Stó:lō Xwexwilmexw, B.C., Canada move forward on major treaty innovations


October 13, 2018

Stó:lō Xwexwilmexw Treaty Association, Government of Canada and Province of British Columbia signed an agreement yesterday that supports new and innovative approaches to modern treaty negotiations in B.C., and advances them to the final phase of treaty negotiations.

A treaty negotiations Memorandum of Understanding was signed at a ceremony in the Leq’á:mel community by the Chiefs from the six First Nations of the Stó:lō Xwexwilmexw Treaty Association (SXTA) and ministers from the provincial and federal governments.

The new agreement commits to a rights-recognition approach for a treaty agreement, consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The new approach explicitly recognizes that Aboriginal rights are inherent and cannot be extinguished or surrendered. It also shifts away from seeking a full and final settlement. Instead, this new approach builds a collaborative and predictable ongoing government-to-government relationship that can adapt to changing circumstances over time, as policies evolve or new rights are established by the courts, for example.

Under this approach, Canada, B.C. and the SXTA have agreed to develop a “core” treaty together. Key elements, such as the constitutional relationship, self-government, land ownership, and jurisdiction, would be set out in a constitutionally protected core treaty. But administrative and operational policy matters, such as program delivery and government administration, would be included in supplementary agreements, which are more easily amended than current treaties. Some topics may be concluded at a later date, as part of a living document.

Working collaboratively and developing new approaches to reach agreements is a key part of achieving reconciliation with Indigenous people in Canada. The MOU puts into practice innovations that flow from federal and provincial government commitments to relationships with Indigenous peoples based on respect and recognition, and guided by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls-to-action, and case law.

Chief Terry Horne, Yakweakwioose First Nation

Our goal has been to get out from under the Indian Act and to assert our lawmaking authority on S’ólh Téméxw, our land. We do this today for our children tomorrow. Our Stó:lō communities are pleased to be entering into final negotiations on this ground-breaking treaty.”

 Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

“This Memorandum of Understanding is the result of years of hard work on the part of the Stó:lō Xwexwilmexw Treaty Association, with the governments of Canada and British Columbia. This is key milestone towards a treaty that is consistent with Canada’s commitment to UNDRIP, and to the recognition and affirmation of Indigenous Rights.”

Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation

“This new partnership with the SXTA launches a fundamentally new approach to negotiating a treaty, one that better addresses inherent Aboriginal rights and self-determination. Our government is serious about creating real change and developing treaties that support lasting reconciliation and lead to healthy and prosperous First Nations communities, for the benefit of all British Columbians.”

 Celeste Haldane, Chief Commissioner of the BC Treaty Commission

“With the signing of this Memorandum of Understanding, Stó:lō Xwexwilmexw Treaty Association, Canada, and BC are advancing their nation-to-nation relationship and innovative approaches to treaty negotiations. The BC treaty negotiations process is proving to be the best nation-building opportunity for Indigenous peoples in the country through Indigenous rights recognition.”

Moving into Stage 5 Celebration

Athélets/Aitchelitz • Leq’á:mel • Sq’ewá:lxw/Skawahlook • Sq’ewqéyl/Skowkale • Ch’iyáqtel/Tzeachten • Yeqwyeqwí:ws/Yakweakwioose

You are invited to a ceremony and dinner as the Stó:lō Xwexwilmexw Treaty Association celebrates moving into Stage 5 of the treaty process!

Come for your chance to win more than $500 in prizes, including a Bradley Smoker.

Location: Leq’á:mel Gym

October 12th, 2018 Family fun at 3pm, Dinner at 5 PM



Join us for a Downriver Place Names Tour

Enjoy the majestic mountains and waterways of the Lower Fraser Valley on our new tour departing from Chilliwack destined for the scenic route through Cultus Lake, Abbotsford, Mission, and Harrison Hot Springs, B.C.

Join Naxaxalhts’i (Dr. Albert ‘Sonny’ McHalsie) for this full day tour beginning at 8:30 a.m. on September 22 in front of Stó:lō Nation Building #10 at Kwikw’alith’a (Coqualeetza) located in Sardis at 7201 Vedder Road.
For more information and to pre-register (deadline is Sept. 14) email
(You must be a member of Athélets/ Aitchelitz; Leq’á:mel
Sq’ewá:lxw/Skawahlook; Sq’ewqéyl/Skowkale; Ch’iyáqtel/Tzeachten; Yeqwyeqwí:ws/Yakweakwioose)

Community Treaty Updates

Announcing groundbreaking changes to our treaty. Come hear Grand Chief Steven Point and Chief Terry Horne talk about the latest news at one of three community meetings:

July 19 Sq’ewá:lxw (Skawahlook) Hall

July 30 Leq’á:mel Hall

 All events start at 5:30 pm. Join us for dinner, a chance to win $500 gift card and other prizes as well as an update on your treaty!




New one-pager on Treaty

Check out our new page that sums up the Stó:lō Xwexwilmexw Treaty in 14 points! This document is also known as the one-pager and we would be happy to email or mail a copy of it to you. Just contact our outreach team.


  1. Stó:lō Aboriginal rights and title form the basis of the treaty. Those rights and title will not be extinguished.
  2. The Treaty is adaptable, renewable and changeable over time and is not a final settlement.√
  3. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples will be incorporated into our Treaty.
  4. (a) Past loans for negotiating Treaty will be forgiven.
    (b) As of 2018, all further negotiations are loan free.

Join us for National Indigenous People’s Day at Ch’iyàqtel (Tzeachten)

Éy Swáyel! On June 21, 2018, join members of the Stó:lō Xwexwilmexw Treaty Association team at the Tzeachten sports field as we celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day with the community. Come on out to talk treaty, play games and win a prize!

Our Treaty, Our Future.

Chilliwack River Valley Place Names Tour

Éy Swáyel
Stó:lō Xwexwilmexw Treaty Association Outreach would like to invite you to our annual Chilliwack River Valley place names tour. Learn about our connection to the lands and resources situated around S’ólh Téméxw narrated by Naxaxalhts’i – Sonny Mchalsie. Lunch is also provided. Please see the attached flyer for more details!
Register through Emily by May 4th to reserve your spot on this amazing full day tour.

RESCHEDULED SXTA Community Session – Land and Capital Transfer Approval


2nd SXTA Community Session – Land and Capital Transfer Approval

The Stó:lō Xwexwilmexw Treaty Association would like to invite you to the rescheduled community information session regarding the Land and Capital transfer approval! This session will be held in Leq’a:mel First Nation Territory. This new date is set for Sunday, February 18th from 3pm-5pm.

Please see the attached flyer for more information about this exciting milestone!

February 18th, 2018 Community Info Session at Leq’a:mel First Nation