“Tax niʔ pik̓ak ( A Long Time Ago),”
“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.