Episode 4 – Xólhmet te mekw’stám ít kwelát: We have to take care of everything that belongs to us
Guest: Maex̱’eyétel Jason Thompson, Leq’á:mel
Many young people can’t wait to put distance between themselves and the place they grew up in. The answers are out there, rather than at home among the people we’ve known all of our lives. But what makes us change our minds? Leq’á:mel’s Jason Thompson talks with host A’a:liya Warbus about making a conscious decision to change directions and come back to do important work on the land and strengthen his cultural and personal connections to his community.
Episode 3 – Never forget your roots – A Stó:lō police officer’s story
Guest: Angie Kermer, Leq’á:mel
Leq’á:mel’s Angie Kermer talks with host A’a:liya Warbus about her 30-year career as an RCMP officer, Indigenous policing in other jurisdictions, Stó:lō justice pre-contact and more. Kermer is Haida, Stó:lō, Squamish and Nooksack through her immediate family connections, and has lived in Port Hardy, Campbell River, North Vancouver, Leq’á:mel and more. Listen in as she discusses how she stayed true to her community ways, implementing them into her work and police culture, while witnessing the world change and grow.
Episode 2 – We are the People of the River: Post-Contact Fishing in Context
Guests: Xwelíqweltel, Grand Chief Steven Point
When the Europeans arrived in the 1800s, they considered the People of the River as the owners of the land and the fish in the river. The Stó:lō traded with those who first arrived and helped create new products and markets for the Hudson Bay Company, who were originally interested in fur. Since that early time, the colonial government has imposed ever increasing rules to restrict Stó:lō access to the fish in Stó:lō territory. Xwelíqweltel, Grand Chief Steven Point discusses this history and why the Stó:lō people need to understand the past in order to move forward.
Satsan, Herb George, Hereditary Chief of the Frog Clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation
Xwelíqweltel, Grand Chief Steven Point
“People take off their Indian Act hat and it’s quite dynamic and amazing to observe and be a part of. And then they put on their inherent right blanket, their robe of power. And then they start talking about, okay, now this is what we need to do together,” says Satsan in this far-reaching conversation with Grand Chief Steven Point. The pair spoke during our Light the Fire video series in April 2022 and we’ve condensed the talk a bit, but this podcast still covers so much including, our inherent right to self-government, the impact of the Indian Act, the push to revise the Canadian Constitution to recognize Aboriginal and Treaty Rights, Indigenous Rights Court Cases and more.
Guest: Stacy McNeil, Executive Director of Sq’ewqéyl
This is a clean slate. We’re starting over. Let’s see what we can do. Stacy McNeil was given these words of encouragement when she started her job as manager of Sq’ewqéyl, one of several small Stó:lō communities surrounded by the City of Chilliwack. She knew she could get things done, but she also knew from her upbringing in the community of Seabird Island across the Fraser River, that listening to the community voices is essential to moving forward. Listen in as she shares stories about her efforts to help not only Sq’ewqéyl, but also Áthelets and Yeqwyeqwí:ws’s dreams come true.
When Stó:lō Elder Elizabeth Herrling told Sonny McHalsie that knowledge is only important when you share – that you could be the smartest person in the world and know everything, but if you don’t share it, it’s meaningless – it set him on a path to become the Nation’s historian.
In this eighth episode, listen in as Naxaxalhts’i shares stories about his work recording Elders, learning history and why he thinks that all Stó:lō need to hear what he has learned.
The Halq’eméylem language is spoken from Five Mile Creek near Yale to the mouth of the Fraser River. Christine Seymour of Sq’ewqéyl did not plan to become a language teacher when she went to university, but that’s how her career has worked out. With only one fluent speaker of the Upriver dialect left, we must Tset hikwstexw te sqwelteltsetwe “Hold our language high.” In this episode, Christine tells her story to The Fraser Valley Current’s Grace Kennedy.
How do youth stay on a good path when there is so much going on in the world and in their personal lives? In this episode, we talk to rising football star, Tyson George Kelly, and to the Stó:lō Xwexwílmexw youth coordinator Jen Archie about an important Stó:lō principle Thehítchexw ta’ sqwálewel “Keep your mind on what you’re doing.”
In the old way, the Elders give someone a name because they recognize the child’s ancestors or their spirit. But even though someone receives a name, they still have to earn it. In this episode, we talk to the members of one Ch’iyáqtel/Tzeachten family about their ancestral names and how they received them. Xaxa stexw te selsila:lh te skwixw. Respect your ancestors’ name is still such an important Stó:lō principle.
Stó:lō people have two important types of stories. Sxwōxwiyá:m — our creation stories, or stories of our distant past and Sqwélqwel or true news, which are stories passed down between generations. In this fourth episode of the season we explore storytelling and the oral tradition and why it is important to our people. We welcome gifted storyteller Shóyshqwelwhet Gwen Point as she talks to us about Xepa:y, her grandmother and so much more.