Who We Are
Ts’elxwéyeqw are one of the tribes of the Stó:lō – People of the River – and are part of the broader Coast Salish collective. The Ts’elxwéyeqw are the First People of the Chilliwack River watershed in the Central Fraser Valley of southwestern British Columbia. The Halq’eméylem tribal name ‘Ts’elxwéyeqw’ is known in English as ‘Chilliwack’.
Long before contact, there were strong First Nations peoples in a beautiful valley territory. These early peoples were the original members of the Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe. The Territory is the ancestral home and spiritual realm of the Ts’elxwéyeqw communities with the original villages around Sx̱ótsaqel Chilliwack Lake, in a portion of their traditional territory, which is today referred to as the Chilliwack River Valley. Evidence of thousands of years of continuous occupation by the Stó:lō and their ancestors is documented through a range of disciplines including oral history, written history, ethnography, and archaeology.
In the mid-18th century, with the creation of the Indian Act, the once strong and territory based First Nations, became seven Indian Act First Nation communities. The modern-day bands that constitute the Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe include: Ăthelets (Aitchelitz), Sq’ewqéyl (Skowkale), Shxwhá:y, Th’ewá:li (Soowahlie), Sxwoyehálá (Squiala), Ch’íyáqtel (Tzeachten) and Yeqwyeqwí:ws (Yakweakwioose).
We are the Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe. We sustain our culture, our lands, and our families.
We achieve strength, unity, and success by managing natural and cultural resources for the well-being of our people and our environment.
Our decisions and actions are driven by our six (6) core values:
Unity – Working and living as one Tribe.
Harmony – Between our people, environment, and economic development.
Family – Caring for our youth, neighbours, and future generations.
Culture – Preserving our language, history, practices and traditional foods.
Nature – Managing our natural resources sustainably for the benefit of the Tribe.
Respect – For each other and for our environment.
Our Land - S'ólh Téméxw
The Tribe’s territory covers 95,000 hectares in southwestern BC and encompasses a portion of land over the border with the United States. The territory is rich in natural resources and beams with history, culture and tradition. The Tribe has been entrusted with the stewardship of the Traditional Territory where it exercises Aboriginal Rights and Title on behalf of the seven member communities.
Stó:lō Guiding Principles express the Stó:lō relationship with their traditional lands. These principles are interconnected.