“iʔ kʷu syilx nukʼʷcwilxʷ iʔ kʷu xaʔxaʔtus iʔ kʷu ylilmixʷəm , nyʕayp ətc k̕ul̕əmstm iʔ scunən’maʔtət ks ətc unxcinmntm, uɬ ks səc k̕ɬqayxʷstm iʔ sqəlxʷɬcawt, ansyilxcn, iʔ tmxʷulaxʷ, iʔ tmixʷ, iʔ siwɬkʷ u ks ətc unxcinmntm, uɬ ks səc k̕ɬqayxʷstm iʔ sqəlxʷɬcawt, ansyilxcn, iʔ tmxʷulaxʷ, iʔ tmixʷ, iʔ siwɬkʷ uɬiʔ stəɬtaɬtət iʔ kʷu syilx tə sqaylxʷ.
As a unified Syilx Okanagan Nation Chiefs Executive Council, we continue to affirm our mandate to advocate, practice and preserve and protect the culture, language, tmxʷulaxʷ, tmixʷ, siwlɬkʷ and title and rights of the Syilx Peoples.” Chief’s Statement, 2018
The Chiefs Executive Council has made a unified commitment to the Syilx Nation Rebuilding Initiative, starting with a community-led process to create a Syilx Constitution. On December 12, 2018 the Okanagan Nation Alliance Chief’s Executive put forth the Strengthening Our Syilx Nation, Creating a Syilx Constitution Together statement. The Chiefs Executive Council has mandated that an inclusive, transparent and accountable community engagement process begin to create and ratify a Syilx Constitution.
Syilx Okanagan citizens on and off reserve are encouraged to actively share your voice, ask questions, and contribute to this Nation Rebuilding process. This is self-determination in action. Aboriginal Title and Rights are collectively held at the Nation level, as we’ve always known and practiced.
Creating a Constitution is one of the necessary steps in strengthening and legitimatizing the evolving Syilx Nation governance systems and processes. captíkwł teachings define and inform Syilx responsibilities to protect and advance our culture, language, tmxwulaxw, tmixw, siwłkw and skc’əx̌ʷəx̌wiplaʔ uɬ steɬtaɬt of the Syilx Peoples. These oral traditions, in which foundational Syilx laws are embedded, will be upheld and drawn upon to renew Syilx legal order and laws.
ALL SYILX CITIZENS ARE NEEDED TO REBUILD OUR NATION
“I believe that this Syilx Nation rebuilding process is our chance to move away from having to defend our territory at every turn. It puts our Nation in the position to exercise our collective rights and responsibilities, drawing on our strength as a people.” Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, ONA Chair
We have a tradition of consensus building. We must all be involved in determining the future of our Nation, in reaffirming our laws and rebuilding our Nation’s government.
Just as we’ve been able draw on our traditional ways of knowing and governance to bring back the salmon to our territory, we must call upon the vision, values and voices – the wisdom of all Syilx citizens, to renew and carry us forward in this Nation Rebuilding process.
For our people, land and waters – continuing the Nation rebuilding work of our ancestors
At the direction of the Chiefs Executive Council, a Recognition Agreement was negotiated with the federal government to protect and advance our Syilx Nation’s collective Title and Rights. This would require the federal government to make a significant funding commitment to support the Syilx Nation’s work to develop and implement our Syilx Nation governance. Even though the agreement was approved in principle by Cabinet, the federal government has informed our negotiators that it ran out of time to get the necessary Finance approvals needed for this agreement to be signed before the Fall 2019 election. Syilx Nation level and local community discussions on the Recognition Agreement that were scheduled for this August had to be postponed.
Pending the outcome of the federal election, it’s important to keep working together in our Nation to understand the precedent-setting importance of this Recognition agreement for our people today and for our future generations.
At the same time, our Syilx Nation rebuilding and decolonization work continues through the community-led Syilx Nation Rising process. We continue the work of our ancestors to rebuild a unified Syilx Nation government guided by ankc’x̌ʷiplaʔtntət uɬ yʕat iʔ ks səctxət̕stim – our laws and responsibilities which we will create and approve together as Syilx Nation members.
*Please see the attached PDF update on our vital Nation rebuilding work. Syilx Nation Rising community engagement update Sept2019
For more info on Syilx Nation Rising and events, please contact:
Laurie Wilson, Nation Rebuilding Project Manager
T: 250-707-0095 x150 E: PM-Nation.Rebuilding@syilx.org