captain [boss], “Run up high, go!”
«Ch'a kanax̱too.aaḵw át á wéit.»
“Letʼs just try it there.”
G̱unéi kaawajúx̱.
The engine started up.
Ḵashde héin George amalít ??? tsu [at shooḵ] du washeen.
I thought George threw his machine there. ??? [Laughter] [Here Jeeskú is referring again to his uncle George Johnston, who used to drive his car on the ice on Teslin Lake during winter.]
[At shooḵ]
Aax̱ daak wutuwa.át,
After that, we left there,
tse a háade wtusiḵoox̱.
then there we drove it towards here.
Dei aax̱ tlél tsu kaadé a wutooḵoox̱ú tʼéexʼ. [At shooḵ]
After that then they didnʼt drive it again there on the ice. [Laughter]
Yá káa á kʼidéin nagwéitch.
This car ran well there.
towards the head of the lake [”upstream” , which in this case means south, towards the head of Teslin Lake.]
aax̱ áwé skidoo ḵu.aa, chʼa aan át has na.átch.
after that, just with skidoos, however, they always go around there.
Tʼéexʼ, winter time,
Ice, winter time,
a wéit
shayadihéin Whitehorsedé yáa ntooḵoox̱ .
many us are driving to Whitehorse.
Keitl áx̱ ana.átch chʼu téeyi ḵa
They were always going there with dogs and
Sam Johnston een. [At shooḵ]
with Sam Johnston. [Laughter]
Yéi x̱at daayaḵá, «Wéit.aa latín.
He told me, “Watch that one.
Thatʼs a smart Indian,» [At shooḵ]
That's a smart Indian,” [Laughter]
x̱at daayaḵá.
he told me.
Yéi yax̱wsiḵaa,
I told him,
«Máa sás heʼs such smart Indian, yóo gé?»
“Howʼs heʼs such a smart Indian, isnʼt he?”
«Aaa,» he said.
“Yes,” he said.
«Tlél yéi Lingít yéi dustínch áwé
People arenʼt seen anymore
keitl een yaa, Áaa,. has na.ádi.»
going along there, Yes. with dogs.
«Ch'as with skidoo een áwé, [At shooḵ] chʼás tsú. Ax̱adée!» daayax̱aḵá. [At shooḵ]
Just with a skidoo [snowmachine] [laughter] just also. Oh my!” I told him.[laughter]
Oh, we laughed!
Wéit, i keidlí, yéi tʼéexʼx̱ awdudliyéx̱ x̱á.
There, your dogs, they used them for (on the) ice, you know.
Hóoch' keitl. [At shooḵ] Yeah.
Dogs no more. [Dogs arenʼt used any more.] [Laughter] Yeah.
Á dikee, diyíndei,
Up or down towards there,
any place át has na.átjin, keitl. Áaa, yeah.
they used to go any place all the time with dogs. Yes, yeah.
Táakw, dziyáak kugax̱dutséx̱ch á shuká.
In winter, earlier, they always broke trail in front there [in front of the dogs].
X̱ʼéiyís chʼu yéi át nagútjin
To get food they still used to go there
keitl tín. Mhm.
with dogs [dog teams].
Lingít has ax̱'aya.áx̱jit, keitl x̱á,
Dogs understand people, you know, [Dogs understand what people are saying, you know,]
aan yoo x̱'ála.átgi nooch.
when they always talk with them.
Aag̱áa áwé g̱unéi s u.aatch.
And then they begin to go every time.
[At shooḵ] Yeah. Aaa. Yeah.
[Laughter] Yeah. Yes. Yeah.
Wududlit'íx'i x̱áat, x̱áat áyá du x̱'éix̱ duteex̱, x̱á, yaa nag̱atee. Mmm.
Frozen fish, they would regularly give them frozen fish to eat. Mmm.
Mhm. Hm. [At shooḵ] Hm.
Yes. [Laughter] Hm.
Tle kát x̱ʼaduwóosʼ ch'as,
People ask about it, just,
sʼeeḵ g̱eeydáx̱, daa sá yéi daa dunuḵch chʼas yéi yeedat.
smoke from the bay, is that what is blowing around right now?
Táakwxʼ áxʼ
In the winter, there,
x̱átʼaa tulayéx̱ch yées gán aan tusaxát'ch áxʼ.
we build sleds and we always haul fresh firewood with them there.
Hú, chʼa shunax̱wáayi,
Him, just an ax,
ḵá xáshaa. [At shooḵ]
and a saw. [Laughter]
Thatʼs all.
Yeedát ḵu.aa, ch'as powersaw.
Now however, itʼs a powersaw.
[At shooḵ]
Boy, yóo x̱'eiyaḵáa nich,
Boy, he is always saying,
«Gáng̱aa akḵwagóot.»
“I will go for firewood.”
Xáshaa ag̱óot, chʼa lucksy powersaw. [At shooḵ]
No saw, lucky power saw. [Laughter]
[At shooḵ]
Soon s he saw that,
Soon as he saw that,
«A maá sá yéi yatee i shunax̱wáayi?»
“How is your ax?”
«Tíl gí ishagóok?»
“Donʼt you know how (to use it)?”
«Tlél gé átx̱ tulayeix̱
“Arenʼt we using it
shunax̱wáayi a yís?» [At shooḵ]
for an axe?” [Laughter]
Well, they see enough movies, yeah.
[At shooḵ]
Yea, that's why I said I wish we couldʼa have more people right from here, you know. Yeah.
Well, to me you guys are interested; to me, eh. Yeah. It is.
Aak'éi aaní áyá. Hé. Áaa.
Itʼs a good country here. Hé. Yes.
Yeah, it's beautiful country. Yeah.
Kei ḵugux̱sat'áax'in. [At shooḵ]
It will warm people up.[It will be hot.][Laughter]
Héen gé yee tuwáa sigóo?
Do you all want water?
I got mine in my pocket! Okay. [At shooḵ]
Héen gé i tuwáa sigóo?
Do you want water?
Hé! Ch'as yá x̱at yak'éi. Aaá. Hoochʼ yú.
What? I'm just good. Yes. All gone there.
[At shooḵ]
How long is that film, film in there, eh?
How long is that film, film in there, eh?
For, uh, I think, 41 minutes.
Forty one. Holy.
Forty one. Holy.
And then I'll have to put in a new tape each time.
And then I'll have to put in a new tape each time.
Oh. Mhmh. Yeah.
Oh. Mhmh. Yeah.
Just a little bit. Oh.
Youʼll have to put a new tape in me too pretty soon!
[At shooḵ]
Yeah. [At shooḵ]
Oh, shucks!
Hey, you got papers where I can get you my name and your address. Áaa.
A wéit hás amsikoo áwé.
They know it there.
Wé s aa wuhéesʼi ḵu.oo áwé tlél k'idéin has du daa yaa ḵushusgé yá has yei nasxíxi.
Those people who are borrowing, they really donʼt understand well what they are causing [doing].
Chʼas tsu yéi koowayaatʼ du x̱ʼéidi s ashoowatán. Hm. [At shooḵ]
Just still itʼs been long that they closed the building. [the business???] Hm. [Laughter]
{At} Át tsú, tsú yéi has daayax̱aḵá aag̱áa,
Also, I also still tell them that, and then,
k'idéin du daa yaa ḵushusigéi káa yís kaadéi kg̱eehées'. [At shooḵ]
they understand very well that for a car you will borrow. [Laughter]
Aadéi x̱ʼéidé tsú...
Through the words also...
Yéil shaawát.
Raven woman. [Crow is the Inland term used for Raven.]
Oh yeah. Norma.
Oh yeah. Norma.
[At shooḵ]
{x̱ʼa} X̱'ax̱awóos'. [At shooḵ]
Iʼm asking her. [Laughter]
X̱at x̱'awawóos', [At shooḵ]
He asked me, [Laughter]
"Wanna play?"
[Normaʼs dog is asking.]
I just would like to sit and listen.
I just would like to sit and listen.
[At shooḵ]
Du tuwáa sigóo! [At shooḵ] Yeah.
He likes it. [Laughter] Yeah.
How would you say, "throw it"?
Mmhm. Kag̱éex'! Kag̱éex'!
Throw it! Throw it!
Yáa ḵu.éex' yei áyá yaa yanaxíxi,
This memorial that's going on,
Mhm. ch'áagu aayí, Yes. haa léelk'u hás, Hmm.
Yes. those long ago, Yes. our grandparents, Yes.
woosh has x̱'adawóos'in, Áaa.
they used to ask each other, Yes.
«Wáa sá shákdé {x̱at}x̱at gug̱watée, x̱at nanáani?» Áaa.
“What is maybe going to happen to me, when I die?” Yes.
«Aadóoch sá x̱at gux̱sanáa?»
“Who is going to give me a proper burial?”
Mm. Yéi á áwé, yee jeeyís x̱ʼawdudli.átgin, x̱á. Mmhm.
Yes. That's how for all of you, people used to talk about it, you know. Yes.
Aag̱áa áwé, a yáx̱ áyá, yáa shkalneek,
And then, itʼs like this, this story,
Áah, haa een sh keelneegí. Yéi áwé.
Yeah. when you are telling the story with us. Thatʼs right.
Tle wooch yáx̱ ditee.
Then it's the same as ours. [Itʼs the same as each otherʼs.]
Yak'éiyi aa aax̱ kei Mhm. tooteech, x̱á.
The good things we always bring out, you know. Yes.
Aaá. Yeah. Yeah.
Yes. Yeah. Yeah.
Naaléi daaduné yeedát.
Itʼs a long time [since] people worked on it now.
Tléikʼ. [At shooḵ] Ch'as uháanch áwé yéi daatoonéi yá aan.
No. [Laughter] We are the only ones who do that (work on it), on this land.
This only place, right here.
[Jeeskú is saying that Teslin is the only place that is doing things the old way.]
Át, a yáx̱ wooteeyí, wé haa x̱o̱oní {near} near Ätlin,
There, when it was like that, our friends near Atlin,
aadéi has aawax̱o̱ox̱ch,
they always called (summoned) us there,
yoo x̱'atángi yís.
to talk for the benefit of the language.
Haa tóoxʼu ádi ??? tlél aadé ch'a yéi haa tuwateeyi yé. Yeah. Yee éen tsú áyá haa yóo x̱'atángi,
The things inside us ??? not the way we wanted. Yeah. Also with you our language
aadé nax̱ duwa.áx̱ch. Hm.
the way it was heard heard. Yeah.
Ch'a goo sá aadé sé.
Just where did the voices go?
[At shooḵ]
He's just waiting. How would you say, "He's just waiting?"
[Speaking of an animal on the ground.]
Á yeeg̱áa hán.
Heʼs just waiting.
[At shooḵ]
You gotta talk to him. He {ca}
Don't look at me, I ainʼt gonna help you. Mhm [At shooḵ]
Ax̱ léelk'w yei haa daayaḵáyin, «Ḵatéeyi keitl, Lingít ax̱ʼaya.áx̱ch gí.» [At shooḵ] Thatʼs right.
My grandparent used to tell us that, “Apparently dogs regularly understand people.” [Laughter]
[At shook] Yeah. Yeah.
[Laughter] Yeah. Yeah.
That thing is shut off, eh? Mm.
Thatʼs alright.
Go ahead.
This one guy,
at daná, wé dleit ḵaa.
heʼs drinking, that white man.
Du shát du kaadé yéi yaawaḵaa á yís,
His wife said to him, about it,
kaawashóo keitl gáande wjixíx amsiteen, wé du shát.
she saw a drunk dog run outside, his wife.
Aag̱áa yéi adaayaḵá,
And then she tells him,
«Ch'a yóox̱ yijixíx, gáant wujixeexí keitl yóo áwé,
“Just over there you ran, when the dog ran out there,
tlé a yáx̱ áwé iyatee.
thatʼs how you are. [Thatʼs what you are like.]
Tlél daa sáyú daa yaa ḵushoosgé.»
He doesn't understand anything.”
Ch'a át hán.
He's just standing there.
Áx' áyá amsiteen, we keitl.
He saw the dog there.
Wéit shich-keitl ayamdijixíx tlé asinéexʼ.
That female dog ran back over there and then smells him.
[At shooḵ]
Ch'a yák'udé kei át uwashuḵ. [At shooḵ]
All of a sudden he laughed. [Laughter]
Áwé, this is the answer.
That is, this is the answer.
"You see, you say that dog, he don't know anything?"
"Look at him!" [At shooḵ]
«At, haagú, tse g̱én, kʼidéin asnéex'.» [At shooḵ]
“Come here. Look. He smells really well.”
"You say that dog they don't know nothing, you say?"
[At shooḵ]
Haa een sh kadulneek gé. Yeah.
They would tell us stories, didnʼt they. Yeah.
Ax̱ éesh yéi x̱'ayaḵá nuch, «Át yisa.áx̱!
My father always said, “You all listen to it!
Át yisa.áx̱ yá sh kalneek.» Mhm.
You all listen to this story!” Yes.
«Hél yisakoowú hél daatx̱ x̱á igux̱satee.
“If you don't know it, you will be good for nothing, you know.
"You won't be good for nothing if you don't listen, yu.á.» Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
“You won't be good for nothing if you don't listen, they say.” Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Aaá. Katuwa.aaḵw. Yeah.
Yes. We are trying. Yeah.
Haa x̱'éit has wusi.áx̱ áyá, yées ḵu.oo. Yéi áyá. Mm hm. Yeah.
They are listening to us, the young people. Thatʼs so. Mhm. Yeah.
Ax̱ shaantóox' yéi yatee, tlákw. Yeah. Mhm.
It's in my mind all the time. Yeah. Mhm.
«Ḵaa x̱'éix̱ nas.aax̱ích,» yéi haa daayaḵáyin ax̱ éesh. Yeah. Mhm.
“You always be listening to people,” my dad used to tell us. Yeah. Mhm.
Daḵl'awéidí ax̱ éesh. Oh yeah. Yeah.
My father was Daḵl'aweidí. Oh yeah. Yeah.
Naak'ush Tláa ḵa, Áaa. Keedisháank'i yéi dusáagun. Mmm. Mhm.
He used to be called Naak'ush Tláa and, Yes. Keedisháank'i. Mmm. Mmhm.
Haa een sh kalneek, núch yaa,
Heʼs always telling us this
ha, daaḵkadéi awu.aadí,
ha, of when people were going to the Interior [Inland],
woosh duskóowun, yú.á.
they used to know each other, they say.
Yéi á.
Thatʼs right.
Chʼa kʼát yaa áx̱ yaa ana.át yé, Yeah. woosh duskóowun.
After all, people are walking along at that place, Yeah. they used to know each other.
Yeedát ḵu.á hél yéi ootí. Yeah. Uhuh.
Now, however, itʼs not that way. Yeah. Uhuh.
Ax̱ toowú yak'éi yáa yagiyee, i x̱'éit x̱wasa.aax̱í. Mhm.
I'm happy today, to be listening to you. Yes.
Ax̱ shaantóox' yéi kg̱watée, ḵa yáatʼát káx' yéi kg̱watée, ách áyá, Yahaa.
It will be in my mind and this will be on it, because of this, Yes.
ax̱ toowú yak'éi x̱a i eedé.
I'm grateful to you, you know.
A yéi áyá x̱at yatee, x̱át tsú.
I am [feel] the same way, me too.
Aax̱ ax̱, toowú yak'éi.
After this I feel good.
Ha, gunalchéesh áyá, haa x̱o̱ot yeeỹ.aadí.
Well, thank you for coming among us.
Áwé a yáx̱ chʼi téeyin, tsu x̱ó̱ox̱ sitee.
Thatʼs the way it used to be, it is still among us.
Dé, haa i eench, Lingít a x̱o̱o x̱ʼatudli.átgi.
Now, us with you, we are talking Tlingit among us.
Tlagóo ḵú.oo héide shumditaani.
People of long ago opened it.
Yéi áwé yatee.
That's the way it is.
K'idéin déi kát haa seiwu.áx̱ gé át.
They really heard our voices well here, didnʼt they?
Kée yóo mtusinee, Ahah, yéi a daa yoo x̱ʼatula.átgi. Áaa.
We held it up high, Yes. when we were talking things over together. Yes.
Máa yatee yéixʼ tlél, chʼas ldakát áwé átx̱ tulayeix̱í yóo x̱'atánk.
Sometimes, not all the time, weʼre only using the language for everything.
Yá yeedát áwé,
Now however,
yéi haa yátxʼi yís.
for our children.
Kʼidéin haa jeex̱ haa x'oon gunalchéesh sá, Aaá. yít.
How very many thanks we have, Yes. son.
Yóo x̱'atánk
Language [The Tlingít language
ayáx̱ yak'éi k'idein.
is very well. [is doing very well.]
Ch'i tléix̱, yá haa yées nawáadix̱, {has du}
Forever, our young people,
has du jeeyís ax̱ tóo wulwútl k'idéin, has ayang̱adlaag̲ít.
I am wishing for them, so they will succeed [with the language].
Aaá. Mm.
Yes. Yes.
Gunalchéesh. Mm.
Thank you.
{daa ch kʼit} Sunʼs getting warm.
Sunʼs getting warm.
Yeah. [At shooḵ]
Yeah. [Laughter]
Should we move back to the shade? That whole day, I guess.
Should we move back to the shade?
[At shooḵ]
They'll kick us out of there again! [At shooḵ] Yeah.
Ah, I'm going to go to wash up. Ooh!
[At shooḵ] He's always looking the other way, where ever I throw it.
[TSK makes the “cut it”sign to the person recording the conversation.]