We are developing a governance model in our draft Tsilangin (Constitution) that includes the current First Nation/Villages; Tribes (Leq’á:mel, Ts’elxwéyeqw, TÍt); and establishes an overarching National structure. Our lawmaking powers will be held by these three layers of government.
We will practice our governance in accordance to our xwilmexwout and our s’í:wes , which are held by our selyolexwe. Our laws are within the s’í:wes and are taught to us by our Sxwōxwiyá:m as told to us by our Syewá:l.
Our morals, our rules, our laws, are taught to us through our Sxwōxwiyá:m and through our Stl’áleqem. The Stl’áleqem are our laws writtne in stone, through S’olh Temexw – our land, our traditional territory, and throughout the Sto:lo Nation.
Our leaders – Si:y:á:m, will carry our Tsilangin and protect our people and S’ólh Téméxw.
S’ólh Téméxw te íkw’elò. Xólhmet te mekw’stám it kwelát.
(This is our land. We have to take care of everything that belongs to us.)
- xwilmexwout – longhouse
- s’í:wes – teachings
- selyolexwe – elders
- Sxwōxwiyá:m – means narratives of the distant past “when the world was out of balance, and not quite right”, and the actions of Xexá:ls “making the world right,” which describe the origins of and connections between the Stó:lō, shxwelí, Sxexó:mes and S’ólh Téméxw.
- Syewá:l – ancestors.
- Tsilangin – right to govern the people and the land, to keep our culture and traditions alive, to protect our people and to protect S’ólh Téméxw.