Social Life of Water

Syilx/Okanagan oral history provides teachings about the past and being in those places reinforces memories, connections to the land, and instils the importance of ceremony. Sacred sites such as those for fasting, praying, medicine preparation, and burial grounds are spread throughout the traditional territory and each have a long held spiritual and physical significance to the Syilx/Okanagan people. Children learn from the land, taken to those places, and learn how to care for the waters.

There are many sacred aquatic resources and systems within the territory that contribute to the physical, spiritual, and cultural health of the Syilx/Okanagan people and sustain all tmixw. Spiritual practices are rooted in the land and waters of our territory. The tmixw and tmxwulaxw are the connecting threads between our ancestors and each new generation. Syilx/Okanagan people recognize water as a sacred entity and relative that connects all life. The relationship to water is embedded in the language, in the bodies, and in the ways of Syilx/Okanagan people. Water has the capacity to bring all people together through gatherings, feasts, and ceremonies.