Criminal trials were frequently conducted in Chinook Jargon. Missionaries throughout the region gave sermons in it.
By the early 1900s, there were dozens of Chinook Jargon dictionaries on the market.
Today, very few people can speak Chinook Jargon. But it can still be found in place names throughout BC, and in some local slang terms.
Chinook Jargon consists of approximately 700 words.
Declining use of tribal languages and the general adoption of Chinook jargon as the community's symbolic Indian language further supported a new identity.(74) Moreover, an increasing proportion of residents had been born and raised on the reservation and knew no other way of life.
On language the best source is Henry Benjamin Zenk, "Chinook Jargon and Native Cultural Persistence in the Grand Ronde Indian Community, 1856-1907: A Special Case of Creolization" (Ph.D.
McClane, ARCIA for 1886(Washington, DC: 1886), 210-11; Schwartz, The Rogue River Indian War, 189-91; Beckham, "History of Western Oregon," 183; Miller and Seaburg, "Athapaskans," 586; Zenk, "Chinook Jargon," 131-32.
(74.) Zenk describes the process of creolization that occurred at Grand Ronde and the role Chinook jargon played in the formation of the new Indian identity in his dissertation "Chinook Jargon." He also examines settlement patterns and intermarriage between bands in his analysis.