The first book published in Tsuut’ina—a critically endangered language—in over a century
With fewer than 20 speakers, Tsuut’ina is a critically endangered language. Isúh Áníi / As Grandmother Said brings together nine traditional narratives and historical accounts in the Tsuut’ina language, originally narrated by Elders Dátł’ìshí Ts’ìká Bessie Meguinis (1883–1987) and Ninàghá Tsìtł’á Willie Little Bear (1912–1989). At once an act of language preservation and a learning resource, each story is retold in Tsuut’ina by Dit’óní Didlíshí Dr. Bruce Starlight and is presented with English translations and a Tsuut’ina-to-English glossary.
The narratives included in this collection cover considerable ground, ranging from the creation of the world in the caring hands of Xàlítsa-tsii and his animal helpers, to accounts of separation, migration, and cross-cultural contact that mark major turning points in Tsuut’ina history, and to important cultural and ceremonial items and practices that the Tsuut’ina Nation maintains to this day.
These stories will be of lasting value to Tsuut’ina language learners and teachers, and will share the legacy of Elders Bessie Meguinis and Willie Little Bear with generations of Tsuut’ina to come.