DRAFT Principles of Stó:lō Xwexwilmexw Lálém
- We consider that the inherent right to self-government is held by the Stó:lō people and then entrusted to either hereditary chiefs, elected chiefs or their proxies.
- The Chiefs, or other chosen representatives from each village (according to their village charters), come together to form the law-making part of Government. The word Chief is not really a Stó:lō word or concept, in fact the original word we believe is Siyá:m.
- The SXTA Siyá:m or proxies would come together in the post-treaty environment as a governing body called the Yewal Council. Their meetings would be held in the House of Siyá:m.
- Indian Bands under the Indian Act would cease to exist once the Treaty is implemented.
- It’s important to note that these Band Councils and Bands would be referred to as Village Councils.
- Whatever authorities and services now delivered by your Village Council would continue under the new SXTA government structure.
- What is created by the treaty will be a governing structure that will provide services on a national scale taking up authorities in areas that would be too large and expensive for individual village governments. These would include matters like justice, fisheries, child protection, health and others.
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.)
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 Stó:lō Nation.
Our leaders – Si:y:á:m, will carry our Chilangin and protect our people and S’ólh Téméxw.
- 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.
- Chilangin – 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.