Upper Chinook language

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Upper Chinook
Native to United States
Region Columbia River
Extinct 2012[1]
with the death of Gladys Thompson
  • Upper Chinook
Language codes
ISO 639-3 wac
Glottolog wasc1239[2]

Upper Chinook, also known as Kiksht, Columbia Chinook, and Wasco-Wishram after its last surviving dialect, is a recently extinct language of the US Pacific Northwest. It had 69 speakers in 1990, of whom 7 were monolingual: five Wasco[3] and two Wishram. In 2001, there were five remaining speakers of Wasco.[4]

The last fully fluent speaker of Kiksht, Gladys Thompson, died in 2012.[1] She had been honored for her work by the Oregon Legislature in 2007.[5][6][7] Two new speakers were teaching Kiksht at the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in 2006.[8] The Northwest Indian Language Institute of the University of Oregon formed a partnership to teach Kiksht and Numu in the Warm Springs schools.[9][10] Audio and video files of Kiksht are available at the Endangered Languages Archive.[11]


Kathlamet has been classified as an additional dialect; it was not mutually intelligible.


  1. ^ a b Kristian Foden-Vencil (2012-07-17). "Last Fluent Speaker Of Oregon Tribal Language 'Kiksht' Dies". Oregon Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Wasco-Wishram". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ Culture: Language. The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon. 2009 (retrieved 9 April 2009)
  4. ^ "Lewis & Clark—Tribes—Wasco Indians". National Geographic. Retrieved 2013-02-25. 
  5. ^ Last Fluent Speaker of Kiksht Dies
  6. ^ "Honors Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs elder Gladys Miller Thompson for her contribution to preserving Native languages of Oregon.". 74th OREGON LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY--2007 Regular Session. Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  7. ^ "Zelma Smith, 1926-2010". Spilyay Tymoo, Coyote News, the Newspaper of the Warm Springs Reservation. Retrieved 2013-02-25. 
  8. ^ Keith Chu (2006-07-30). "New speakers try to save language". The Bulletin. Bend, OR. Retrieved 2013-02-25. 
  9. ^ Joanne B. Mulcahy (2005). "Warm Springs: A Convergence of Cultures" (Oregon History Project). Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  10. ^ Aaron Clark. "USA: Tribes Strive to Save Native Tongues". GALDU, Resource Centre for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  11. ^ Nariyo Kono. "Conversational Kiksht". Endangered Languages Archive. Retrieved 2013-02-25. 


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