captikʷł are a collection of teachings about Syilx Okanagan laws, customs, values, governance structures and principles that, together, define and inform Syilx Okanagan rights and responsibilities to the land and to our culture. These stories provide instruction on how to relate to and live on the land. captikʷł stories serve as reminder of Syilx Okanagan natural laws and protocols that need to be followed in order for future generations to survive in harmony with the tmixw. These stories are embedded in our culture and language and play a vital role in cultural renewal and revitalization.
In our histories we are told that kʷuləncutn (Creator) sent sənk̓lip (Coyote) to help our people survive on this land. sen’k’lip’s travels are a record of the natural laws necessary for our Syilx Okanagan people to survive and carry on. We weren’t born with the instincts to know how to live in nature’s laws. Instead, we were given memory to remind us of what we can and cannot be doing. Understanding and teaching our young generations about the land and how to become a “part of it” is the way that we, the Syilx Okanagan, have survived.
Today, our captikʷł are still used in this fast paced modern world. Syilx knowledge and cultural values from the captikʷł are being passed on to the youth to help them live in this modern world and to let them know who they are and where they come from.