FEATURED WORDS: I'M LEARNING

Words by Keisha Everson
Photo by Alexandre Crouzet

Wi’yugwa̱mala dłuwa̱n, – Baby with me,

Łax̱wa̱lanukwa̱n tłus. – I love you.

Mu’la̱n gax̱a’aḵus. – I’m grateful for you.

Da̱nx̱a̱latła̱n gax̱a’aḵus. – I will sing for you.

Hayulistła̱n bak’wa̱mḵala. – I will always speak.

Labalisatła̱n łaxwa̱lanukwtłus. – I’ll love you forever.

O’a̱mtła̱n ha̱yulis ix’aktłus – I’ll like you for always.

Wa’wasda̱mtła̱n ḵ̓wa̱lał – As long as I’m living

Sux’se’a̱mtła̱n wa̱’yug̱wa̱malał – my baby you’ll be.

Ika̱n noḵ̓e gax̱a’aḵus. – My heart is glad for you.

Łax̱wa̱la nukwa̱n’s wila’x̱a̱n’s sasa̱m. – All our children are loved.

Ḵ̓aḵ̓utła̱n x̱a̱n kwak’wale. I’m learning – apologies for any errors. 


—with gratitude to Robert Munsch


Keisha Everson is a poet, mother and First Nations language and culture teacher of Kwakwaka’wakw, K’omoks, Tlingit, Dutch, and English ancestry.