“Tax niʔ pik̓ak ( A Long Time Ago),”

The Walrus - - THE WALRUS - troy se­bas­tian

“Learn­ing Ktu­naxa is an on­go­ing re­al­ity in my life. My fa­ther was a flu­ent speaker — I’m a be­gin­ner. There’s a truth and a power to the words that go backward and for­ward in time. There’s a feel­ing in there that I know has been ex­pressed many times by our­selves to our­selves. My story, ‘Tax niʔ pik̓ak (A Long Time Ago),’ has that feel­ing. Some of the words I’ve used in other sto­ries be­fore. Oth­ers I used for the first time. I came across ⱡ a taʔqna—‘you’re at it again’—on a Ktu­naxa lan­guage app and im­me­di­ately loved it. I can imag­ine it be­ing used more and more to ad­mon­ish pig-headed Ktu­naxa men.”

Troy Se­bas­tian is a Ktu­naxa writer based in Vic­to­ria. His short story was a fi­nal­ist for the cbc Short Story prize ear­lier this year.

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