A Voice Great Within Us
Author(s): Charles Lillard
Synopsis: Skookum, cultus, hyak, saltchuck, klahowya, tillicum: It is in words like these that the last vestiges of a lost British Columbian language remain. It was known as “Chinook”. Its use today is mainly confined to colloquialisms and place names like Boston Bar, Canim Lake, Illahee Mountian, Snass Creek, and Skookumchuck. It began as a trading jargon, but it soon evolved into a distinct West Coast tongue. Down through the years as many as a quarter of a million people relied on it. Chinook was an everyday necessity.