Bill Seward: Bill Survives Longshoring Accident

Bill Survives a Longshoring Accident

kwunus hwun’a ’ul’ nem’ yaays, ni’ ’u tu longshoring,
When I was first working at longshoring,

qux mustimuhw wulh s’ul’eluhw ni’ wulh ’ikw’ ’u tun’a kweyul.
that’s the day that there were a lot of Elders who had already passed away.

’uw’ hay tuw’ s’aa’lh thathun hul’q’umi’num’ ha’kwushus.
It was our own Hul’q’umi’num’ language that they were using.

’i’ niilh tsun ’uw’ tatul’uthun’.
And I could understand what they were saying.

’i’ ni’ tsun tl’uy’q’ suw’ nemustelum ’u thu q’aq’i’ew’t-hw.
I was crushed (on the job) and they took me to the hospital.

nus nuw’ ni’ ’u thu q’aq’i’ew’t-hw ’i’ ni’ tsun q’ay.
And when I was at the hospital, I died.

ni’ tsun qwiil’qwul’stuhw tuw’ t’at mustimuhw
And I was talking to the ancestors

ni’ sq’aq’i’ wulh hith ’ulh niis sq’aq’i’ ’i’ ’e’ut sq’uq’ip ni’ ’u tunu shni’.
that were dead and a longtime gone, and they were gathered in my room.

suw’ hun’nuw’ kw’unu si’lu ni’ tl’uw’ s’i’kw’.
I my late grandfather came in, who was also deceased.

wulh t’aluxwutum tey’ ’i ’e’ut ’i le’lum’utham’shus
He chased them away, the ones that were looking at me.

“nem’ tse’ xunqun, nem’ tse’ hwu’alum’
We will go away and return another time.

skw’ey kws kwunut tst.”
We won’t take him now.”

’i’ tl’e’ wulh xulhuluw’s qul’et.
And then I was suffering again.

’i tsun m’i hwu’alum’ ’i’ ni’ tsun ’uw’ ts’i’ts’elhum’ut tu doctor ni’ le’lum’utal’hw,
And I returned and I was hearing the doctor that was taking care of us,

“’e’ut m’i tuw’ hwu’alum’. ’e’ut m’i xunqun.”
“He’s come back. He’s returned.”

A story in Hul’q’umi’num’ by Bill Seward, Snuneymuxw First Nations, Nanaimo, British Columbia.
Recorded by Chris Bouris.
Transcribed by Ruby Peter, typed by Sarah Kell, and edited and translated by Donna Gerdts.
Thanks to Chris Bouris, Sean Milliken, and Zoey Peterson for video and post-production.