Thomas M. Hess (1936-2009) was a linguist from Flint, Michigan. He earned his BA from the University of Colorado and his MA and PhD from the University of Washington. His dissertation was on the grammatical structure of the Snohomish dialect of Lushootseed, a Coast Salish language. During his career, he went on to study languages used by other surrounding tribes of the Puget Sound. Hess helped create a dictionary of Lushootseed words and is credited with helping to preserve the language, which is in danger of disappearing. He also worked closely with native speaker Vi Hilbert, whose collection is also held by the UWEA.
The Thom Hess Collection contains Lushootseed songs, stories, and other spoken material by numerous consultants. Lushootseed is a language of the Coast Salish peoples, who live along the coast of the Pacific Northwest of North America.
Text sources: knkx.org, achiveswest.orbicascade.org
Photo with Hilbert: https://www.historylink.org/File/7130
Title image sources (left to right): crosscut.com, earthjustice.org, amazon.com, wshg.net, cbc.ca
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