The Chinook Jargon was a major pidgin trade language based on Chinook, the
Penutian language of a prominent Indian tribe of what is now the Washington coast.
Though this pidgin almost certainly existed in some form in pre-Columbian times (west-coast Indian oral histories make mention of it, accusing
the Chinook of being too haughty to teach members of other tribes the true form of their language), it truly took off after the arrival of Europeans
put increased communication pressures on the linguistically diverse tribes of the west. At its heyday in the 1800's the Chinook Jargon was spoken by
some 100,000 people, and in fact there are native elders in British Columbia and Washington state who still remember some of the jargon, even though the Chinook
language itself had died out by 1930.