Like the echoes of an ancient drumbeat growing louder with time, there’s a gentle shift dawning on the horizon; a groundswell that’s gaining momentum. Chilliwack’s wild natural spaces, from the hidden depths of the mighty Fraser River to the grand, jagged peaks of the Cheam Mountain Range, provide an immeasurable gift. Our nature bestows shelter and sustenance to its wildlife; and a sense of limitless adventure, quiet solace and comforting well-being to all people who live, work, and play within its compass. We can learn from the example of the first voices of this land, who have always held a deeply sacred connection to nature, fuelling a profound need to protect it. For all the ways our wild spaces enrich us, there’s no better way to respond in kind than to align our efforts to protect this invaluable gift.
The Fraser Valley is the traditional territory of the Stó:lō First Nation. In Halq’eméylem (the language of the region), Stó:lō translates to “river”, and its people are known as “people of the river”. The Fraser River and salmon within were, and still are, an intrinsic part of their culture and way of life. The name Chilliwack comes from the word Ts’elxwéyeqw (Ch-ihl-kway-uhk). Stó:lō people refer to this land as S’ólh Téméxw – “our world, our land”. Because their ability to survive depended on the bounty of the land, the sacred task of ‘xyólhmet te mekw’stám ít kwelát’ – “taking care of everything that belongs to us”, has always been a fundamental tenet. The Stó:lō people have a respect, spirituality, and connection to the land that we can learn from.
Sí:yá:ya Yóyes Living Tourism Action Plan – Our commitment to becoming a trusted friend of the Ts’elxwéyeqw and Pil’alt Tribes of the Stó:lō – Coast Salish and all Indigenous Peoples.
Our naturehood is alive with unparalleled beauty and untold wonders waiting to be explored. Before you head out on your next adventure, leave prepared to make sure your journey brings you safely back home. Walk nature’s pathways with respect and a grateful and generous heart and you’ll find your soul and spirit enriched beyond measure. Inspire others around you to protect this gift.