We are the Stó:lō Xwexwilmexw Treaty Association. We are 6 Stó:lō First Nation Bands who have joined together to continue the work of our ancestors in creating opportunity for our future generations, through self-governance, self-reliance, and culture and heritage.
We are working to preserve our lands and our culture, and enhance our self-reliance and self-governance for our ancestors, and for our future generations.
We are Stó:lō!
Who are the Stó:lō?
“Stó:lō” is the Halq’eméylem word for “river” and also for the people who live along the lower Fraser River and its adjoining watersheds.
Today, in continuity with thousands of years of history, we, the Stó:lō (People of the River) occupy and use S’ólh Téméxw, the lower Fraser River watershed of southwestern British Columbia. As Halkomelem-speaking Coast Salish people ,we are culturally interlinked with many Coast Salish referring to themselves as Stó:lō or tribes of Stó:lō (e.g., Ts’elxwéyeqw). We are culturally spiritually, physically, psychologically, and economically interconnected with the land and resources of S’ólh Téméxw, as a long-standing and deep-seated relationship with, defense and protection of, and continued management and use throughout our territory, S’ólh Téméxw. Our occupation of S’ólh Téméxw extends back thousands of years, to time immemorial. Evidence of thousands of years of continuous occupation by the Stó:lō and our ancestors is documented through a range of disciplines including oral history, written history, ethnography, and archaeology (Schaepe 2006; 2009) as well as a wide range of sources including scholarly publications, reports, maps, and oral histories
We maintain a wide range of political, socio-cultural, and economic ties, including occupation, use, and management of the land and resources within S’ólh Téméxw. The Stó:lō-Coast Salish have a long history of defending our lands from unwelcome outsiders (Angelbeck 2009; Angelbeck and McLay 2012; Richards 2011; Schaepe 2001; 2006; Supernant 2011) .
Our identity and societal health, including an interconnected set of spiritual, mental, physical, emotional relations are linked to and dependent upon the integrity of the land, air, water, and resources constituting S’ólh Téméxw and the Stó:lō cultural landscape (see Carlson 2006, 2010; McHalsie 2007; Schaepe 2007; Schaepe et al 2003). The activities of Stó:lō within S’ólh Téméxw provide a holistic view of economic, social, political, environmental, and spiritual connectivity; one cannot be successful or healthy without the other, for all things have Shxwelí (spirit) and all things are interconnected.
Our longstanding socio-cultural and socio-economic relations, values, and behaviours are factors of our deep connectedness to the ancestors, land, air, water, resources, and cultural places of S’ólh Téméxw.