Indigenous rights, environment, arts, reading, podcasts, coffee and comfy clothes. Citizen of the Skwxwú7mesh Nation. Writing for First Nations Forward at National Observer.


Canoe ceremony highlights link between protection of land and women

Ta'kaiya Blaney stepped into a canoe sitting on the steps of Vancouver's Convention Centre, before a group of men lifted her on their shoulders and carried her down the waterfront, as Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) singers and council members led the way. “It’s not enough to take a look at the problem that we have across Indian Country with our relatives disappearing, and in the same breath, be approving pipelines that invite that violence into our lands,” she said.

What does ‘consultation’ mean on occupied Sḵwx̱wú7mesh land?

The Sḵwx̱wú7mesh stelmexw have lived along this coast for millennia. Slhá7an̓ was once a seasonal village, and today it’s a reserve community sitting close to the shoreline in North Vancouver. The mudflats that once existed around False Creek were called Skwácháy̓s, meaning “water coming up from ground beneath.” At what is now called Stanley Park, people lived in a village called X̱wáy̓x̱way.
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