Envisioning Reconciliation at Community Level

Archival Voices and Sources

Source: 1875 (September) Letter to Mr. Lenihan from Chief Alexis of Cheam in A Stó:lō-Coast Salish Historical Atlas, 174.

[Excerpt]
“We have heard that you propose visiting our camps: if such be your intention, as we sincerely hope it is, we would like to know the time of your intended visit in order to unite our people who are now a little dispersed as they are working for the whites.”  

 

Source: Library and Archives Canada. RG 10, Reel C-10103, Volume 3596, File 1241. “Report of J.W. Powell (Superintendent for British Columbia) on various tribes in British Columbia; including a schedule of reserve and leases. 1873.”

 

[Excerpt]
               “The policy of the late Colonial Government _______ Governor Douglas in 1858 was to treat Indians as British subjects and it had the effect in a great erasure[?] of doing away with their customary internal organization...
Should the line of succession fail or succeeding heir not have any of the qualities appertaining to a Chief the whole Tribe assembles and elects a man of their choice to assume that dignity. Chieftship is generally maintained by a system of free _________ or “Potlaches’ and the more a Chief can ________ a “potlatch” the greater his power and popularity. To accumulate food, blankets, _______ for this purpose, a chief will often not only deprive himself of the necessaries of life, but allow his family to suffer from want, practising meantime, the most rigid and miserly ___________.    
               The customs of holding the free gift festivals, is quite common among the Coast Tribes, the presents generally consist of Blankets purchased for the reason or preserved from former “potlatches” and it is expected that they will be returned by some equivalent at a future gathering. The person who gives away or _____ destroyed the greatest amount of property, acquires much praise and frequently obtains the highest tribal rank.”

 

Contemporary Stó:lō Voices from Social Media
 

George, Gabriel [no bio provided]
Souce: George, G. [edgegeo] (2016, Sept 30). [Tweet] Retrieved from https://twitter.com/edgegeo/status/781958728379535360

“#wabkinew on reconciliation; The most important reconciliation is between our own generations. This speaks deeply to me as a father.”
 

Contemporary Non-Stó:lō Indigenous Voices from Social Media

Kinew, Wab

Leader of the Manitoba NDP Party, Honourary Witness for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and author of The Reason You Walk. He is from the Onigaming First Nation, in Northwestern Ontario. Kinew is an influential figure on social media in regards to the conversation on reconciliation in Canada. He speaks about reconciliation as a personal process as well as the reification of Indigenous nationhood and equality for Indigenous communities.

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[Excerpt]
"Reconciliation is not something realized on a grand level, something that happens when a prime minister and a national chief shake hands. It takes place at a much more individual level. Reconciliation is realized when two people come together and understand that what they share unites them and that what is different between them needs to be respected." - Wab Kinew, The Reason You Walk.” (para 8)

 

Source: CBC Radio. (2015, Sept 27). Wab Kinew reveals joy and pain of reconciliation in The Reason You Walk. Retrieved from https://www.cbc.ca/radio/unreserved/buffy-sainte-marie-wab-kinew-and-how-dna-remembers-trauma-1.3242375/wab-kinew-reveals-joy-and-pain-of-reconciliation-in-the-reason-you-walk-1.3243687
 

“#Reconciliation events in the community are essential to raise awareness and show community support. It sounds simple, but the act of gathering and sharing our stories has the potential to join us all in creating a new way forward: https://bit.ly/2xnbrez
 


Source: Reconciliation Canada [Rec_Can] (2019, Jan 29). [Tweet] Retrieved from https://twitter.com/Rec_Can/status/1090278591332528128


 

Contemporary Stó:lō Voices through Recent Interviews

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Arlene Proska (Leq’á:mel First Nation)  

“It seems like as a nation, as a First Nation, we didn’t thus far, I mean we’re quite accomplished in a lot of areas Leq’á:mel is a leader in several areas, but we’ve never gotten together as a nation and focused on healing our members and recognizing that our members, certain members have gone through and showing compassion and acceptance and understanding. I think when you go through something so traumatizing and feel that those around you understand you and they have patience because they know what you’ve gone through, you feel more connected.” [29:11-30:09]

Bobbi Peters (Chawathil First Nation)
 

“It seems like as a nation, as a First Nation, we didn’t thus far, I mean we’re quite accomplished in a lot of areas Leq’á:mel is a leader in several areas, but we’ve never gotten together as a nation and focused on healing our members and recognizing that our members, certain members have gone through and showing compassion and acceptance and understanding. I think when you go through something so traumatizing and feel that those around you understand you and they have patience because they know what you’ve gone through, you feel more connected.” [29:11-30:09]

 Barbara Peters (Chawathil First Nation)

“There has to be a healing, to be more educated. Right now, people don’t want to look at what’s going on in the communities, I mean reserves, there’s lateral violence. It is still going on and when you talk about people who don’t have status cards aren’t welcome, that’s lateral violence. So, education and I hear that all the time and First Nations don’t seem to have enough of that. To understand, we live in two worlds and we have to understand the outside world well and live in the changes. There are a lot of changes and not just for us but changes throughout the world. We have to learn to live within these changes... but to me it’s all about education and that’s what our First Nation peoples need to do.” [101:59 – 103:50]

Bobbi Peters (Chawathil First Nation)
 

“So, the communication, learning how to communicate with each other. Share our thoughts and feelings in a safe setting and feeling good about what we shared is really important too and it’s how we pass our knowledge down to the younger generation.” [1:16:54 – 1:17:23]

David Gutierrez (Chawathil First Nation)

“Yeah, reconciliation has a lot of different things, like a child would be able to hear that our elders had been through quite a bit, not going so much into detail, but that we did struggle, but then let them know that this is what, where we’re at now, we’re acknowledging what had happened, and we’re moving on, we’re not just stuck.” [10:41:11:07]

Murray Ned (Sema:th First Nation)
 

“...the Sumas Declaration and it’s too bad we have to do that but it’s reasserting... or advising local, regional, provincial and even international governing bodies that we’re still responsible for our resources within our own territory, responsible for our own people and our culture, of course. So, they acknowledge that, they weren’t able to show up but... we’ve had meetings with them since and we’ve had... community to community meetings. So those were helpful to help bridge those relationships... so I think it’s improving in terms of the relationship, but I don’t think it’s delved in to too far into reconciliation between the communities.”

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Murray Ned (Sema:th First Nation)
 

“I’m not sure how we disentangle what’s happened with the Indian Act which separated all of the communities and there was no longer nationhood but, perhaps if we’re able to work at the programs and service delivery level to community members, maybe that’s the only way we can maintain some semblance of nationhood or nations... you get a group like S’ólhTéméxw [or the] Lower Fraser Fishery Alliance that can actually pull it off and then they begin to work together but not only that, they challenge the federal agencies, the provincial agencies, the local jurisdictions... I don’t know we’ll ever get back to Stó:lō Nation as a large political collective and entity but as long as people and leaders are willing to work together it’s going in the right direction.”