kwi’kw’ushnuts ’i’ tthu tsetsul’ulhtun’ – Small Number and the Salmon Harvesters

kw’i’kw’ushnuts ’i’ tthu tsetsul’ulhtun’
Small Number and the Salmon Harvesters

stl’i’tl’qulh tthu kw’i’kw’ushnuts, ’i’ ya-a-ath ’uw’ ni’ ’u tthu ti’ya’xween.
Small Number is a young boy who gets into a lot of mischief.

ni’ tthu lelum’s tthu shhwuw’welis ni’ ’u tthu tsuwmuns tthu sta’luw’.
His parents’ house is at the beach by the river.

ni’ wulh nem’ yuxay’tl’thut.
The weather is getting cold.

suw’ ts’ets’uw’utum’ ’utl’ kw’i’kw’ushnuts tthu mens, they’tus thu swultuns.
And Small Number is helping his father to fix the nets.

nilh tse’ hakw ’uw’ kweyulus kws nem’s ’aluxutus kw’ stseelhtun.
They will be used tomorrow for when they go harvest some salmon.

“hay ’ul’ qux hwihwuwul’ stseelhtun ni’ ’u kwthu tsuwmun.
A lot of salmon are arriving at the beach.

ni’ stl’atl’um’ kws nem’ tst thuyt kwthu swultun kwus hwun’ netulh, kwus hwun’ sul’lits’ thu kw’atl’kwu qa’,” thut tthu men ’utl’ kw’i’kw’ushnuts.
We need to set our net in the morning while the tide is still high,” says Small Number’s father.

ni’ tl’lim’ ’uw’ yelhs yuhuw’as tthu kw’i’kw’ushnuts ’u tthu mens kws nem’s tseelhtun tthu tsi’tsut.
It’s the very first time that Small Number is going to catch salmon with his father.

’i’ hay ’ul’ qux ni’ stl’i’s kws tul’nuhws.
And he has many questions.

“nutsim’ ’a’lu ’u shus st’i’am’ tthu smul’em’nut ’u tthu lhq’een’ ’i’ hay tthu xpey’ ni’ ni’ ’u tthu nuts’a’ lhq’een’ ’u thu swultun?
“Why are there little rocks on one side on this side of the net and pieces of cedar on the other side?

stem kwu’elh kw’ shhwakwushs tthu yuse’lu thithus smunmeent?
What do they use those two big rocks for?

’i’ ni’ stsekwul’ kws hwutusth tthu mumun’lh smul’em’nut?
What is the weight of those little rocks?

’i’ stsekwul’ kws tsakwtuls tse’?
How far apart are they?

nutsim’ kwu’elh shus sxut’xut’ekw’ tthu xpey’?
Why are the pieces of cedar carved in this shape?

stsekwul’ kws tl’eqt-s thu swultun?
How long is the net?

stsekwul’ kws tl’ups thu swultun?”
How deep is the net?”

“si’amut ch ’ul’, kw’i’kw’ushnuts!
“Calm down, Small Number!

ni’ ch tse’ p’uw’ tul’nuhw ’uw’ kweyulus,” hwyunumus tthu tsi’tsut.
You will learn about it tomorrow,” smiles Father.

“nem’ lhu xwchenum nem’ ’u kwthun’ si’lu ’i’ kwthun’ shhwum’nikw.
“Now run to your grandfather and your uncle.

yuthust ch kwsus wulh hwusaay’ thu swultun.
Tell them that the net is ready.

’i’ stl’atl’um’ kws m’is ’i ’u tthu tsetsuw’ kws hwuw’es q’iltus.”
And that they should be at our beach before mid-morning!”

hay ’ul’ siil’ukw kw’i’kw’ushnuts ’u tthu ni’ yutatul’nuhwus.
Small Number is very excited about what he is learning.

kwus wulh ’itut tthuw’nilh, suw’ hwi’ qul’qul’uthun’ kwus m’i tstl’um tthu stseelhtun ’utl’qul ’u tthu qa’.
When he finally gets to sleep, he dreams about a big salmon jumping out of the water.

’i’ ni’ tl’uw’ hwi’ hwu’alum’ tstl’um’ nuw’ilum ’u tthu qa’.
And then it jumps back into the water.

“hwuythut, kw’i’kw’ushnuts! hwuythut!
Wake up, Small Number! Wake up!

ni’ wulh ni’ ’u tthu tsetsuw’ kwthun’ men,”yuthustum ’u thu tens tthu kwi’kw’ushnuts.
Your father is already down at the beach,” Small Number’s mom tells him.

kwus wulh nem’ ’utl’qul, ’i’ ’unuhw kw’i’kw’ushnuts suw’ hwsuw’q’us.
When he steps outside, Small Number stops and looks around.

suw’ lumnuhws tthu hay ’ul’ thithu smunmunut xwte’ ’u tthu tun’tsa’luqw.
He sees big mountain peaks toward the wilderness.

suw’ ts’elhum’utus tthu ha’yul’uq qa’ ’i’ tthu qwuni ni’ ’u tthu tsetsuw’.
He hears the big waves and the seagulls at the beach.

lumnum ’utl’ kw’i’kw’ushnuts tthu ni’ ’u tthu tsetsuw’ qux suw’wuy’qe’.
Small Number sees a group of men.

sus ’uw’ xwchenum’ nem’ numnusus.
And he runs towards them.

xwum kwus yuxwan’chunum’.
He’s a fast runner.

“tahw ch ’uw’ yustl’atl’um’ kw’i’kw’ushnuts,” thut-stum ’u tthu si’lus, p’aytl’ustum tthuw’nilh.
“Right on time, Small Number,” says his grandfather, giving him a hug.

“’i’ tst wulh hwus’aalhule’ts ’u thu swultun, tthu le’tsus, ’i tst wulh saay’ kws huye’ tst.”
“Our canoes are loaded with nets and baskets and we are ready to go.”

kwus wulh tus ’u kwthu tsuwmun, tthu si’lu ’utl’ kw’i’kw’ushnuts ’i’ tthu shhwum’nikws ni’ nem’ hwkw’ast thu snuhwulh nem’ tsumst-hwus ’u tthu tsuwmun.
When they arrive at the beach, Small Number’s grandfather and uncle pull their canoe up onto the beach.

nuw’ ’ula’ulh ’ul’ ’u tthu snuhwulh kw’i’kw’ushnuts ’i’ tthu mens.
Small Number and his father stay in their canoe.

sus nem’ ’uw’ hw’umtsustus tthu si’lus ’u thu swultun.
And they pass the ends of the net lines to his grandfather.

sus nem’ ’uw’ ’ushul kw’i’kw’ushnuts nem’ taal tun’ni’ ’u tthu tsuwmun.
Small Number paddles away from the beach.

’i’ hay tthu tsi’tsut, hay ’i’ yutelht thu swultun.
Father continues to play out the net.

kwus wulh ’usup’ thu swultun, sus nem’ ’uw’ thuytus tthu snuhwulhs stutes ’u tthu tsuwmun.
When the net is finished, they align the canoe so it’s close to the beach.

suw’ hwi’ wenshus tthu tsi’tsut tthu thithus smeent, ni’ st’i’am’ ’u thu swultun sus ’uw’ nuw’ushum ’u tthu qa’.
And Father throws a big rock that is attached to the net into the water.

thut-st-hwus tthu mun’us tthu tsi’tsut, “tu’i nilh tse’ ni’ ’un’nehwstuhw thu swultun kws ’uwus kweyuxumus.”
And Father says to Small Number, “This will hold the net in place so it won’t move.”

“a-a-a ni’ tsun tul’nuhw,” teems kw’i’kw’ushnuts.
“Oh, I see,” yells Small Number.

“tu’i smunmeent, nilh tse’ ni’ yust’i’am’ ’u tthu swultun, nilh tse’ ni’ tl’itl’up ’u tthu qa’.

“These little rocks here will be stuck to the net deep down in the water.

’i’ hay tthu xpey’ nilh tse’ ni’ m’i kw’i’stuhw tthu lhq’een’s tthu swultun, sus ’uw’ hwustutilh thu swultun.”
And the pieces of cedar will keep the other edge of the net on the surface and that will open up the net!”

lumnum ’utl’ kw’i’kw’ushnuts tthu qu-u-ux stseelhtun wulh m’i lheel.
Small Number sees a lot of salmon coming toward the shore.

’i’ m’i yuhwihwuwul’ yusq’uq’a’ kwus yuququmul’ thu qa’.
They are coming to shore with the incoming tide.

le’lum’utus kwus hay ’ul’ thithu tthu stseelhtun.
He sees how big the salmon are.

suw’ tul’nuhwus kwus xwumthat kwus kw’etxum’ tthu ts’xemuns.
And he realizes that his chest is pounding fast.

sht’es kwus hay ’ul’ kw’alum’kw’um’ ’i’ kwus hay ’ul’ ’uli’uy’mut tthu stseelhtun.
The salmon are realy strong and really beautiful.

qwsunutun tthu ni’ st’i’am’ ’u tthu lhq’een’s tthu swultun.
An anchor is attached to the end of the net.

kw’i’kw’ushnuts ni’ nem’ thuyt thu snuhwulh nem’ qwsutus ’u tthu tsuwmun, ni’ shni’s tthu mens.
Small Number turns the canoe towards the beach where his father is.

sus ’uw’ hw’umtsustus tthu mens ’u tthu xwi’lum’s thu swultun, nemust-hwus ’u tthu shhwum’nikw ’utl’ kw’i’kw’ushnuts.
His father passes the net lines to Small Number’s uncle.

ni’ wulh m’i hwkw’astus tthu tsi’tsut tthu snuhwulh nem’ tsumst hwus ’utl’qtus ’u tthu qa’.
Father pulls the canoe up on the beach out of the water.

suw’ putum’s kw’i’kw’ushnuts, “kw’in tse’ stseelhtun kw’u ni’ shun’tsu tst ’u tun’a kweyul?
Small Numbers asks, “How many salmon will we catch today?

ni’ tse’ kw’elh stsekwul’ kws thuluqtul tst ’u tthu stseelhtun, ’u tthu ts’lhhwulmuhw tst?
How are we going to divide the salmon among our families?

ni’ ’u tse’ kwu’elh ’uw’ st’atl’um’ ’u tthuw’ mukw’ lhwet?
Will there be enough for everybody?

ni’ tse’ kwu’elh stsekwul’ kws m’is hwu’alum’ tse’ qul’et tthu stseelhtun?”
How do we know that the salmon will come back?”

“ni’ p’uw’ ni’ kwthu ni’ sht’e tst,” thut-stum ’u tthu mens.
“We have our ways,” his father says to him.

“’uw’ ’i ch ’ul’ kwu’elh ’u tu’i ts’ewut ch tthun’ shhwum’nikw kws m’is hwkw’atus tthu xwi’lum’s tthu swultun.
“Now, you stay here to help your uncle pull on the net lines.

nem’ tsun tse’ ts’ewut tthun’ si’lu.”
I’m going to help your grandfather.”

sus m’uw’ulh hwkw’atus ’ul’ tthu swultun.
They start hauling in the net.

le’lum’utum’ ’utl’ kw’i’kw’ushnuts kwus mukw’ tthu stseelhtun ni’ ’u tthu tsetsuw’, mukw’ nuw’ hwusun’iw’ ’u tthu swultun.
Small Number sees that fish are all at the beach, all inside the net.

suw’ thut-stuhws tthu shhwhum’nikws, “’uy’ kwutst m’i ’ewu ’u tun’a kwus sul’lits’ thu qa’.
And he says to his uncle, “It’s good that we came during high tide.

ha’ulh ’i stth’etth’um thu qa’, ’i’ wuwa’ skw’eyulh kws kwunnuhw tst kw’ stseelhtun.
If the tide had been low, maybe we wouldn’t have caught any salmon.

nan ’uw’ ’uy’ tthu ni’ sht’e tst.”
Our ways are good!”

suw’ ptem’, “nutsim’ shus sht’eewun’ tthu kw’i’kw’ushnuts kws ha’s ni’ stth’etth’um thu qa’ ’i’ skw’ey kws kwunnuhws kw’ qux stseelhtun?”
Question: Why did Small Number think that during a low tide the catch would have been much smaller?


A movie by Veselin Jungic and the Math Catcher team at
Simon Fraser University, IRMACS Center

Math Catcher Storytelling Project

Story written by Veselin Jungic & Mark MacLean
Illustrated by Simon Roy & Jess Pollard
Video by Andy Gavel
Hul’q’umi’num’ translation, and Editing by Ruby Peter (Sti’tum’at) and Donna Gerdts (Sp’aqw’um’ultunaat)
Sound recording and editing: Thomas Jones (Sewit) & Donna Gerdts
Special thanks to: Joan Brown (Quwqumalwut), CSETS and Leona Louie (Stitiye’).

Funding for Hul’q’umi’num’ language: First Peoples’ Cultural Council, SSHRC.