Paper pub. date
May 2017
ISBN 9780870718830 (paperback)
7 x 10, 320 pages. 30 B&W photographs. 2 maps.

My Life, by Louis Kenoyer

Reminiscences of a Grand Ronde Reservation Childhood

Louis Kenoyer, Jedd Schrock, and Henry Zenk
Published in cooperation with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Dictated in Tualatin Kalapuya to Melville Jacobs, Jaime de Angulo, and L. S. Freeland. Introduction and Commentaries by Henry Zenk. Translation by Jedd Schrock and Henry Zenk. Foreword by Stephen Dow Beckham

My Life, by Louis Kenoyer was dictated in Tualatin Northern Kalapuya by Louis Kenoyer, the last known speaker of that language. A rare, first-person narrative by a Native American describing life on an Oregon reservation, Kenoyer’s account tells the story of his childhood on the late-nineteenth century Grand Ronde Reservation. It includes compelling descriptions of daily life in the reservation community, capturing the intermingling of new Euro-American ways with persisting indigenous beliefs and practices.

The first quarter of the narrative was dictated to Jaime de Angulo and L. S. Freeland in 1928, the remainder to Melville Jacobs in 1936. Louis Kenoyer died in 1937, before Jacobs could complete a translation with him. Jacobs subsequently prepared a transcript from the translated portions of the text, but the last quarter of the complete narrative remained untranslated until now. Henry Zenk and Jedd Schrock drew on the previously translated portions of the narrative, as well as on available supporting linguistic, ethnographic, and historical documentation, to complete the work for this volume. The result is a complete bilingual English-Tualatin text, accompanied by extensive notes and commentary providing historical and ethnographic context.

About the author

Louis Kenoyer (baχawádas) was born in 1868 at Grand Ronde Reservation, Oregon. He died in
1937 at Yakama Reservation, Washington.

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Jedd Schrock is a language learner, teacher, and documentarian. He earned an MA in Linguistics from Northeastern Illinois University. He lives in Portland, Oregon, where his interests have centered primarily on the Native languages of Western Oregon and Washington.

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Henry Zenk received a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Oregon in 1984. Since 1998 he has been a linguistic consultant for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. He compiled and edited Chinuk Wawa as Our Elders Teach Us to Speak It, a new Chinuk Wawa dictionary published by the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.

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"My Life, by Louis Kenoyer is a rare and beautifully contextualized told-to narrative that presents the life and times of Louis Kenoyer and, in doing so, provides invaluable insight into Native-newcomer relations in nineteenth century Oregon...Of great value is the structural analysis of Kenoyer's narrative as a work of oral literature and the historical context provided by the authors."
- Meagan Evelyn Gouch, Oregon Historical Quarterly

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