qχeləc, nə́c̓əmat θəɬ kʷθə šxʷqʷeləwən
Many Voices, One Mind
Teachings From Elders
We would like to introduce you to the traditional ways through the eyes of Elders and knowledge keepers; they hold the culture, history, and traditions.
When we began on this journey, we made sure to consider Elders’ physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental condition, being mindful of the beautiful gift they are giving to us all. We want to speak to the importance of Elders and their connection to history and the land.
We always welcome all elders from across Turtle Island. Sto:lo is welcoming of all 28 Nations in the Northwest Coast. We welcome those who are travelers when they land on our beaches within our territory. When these visitors would sing up to the mountains traditionally to ask permission to land, we would sing back, the ocean would answer with a loud roar and it said, “I can hear you!”
Chief Dan George from the Tsleil-Waututh Nation gifted a song to the Sto:lo People to have as their song, this Sto:lo Anthem it brings pride to our people. We have lost so many teachings through residential school. Ripping of the language from the Elders of today. We are not reinventing something. We are reclaiming our voice. We are blessed by our shared teachings and traditions and the four directions. The notion of the 4 directions nurtures the teachings and language of Indigenous people. We want to share that today, and it will be a good journey.
Why are the four directions teachings important?
The Medicine wheel runs for the year, starts in one season, and ends in the last. Each culture from the four directions all resides on Mother Earth. The importance is knowing that the East yellow, South red, West black and North white, not one is dominant over the others. We are all connected, we are all relations.
The East – yellow represents birth, illumination, the sun, fire, our spiritual being, and Spring.
The South - red, youth, the Earth, our emotional being, perseverance, and Summer.
The West - black, adulthood, water, our physical being, and Autumn.
The North - white, Elder, the air, self-reflection, our intellectual being and Winter. At this point in our lives and in the direction of the North we have learned many lessons.
These lessons are for us to share. To gift to future generations. Lessons like respecting Mother Earth, learning our nations territories and protocols. It’s honoring the lands, people language and songs, prayers, respect is intentions it’s a seeing hearing feeling things which is about connection. We are coming together with our minds and hearts to form a connection. Without connection, there is disruption. Connection honors all that is as above, as below.
Colonialism didn’t bring respect to our people, it created a disconnection. What happens to the Earth, happens to the people. We are part of who she is.
All our relations