Because it has always been my desire to see that my family is provided with the tools which will afford them a productive, happy life, I have worked to help provide them. Here are some of the things I have done: planned and operated a combination (café, gas and oil, groceries) business at Tahola, Washington; supermarket clerk; cookie packer, Danish bakery; shipyard welder; waitress, Chinese restaurant; Boeing food wagon cashier; Seattle Railroad School, telegraphy; secretary to the Director of Nursing, Children’s Orthopedic Hospital; Mr. Lee’s Beauty School training; since 1960 owned and operated a hairdressing business in one wing of my home; and currently I teach Lushootseed at the University of Washington.
After meeting Dr. Thomas M. Hess in 1967, he began tutoring me in the study of my language. He taught the first Lushootseed class at the University of Washington in the spring of 1972. It was called Puget Salish that quarter. I audited that class and have since then been involved with teaching the classes at the University of Washington… Dr. Hess and I have written the material in the textbooks.
Since 1972 the Melville Jacobs research fund has supported my research with three grants. The goal of efforts is to achieve the broadest possible corpus of written material in Lushootseed with the English translation. I now have over 700 pages of information typed. Copies are given to the consultants as I complete each topic. Copies of this research are also now housed in the University of Washington…
All of the time I have spent doing this research to date has been an act of deep respect to my elders and a donation to our Indian youth. It is a cherished legacy to the memory of our ancestors whose hearts would be gladdened to know that the culture of our people is being passed on to generations to come. This is a rich inheritance to give each generation strength and pride in their race.
~ Vi passed away in her home, surrounded by family, on December 19th, 2008.