Posts Tagged ‘arlee’

Missoulian reporter Kim Briggeman takes us inside the Kyi-Yo powwow held on the University of Montana’s campus last weekend.

Three-year-old Jerome Vielle of Lethbridge, Alberta, waits for dancing to start during the grand entry of the Kyi-Yo Pow Wow on Saturday at the University of Montana. The powwow is the largest, longest-running, student-organized powwow in the country. (Photo by TOM BAUER/Missoulian)


It’s one of the oldest campus powwows around and this year was another celebration to remember.

    The sun is coming up on a new powwow season, the perfect time for Diana Cote of Arlee to bring her group of young drummers back to the University of Montana.

    “We’ve been singing ever since my boys were just babies,” Cote said Saturday as she waited to perform at the 44th annual Kyi-Yo Celebration. “My oldest boy is 40, so we’ve been singing for awhile.”

    Cote’s name in her native Bitterroot Salish is Scnpaqci – or Sunrise. That’s the name of her drum group, too.

    “You know when the sun first comes up, that’s when you awake, so when you think of sunrise you’re awaking to the drums,” she said. “So I always have youngsters at my drum. They’re just learning to sing.”

    The philosophy fit well into the theme of this year’s powwow – “Empowerment through Education.”

    Cote’s drum was set up on the east side of the Adams Center arena. Even as she spoke, another of the professional drum groups on the west side launched into a song with a pulsing beat.

    “We’re not entering into the contest because we’re not trying to say we’re the best or nothing,” Cote said. “We’re just honoring our way of life to sing and be one with the creator and earth.”
    Cote, who’ll turn 61 in June, said sometimes during the summer powwows she’ll notice a small boy or girl nearby watching the group.

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And don’t miss the video of Kyi-Yo.

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Nkwusm school director Rosie Matt pages through the second edition of the Salish Language Translation Dictionary in the language school’s storage room, a former bowling alley. Some 4,000 copies of the dictionary were printed in August. (Photo by Linda Thompson/Missoulian)

Nkwusm school director Rosie Matt pages through the second edition of the Salish Language Translation Dictionary in the language school’s storage room, a former bowling alley. Some 4,000 copies of the dictionary were printed in August. (Photo by Linda Thompson/Missoulian)

By JENNA CEDERBERG
of the Missoulian

Four thousand new doses of medicine for the Salish language arrived at the Nkwusm language immersion school in Arlee this summer.

The second edition of Nkwusm executive director Tachini Pete’s Salish language translation dictionary was printed in hardback form in August and copies are now being housed in the school where students learn the Native language each day.

The book, “Selis nyo?nuntn: Medicine for the Salish Language” includes English to Salish translations in the updated, streamlined form.

A scholar of the language for 16 years, Pete knows elders are elders and won’t be around forever. Around 50 fluent Salish speakers remain today, and few are under the age of 75.

“That’s always been my motivation, that other people could learn, not just me. I just want to provide the best tool they can have,” Pete said.

It’s the first time the language has been presented in this form so completely. Pete’s first edition was 186 pages long. The latest edition boasts 816 pages. It’s not only filled in with a treasure trove of new words and information, but it’s in a more useable form, Pete said.

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