The Chinook Jargon of Cascadia

If you live in the bioregion of Cascadia (and possibly even if you don’t), you need to learn Chinuk Jargon! I really encourage you to learn your local pidgin, if you can discover it; all the reasons below most likely apply to your area of North America (sorry if you hail from outside of Turtle Island…you’ll have to explore on your own).

Not only do place-names across the region suddenly illuminate themselves once you’ve learned the trade language of Chinuk Jargon, but the language has always served as a cross-cultural talk for those living and working in this area.

Working people here, from northern California to Alaska, and east to Montana, for hundreds of years have spoken this language. If you fished, hunted, crafted, or harvested in any way, and traded, you most likely spoke some form of the Jargon.

As many forms of the Jargon existed as did cultures speaking it; now it contains influences of French, English, Hawaiian, and more, along with the original indigenous foundations of the language.

So learn and play with it; allow your culture to shape it, and allow it to shape your culture.

A good beginning place to start:

The Chinook Book.

Written by Willem