What are your thoughts on the Douglas Treaty? Let us know through this survey by clicking the button below:


ÍY, SȻÁĆEL SIÁM ĆSE ÁȽE S[SNÁ] TŦE NE SNÁ EN EṮ W̱JOȽEȽP] Good day, my name is Joe Seward. I’m Tsartlip council, my traditional name is ŦḴOTEĆTEN and I come from here in the Tsartlip village.

Do you think that the Douglas Treaty should have economic rights in a modern context? 

I definitely think there should be some sort of benefit or compensation to our people for the loss of land use. Our identity as W̱SÁNEĆ people lie within the teachings and traditions that we have and fishing and hunting fall under that. Being able to hunt and fish and gather within our territories. And again, following those traditions and teachings and handing those teachings down to the next generation is a big part of our identity. Knowing the teachings that come with it, even the spirituality part of it.

Sharing that and being able to connect with the land and sea and the animals. It all goes back to creation stories from our elders, making that connection.

What do you think to hunt & fish meant to our ancestors?

We’re known as the saltwater people. Our people migrated to different parts of our homelands to practice these traditions and practice these ways of survival. I just think it’s a huge part of our culture that’s being lost.

Who do you expect to be the communal/collective voice in representing your inherent Douglas Treaty rights?

I think, us as elected leaders and our chief, should be probably our voice to bring these concerns forward, but I think the backbone would be our elders. We’d have to go to our elders to get that support and guidance from, you know, to be able to bring these issues forward.

ȻEMLEW̱ is the word for our roots. And you know, that’s where we need to turn to, I think is our ȻEMLEW̱, again, our identity as W̱SÁNEĆ people. We need the involvement of our elders for that guidance and for the language use as well. I think the language is a big important part of who we are. It’s gonna help us with everything, the traditions, some of the prayers that are said in doing these traditions. I think even place names and the traditions themselves and whether it’s hunting, fishing, or the different kinds of hunting or the different kinds of fishing that we need to do. I guess in regards to voice, being the voice, that’d be our chief and leaders that are elected in our local communities.

How do you think your people can begin to fish as formerly in modern day?

A piece of paper will never tell me who I am and what I can and can’t do, and those are god given rights. You know, with those seasons comes a different animal, you know which you can hunt and can’t hunt. There’s times that we’d know when to do that and when not to do that. There’s not a calendar time or a piece of paper that would tell me that I can and can’t do that stuff. It’s who we are as W̱SÁNEĆ people.