We, the six villages of the Stó:lō Xwexwilmexw, are joining together – in our own way and according to our own laws – to become Stó:lō Xwexwilmexw. Members of our communities can show their support for our Shxwelméxwelh/Constitution by voting from November 4-15, 2020.
NOTE: This document was revised based on the Community Public Input Report
What is a Constitution?
Shxwelméxwelh means the Stó:lō way and is our word for constitution. Picture our Constitution as the posts of a longhouse that our six communities are building together.
- Describes who we are, what is important to us, and how our teachings (s’í:wes) will inform our own government.
- Is the highest Stó:lō Xwexwilmexw law.
- Can grow and change as our nation changes.
- Was created by SXTA Leadership after years of public input and is being brought back to members for further input.
Why do we need a Constitution?
- It guides us in taking control of our own destiny.
- It describes how we can make our own rules based on our culture and traditions, which ensure we take care of the land, water, and air for our future generations (tomíyexw).
Facts about the Constitution
- We don’t have all the answers yet, but if our Shxwelméxwelh/Constitution is approved it will provide general guidelines for all our future laws (justice, education, family and child services, environment and more).
- This is an opportunity for our communities.
- Services currently delivered will continue and will be enhanced under our new Stó:lō Xwexwílmexw Híkw Lálém (Government).
- Our National Government will look after areas that are too big for each community to deal with on their own, such as justice and education.
- Our Villages will create their own Constitutions based on their own values about leadership, including family representation, elections and hereditary lines.
Why are we voting ?
We believe in our ability to take control of our own nation and this vote on the Constitution in November will bring us one step closer to getting out from under the Indian Act.
Voting on the Constitution/Shxwelméxwelh:
- Opens on-line on November 4 (best option due to COVID),
- Ballots will be mailed out,
- Voting Stations will be open on Nov. 13 and 14 until 6pm.
- The results will be announced on November 15, 2020.
For more details on the Vote, click here.
Voting on our Constitution/Shxwelméxwelh is the next major milestone on our path to treaty. The vote will:
- Ensure our citizens understand and agree with our Constitution/Shxwelméxwelh.
- Ensure our citizens support the groundwork our six communities have created for our self-governing nation.
This is not a vote on the SXTA Treaty. There are many details still to be negotiated in our treaty and we will have time to discuss those as we move forward.
The next step after the Constitution vote is a Self-Government Agreement that will provide funds and enable our National Government to form in advance of a full Treaty, which includes land, more cash and consistent funding.