Bill Seward: Dad Saves A Kid

Dad Saves A Kid

’a-a sii’em’ nu siiye’yu, yuthustalu tsun tse’ kwthunu men kwsun yaay’usth ’ulh, hwthey’wiil’s.

My most honoured friends, I will tell of you about my father, when he was working as a longshoreman.

tum’xuytl’ ’i yath ’ulh ’uw’ qux stl’ul’iqulh ni’ ’u tu …. nem’ kw’akw’i’yutus thu slhewut’.
It was winter and there were always a lot of children at the river fishing for herring.

’i’ wulh xuytl’that qux spiw ….
It got cold and very icy.

m’i tul’e ’u tu sta’luw’ kws m’is …
And they came down to the river …

[’i’] wulh qwus tu na’nuts’a’ stl’i’tl’qulh, ’i’ ’uwu ’ul’ niis st’ee kw’uw’ nem’ kw’ ts’ewut.
And one child fell into the river, and nobody tried to help him.

’i’ wulh m’i kw’i kw’unu men ’i’ wulh lumnuhwus tu qux mustimuhw ’e’ut lhuxlhuxi’lush ’i’ ’u tu’i.
My father came up (from the ship) and he saw a lot of people standing around there.

suw’ ptem’, “’i ’a’lu tstamut?”
So he asked, “What happenend?”

“ni’ qwus tu stl’i’tl’qulh.”
“A child fell into the water,” (they said.)

suw’ me’shenums kw’unu men, me’shus tu kupous suw’ nuqum ’u tu xuytl’ qa’ t’itsum,
And so my father took off his shoes, and he took off his coat, and he dove into the freezing water and swam.

suw’ tiqw’ ’u tu qa’ ’i’ ni’ tl’pil tu stl’i’tl’qulh.
When he hit the water, the kid went down.

suw’ t’itsum kw’unu men. suw’ tus suw’ nuqums.
My father swam out there and dove down.

’i m’i kwunnuhwus tey’ stl’i’tl’qulh m’i lheelust-hwus.
And he managed to get ahold of that kid.and he brought him to shore.

’i m’i kwunnuhwus tu slhekw’ums ’e’ut m’i hulithut.
He managed to breathe into him and bring him back to life.

suw’ ’umut-s tu tawun tst ’amustum kw’unu men nem’ xlhastum.
So the town gave my dad had a banquet for him.’

’amustum ’u tu st’ee kw’uw’ sq’ews kwsus st’ee kw’uw’ hulitus tu stl’i’tl’qulh.
They gave him an award for saving the child.

’i’ nan nuw’ (ts’ets’) mukw’ mustimuhw hum’i ’i’ yu kwukwun’utsustum’ kw’unu men.
And all the people came over and were shaking my father’s hand.

’i m’i tetsul tuw’ tswe’ mens tswe’ tens ’u tu stl’i’tl’qulh ni’ hulitus,
But when the father and mother of the boy he saved arrived,

ni’ st’e ’u kw’u nuw’ ’uwu ’ul’ niis tuw’ sthuthi’stum kw’unu men.
it seemed they didn’t treat my dad very politely.

nilh wa’lu kws hwulmuhws ’u sht’es ’u kw’u nuw’ tl’uhwla’ustum ’ul’.
Perhaps because he was First Nations, and they were just rude to him.

’i’ tun’a kweyul ’i’ ni’ tst st’e ’u kw’uw’ hwu ts’its’uw’atul’ ’i’ tu hwunitum.
Today we are cooperating with the white people.

ni’ tst st’e’ ’u kw’uw’ hwu la’lum’utul’.
We look after one other.

ni’ tst hwu ’uy’ shqwaluwun tst kwsut st’e’ ’u kw’uw’ ts’ets’uw’atul’ ’uw’ yath.
And we are happy that we are helping each other always.

’uw’ hay lhu …’uwus lhu hay ’us kws st’e tst ’u kw’uw’ hwu nuts’umat.
Don’t let the differences stand in the way of being in agreement.

’iyus tst ’ul’ kws nuts’umatul’ tst ’u tu hwunitum’.
We are happy to cooperate with the white people

’uw’ hay ’ul’ nu st’iim’ nu sts’iitalu, sii’em’ nu siiye’yu.
That’s all and I thank you, dear friends.

hay tseep q’u. ni’ hay.
Thank you. The end.


Story told by Bill Seward.
Transcribed by Ruby Peter and Donna Gerdts.
Translated by Bill Seward and Donna Gerdts.
Filmed by Chris Bouris
Audio and video post-production by Chris Bouris, Sean Milliken, and Zoey Peterson.
Titles by Donna Gerdts.