Mitchif vs. French vs. English

Mike Cleven ironmtn at BIGFOOT.COM
Sat Mar 6 20:34:47 UTC 1999

At 07:59 AM 3/6/99 -0400, The McDonald Family wrote:
>At 09:49 PM 3/5/1999 -0800, you wrote:
>>Responding to the McDonald family:
>>>>of PEI, and to Nova Scotia. I know some older people in their 30's who
go to
>>>>UPEI and speak with a slight Scottish burr.
>>"Older people in their 30's"?  Now what does that mean? (I'm coming up on
>>my 45th birthday here this month.)  Are you saying that people with
>>slight Scottish burrs age faster than Irishmen?
>No, I'm saying that people in their thirties are at least eleven years older
>than me. :)
>>Actually I've got a friend at church, born and raised in Oregon and a
>>lifelong NW USA resident, about my age, of mixed Scottish and Chehalis
>>ancestry, who has a slight Scottish burr in his speech; and it gets more
>>marked when he goes to the Highland Games.
>I can definitely believe that.
>>Well, this has been refreshingly off-topic! ;-)

But is it?  The intermingling of cultures and languages is part of the
history of the Jargon and the Wawa Illahee, isn't it?  I've met more than
one Indian who was bemused to learn that their Irish ancestors _also_ used
the hand-drum and had a rich "tribal culture" of their own, and a history
of repression and great suffering to go with it - a history that in no
small part played a large part in the coming of the Irish to North America,
no less.

There's a scene in a play that made the rounds of BC a few years ago - an
audience-interaction development script called "Our Footsteps" (I've
forgotten the Gitksan title) that explored the in situ experience of the
Delgamuukw claim where a Scottish pre-emptor's wife, who has become friends
with the local native women, challenges her husband over the rights of the
natives on the basis of his own family's history - exiles of the Highland
Clearances in Scotland - and how these people were being treated the same
way his father and grandfather had been disenfranchised of their legacy.
It was a very interesting and dynamic theatrical and political experience,
this play - I'm sure Terry Glavin and Barbara Harris must remember it.  It
went both ways - the natives coming to understand that the new peoples had
come to this new country to escape hardship or danger, or like the Scots
and the Irish were victims of actively being made exiles or refugees.  This
is the common ground that I think most Western Canadians in the long term
will come to understand and have empathy for - that the First Nations and
the new peoples share more in common than is at first evident in the
history, and not all have a great deal of choice in why they are here.
Despite the posturing and vitriol of the current anti-native movement and
the tabloid press, there is a lot of goodwill towards the native cause in
British Columbia to this day in the broader population - which is why the
increasing histrionics of the anti-native extremists, who aren't getting
their way and who in the long run really don't stand a hope in hell....

Anyway, the mixing of peoples and tongues is what brought about the Jargon
(and its Michif "cousin") into being, so this to me is on-topic.  It's a
pity that there weren't Gaelic and Erse words added to the Jargon's mix,
considering the amount of Celt-native intermarriage in the early years......

>My apologies to anyone who's offended ...
>>Liland Brajant Ros' * UEA-D, Seatlo Usono * FD Baptismo, AA, US-lit-ro
>>      204 N 39th St / Seattle WA 98103 Usono | tel 206-633-2434
>>    lilandbr at / lilandbr at / lbrnpusa at
>>        webpage "La Lilandejo" -
Mike Cleven
ironmtn at

The thunderbolt steers all things.
                           - Herakleitos

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