As spoken by a group of elders in the early 1980s when thinking about putting their language to writing.

The words and sentences in this dictionary are mostly the contribution of Twáway, otherwise known of as Inez Spino Reves. Twáway has never flinched from working with linguists, and her command of the “old language” with all its intricacies of grammar and vocabulary is second to none. Other Umatilla contributors are Charley McKay, Donald Joe, Emily Littlefish, Fred Hill, Joan Watlamet, Mildred Quaempts, and Thomas Morning Owl. Animal and plant identifications were much aided by botanist Dave Corliss (personal communication) and by Eugene Hunn (1979, 1990).

We are also indebted to Melville Jacobs for data collected on the Umatilla Reservation from Cy Johnly, Wade Minthorn, Allan Patawa and Celestine Minthorn (see Jacobs 1931:98). Other Sahaptin speakers who worked with Melville Jacobs were Sam N. Eyley, Jr., Joe Hunt, Peter McGuff, Samson Quaempts, and J. J. Spencer.

Bruce Rigsby started work on Sahaptin in 1963 and was the first to provide a phonemic anal- ysis of the language. We wish to thank him for his input and many wise suggestions. His Umatilla informants included Vera Jones (Támskutalil), Inez Spino Reves, Susie Joe (Líˀaat), Alice Barnhart, and Charles McKay. Others who worked with Bruce Rigsby include Tom Andrews, Virginia Beavert, Winnie Burke, George Nanamkin, Walter Pond, Alex Saluskin Minnie Show- away, Frank Sohappy, Sam Sturgis, Henry Thompson, and Linton Winishut.

At Warm Springs Henry Millstein consulted with Columbia River Sahaptin speakers which include Amelia Colwash, Betty Lou Lucio, Bernice Mitchell, Matilda Mitchell, Sylvia Sahme, Nettie Showaway, Ada Sooksoit, Hazel Suppah, and Sylvia Wallulatum.

James Selam, speaker of a Columbia River dialect, was the primary informant for Eugene Hunn (1990), and Virginia Beavert, a Yakima speaker, has worked extensively with Sharon Hargus of the University of Washington. Some others who worked with Eugene Hunn are Elsie Pistolhead, Sara Quaempts, Delsie Albert Selam, Otis Shiloh, and Donald Umtuch. Also Virginia Beavert has collaborated extensively with Joana Jansen of the University of Oregon.

Appreciation is extended to the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) for its steadfast support, morally and financially, of its Language Program. Many Sahaptin speakers have been involved, and for their willing cooperation we are forever grateful.

The following individuals have worked directly with the CTUIR Language Program or formerly with its linguist. Our apologies to those who may have wished to contribute but never had the opportunity.

  • Kathryn Arquette
  • Cecelia Bearchum
  • Virginia Beavert
  • Margaret Buck
  • Sally Buck
  • Alice Florendo
  • Verbena Green
  • Barbara Heemsah
  • Fred Hill, Sr.
  • Lillian Hoptowit
  • Mary Jim Chapman
  • Donald Joe
  • Mary Dick John
  • Rose L.-Y. John
  • Elizabeth Jones
  • Emily Littlefish
  • Louise Beavert Lloyd
  • Babtist Lumley
  • Agnes Billy Mark
  • Edith McCloud
  • Charles McKay
  • Thomas Morning Owl
  • Mildred Quaempts
  • Inez Reves
  • Ellen Saluskin
  • Carrie Sampson
  • Nettie Showaway
  • Ada Sooksoit
  • Bobby Tamalwash
  • Joseph Thompson
  • Lester Umtuch
  • Virginia Wyena

The following Nez Perce speakers worked with the linguist and/or contributed to this project.

  • Margaret Allman
  • Joan Burnside
  • Clarence Burke
  • Fermore Craig
  • Pricilla Alvina Craig
  • Agnes Davis
  • Kathleen Gordon
  • Eugene John
  • David Miles
  • Antone Minthorn
  • William Minthorn
  • Zelma Minthorn
  • Lottie Moody
  • Susie Moore
  • Art Motanic
  • Dan Motanic
  • Esther Motanic
  • Ada Patrick
  • Rosa Thompson
  • Gordon Waters
  • Elizabeth Wilson
  • Viola Wocatsie
Inez Spino-Reves serving as a Whip Woman. Photo courtesy of Tamástslikt Cultural Institute.