Ruby Peter’s Stories


Sxwi’em’ ’utl’ Sti’tum’at

Kwa’mutsun elder Ruby Peter – Sti’tuma’t – shares four stories learned from her parents Basil Alphonse – Xitsulenuhw – and Cecilia Alphonse – Qwulsimtunaat. Mrs. Peter was born in 1932 and raised speaking Hul’q’umi’num’ at Kwa’mutsun, where she still resides today. Kwa’mutsun is one of the Cowichan Tribes of British Columbia, Canada. Mrs. Peter is a linguist and language teacher who has worked as a language expert ever since she started translating in court as a teen-ager. Trained in linguistics at the University of Victoria, she is one of the few people that can accurately write her language. She has co-authored a dictionary and many academic papers, as well as assisted many linguists and students with their research. She currently teaches for Simon Fraser University and does language documentation and analysis and materials development. She enjoys performing in public and hopes that you enjoy listening to and studying her stories.

These stories were filmed in August 2009 in Duncan, British Columbia, at Donna Gerdts’ research site. Transcriptions and translations are by Ruby Peter and Donna Gerdts. Thanks to Jason Loutitt for filming, to Zoey Peterson for video post-production, and to Donna for the sub-titles.