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Vi Hilbert is an Upper Skagit elder who's dedicated most of her life to preserving Lushootseed language and culture.
"There's no Lushootseed word for 'love' and no word for 'can't'," said Hilbert, seated at the dining room table in her South Seattle home. Meaning in the language of the Coast Salish people, she says, centers around "the beauty of the land and honor our people felt for all things beautiful."
In July, Hilbert will release her latest book on Seattle-area place names that she co-authored with an anthropologist and a number of her students.
Lady Louse Cleans House
Told by Elizabeth Krise to Thomas Hess. Tulalip, 1962
Lady Louse lived there in that great big house!
"To the first people - this land is sacred. This land is sacred to the first people!"
"Seeahth was an honorable leader - he was Duwamish and Suquamish. The town of Seattle has been named for him. His name has been misspelled and mispronounced to be something other than Seeahth."
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