tl̓ t̓ sxʷuys … way̓ iʔ k̓ʷul̓l … nixʷ iʔ lutí iʔ k̓ʷul̓l … x̌aʔx̌aʔəlx … əcpútaʔstm … kʷu yʕayʕát ctxət̓stim iʔ scəcmaláʔtət naʔł iʔ snəqsilxʷtət.
From time immemorial, our children now, those yet to be born, are sacred. We revere our children. We all care for our children and our families.
The development of the axá iʔ sccuntət iʔ tl x̌aʔxitət x̌l iʔ nqsil̓tət Family Declaration took six years to reach completion, with it being signed by the Elders, Language Speakers, and the Chief’s Executive Council on July 26, 2022, in Revelstoke, BC. The work took place in all the Nation’s communities, involved multiple groups, especially Elders and Language Speakers, and passed through many hands along this journey.
Overall, declarations are recognized internationally as a standard of Nationhood. This declaration is a written expression of aspects of sqilxwcawt (Syilx cultural ways of being) and captíkʷł knowledge that are critical to the health and wellbeing of the Nation’s families and our children. This document is deeply rooted in Syilx captikwl, language, and worldview, while providing a clear path for moving forward to self-determination. It lays out the principles and values that our people live by, and that we expect all guests and visitors to our territory to abide by when working with our families and our children.
This declaration can be used as the base for protocol agreements and memorandums of understanding between our Nation or a community and another government body. It’s principles and values can be used to draft Community wellness policies for social services staff. This important document can also be used as the foundation for a written expression of Syilx family laws.
Chief Greg Gabriel
Reading of the Family Declaration