W̱SÁNEĆ community members have been featured in a new website aimed at providing an Indigenous perspective on reconciliation. Shown above: PENÁ Elliott with three student volunteer alumni who spearheaded the Taking Reconcili-Action project. The “Taking Reconcili-Action” project began with student volunteers from the BC Heritage Fairs Society interviewing members of the W̱SÁNEĆ First Nation. The project has culminated in an accessible online resource about meaningful reconciliation, from a W̱SÁNEĆ perspective. Several W̱SÁNEĆ community members are featured, including J’SIṈTEN (Dr. John Elliott), a well-known mentor and SENĆOŦEN teacher; Chris Paul, the contemporary Salish Artist; the work of Sarah Jay, [...]
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So far Laurel Anne Stark has created 29 blog entries.
13 W̱SÁNEĆ youth in the community are working diligently to construct a culturally accurate reef net to launch just off Pender Island later this summer. Shown above: the youth have completed constructing the lead portion of the Reef Net. The Youth Reef Net program is a program created by the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council to facilitate knowledge transfer from Elder to Youth, promote W̱SÁNEĆ culture and provide employment opportunities within the community. The youth reef net project is led by youth coordinator and acclaimed local athlete, Landon Underwood. Together, 13 youth ranging in ages from 17-26, have researched, sourced [...]
The W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council is pleased to announce the creation of a new entity that will be able to provide economic opportunities for W̱SÁNEĆ community members. After months of research and hard work, the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council has partnered with Sangan Resource Management (SRM) to create a new business entity, K’ENES Transportation. Leveraging SRM’s expertise in engineering, logistics and experience in environmental stewardship, K’ENES is working on securing long term, stable contracts on Vancouver Island and the lower mainland. K’ENES Transportation will be providing trucking and hauling starting this fall. This business will allow us to support organizations [...]
The Douglas Treaties are a complex topic that affects the lives of W̱SÁNEĆ people every day. While W̱SÁNEĆ people know what really happened, we have to consider both the written and oral versions of the Douglas Treaties. The pages of one of the Douglas treaties, this one covering lands from Esquimalt Harbour to Point Albert along Juan de Fuca Strait. The written version of the Douglas Treaties recognizes specific W̱SÁNEĆ rights, they have been used by W̱SÁNEĆ people to win many legal battles, and they continue to be the subject of discussions with the Federal Government today. However, [...]
As part of our mandate, the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council regularly features W̱SÁNEĆ community members who work to enhance recognition and respect for W̱SÁNEĆ culture. Beangka is a WSÁNEĆ traditional knowledge holder dedicated to sharing the cultural knowledge that has been passed down to her. Beangka Elliott is passionate about community work, social justice, Indigenous food systems, land stewardship, consent-based practices, and collective decision making. Her work is grounded in her cultural values and decolonial learning. The daughter of master carver Charles Elliott (Tsartlip First Nation) and Myrna Crossley (Songhees and Esquimalt Nations), Beangka grew up in Tsartlip, immersed [...]
The WLC is currently in discussions with Transport Canada and the Victoria Airport Authority to pursue economic opportunities for W̱SÁNEĆ people, a meaningful role for W̱SÁNEĆ decision-making, and improved care for the environment on lands currently occupied by the Victoria International Airport. The large parcel of land in the middle of the Saanich Peninsula (blue) is owned by Transport Canada and leased by the Victoria Airport Authority. The nearly 1200 acres of land owned by Transport Canada lies directly between the W̱SÁNEĆ villages and prevents W̱SÁNEĆ people from exercising their rights and sacred responsibilities in this region. Many [...]
As part of our mandate, the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council regularly features W̱SÁNEĆ community members who work to enhance recognition and respect for W̱SÁNEĆ culture. ŚW̱,XELOSELWET (Tiffany Joseph)--meaning “Camera Lady” in SENĆOŦEN--is a trained filmmaker, an experienced environmental steward and advocate, a SENĆOŦEN language learner, a writer, a teacher, and an astrologer. The history of W̱SÁNEĆ people’s self-advocacy has inspired her to learn and practice the W̱SÁNEĆ ways of life her elders and ancestors fought for her, while also doing whatever she can to provide those same opportunities to her children and future W̱SÁNEĆ generations. ŚW̱,XELOSELWET was given [...]
The W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council, as part of the work to reinstate W̱SÁNEĆ Natural Laws, is working with Elders to capture W̱SÁNEĆ Creation stories. Once captured, these stories are then transcribed and translated into English with two goals. The first goal is to create a comprehensive repository of culture, language, history and law for future generations. The second goal is to articulate and apply the Natural Laws in policies made throughout W̱SÁNEĆ territory. This work of compiling W̱SÁNEĆ Natural Laws began 40 years ago through the hard work of W̱SÁNEĆ Elders. To learn more about this work, the W̱SÁNEĆ [...]
The W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council is looking for W̱SÁNEĆ people to perform during an event to celebrate W̱SÁNEĆ culture. Are you an artist, dancer, performer, musician, comedian, storyteller, author or poet? Are you a W̱SÁNEĆ community member? Would you like the opportunity to showcase your talent? The W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council is looking for W̱SÁNEĆ people to perform during an event to celebrate W̱SÁNEĆ culture. The event itself will take place in the summer of 2020. In these uncertain and often difficult times, art can remind us of the joys of life and the resiliency of our people. While this [...]
In its ongoing work to enhance recognition and respect for W̱SÁNEĆ peoples’ rights, the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council is making progress on the enormous task of revitalizing W̱SÁNEĆ Natural Laws. W̱SÁNEĆ Natural Laws come from the Creation Stories that have been passed down from generation to generation. These Creation Stories and Natural Laws have survived through multiple epidemics, the oppressive residential school system, and the criminalization of W̱SÁNEĆ cultural practices. While the colonial government tried to eliminate SENĆOŦEN and W̱SÁNEĆ culture, W̱SÁNEĆ people resisted and continue to live according to these teachings. Image: CBC https://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/residential-day-school-survivors-who-lost-language-and-culture-seek-redress-1.3032862 J,SIṈTEN, John Elliott, [...]