Síyá:ya Yóyes Friends Working (Together) Plan is tailored to guide Tourism Ch’illiwack in providing tangible contributions to the reconciliation process with Indigenous peoples. Tourism Ch’illiwack retained the services of Dan George and Four Directions Management Services to create this plan to ensure Tourism Ch’illiwack is inclusive in their work and contributes to the National Truth and Reconciliation plan and to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“The purpose of this important engagement is to enable Tourism Ch’illiwack to integrate their existing strategies, frameworks, and policies and expand their collaboration, skills, and expertise as they strive to build strong relationships with Indigenous Peoples in a culturally safe organization. Once developed, this strategy will guide programs, services, and partnerships, allowing the organization to work respectfully and effectively with Indigenous Peoples.” Noted Brian Minter, Chair of Tourism Ch’illiwack.
The Sí:yá:ya Yóyes Friends Working (Together) Committee facilitated by Four Direction Management Services was formed in February 2021 and was made up of Chief David Jimmie – President of the Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe and Stó: lō Nation, Ernie Victor – Cheam Nation, Dave Schaepe – Governance Chair of Tourism Ch’illiwack, Brian Minter – Chair Tourism Ch’illiwack and Allison Colthorp – Tourism Ch’illiwack.
“We often hear how organizations and governments are looking to work together and implement concepts of reconciliation, but actions speak louder than words. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work on the Sí:yá:ya Yóyes Plan and be a part of something tangible and forward thinking with likeminded individuals in an effort to effect positive change,” expressed Chief Jimmie.
“Sqwá mestiyexw, xólhmet te só:lh smelalhs sq’eq’ó, ólhet, stl’etl’í, selá:wa , smáts’els, yóyes sq’eq’ótel qas shxwelistexw te st’elt’eláwtexw – We the Sqwá people foster our values of unity, respect, love, humility, pride, cooperation and community care. “Yóyes sq’eq’ótel lhe’á te s’éyelh – Working together in a good way!” It is in this spirit we will collaborate with Tourism Chilliwack’s new Action Plan. Sqwá (Skwah) is a proud member of the Pelólhxw Tribe along with Kwaw-Kwaw-Apilt and Xwchíyò:m.” Stated by Chief Lara Mussell, Sqwá First Nation.
“Cheam First Nation is proud to share our culture and the beauty of S’ólh Téméxw through the highest hospitable experiences with visitors and residents of the Upper Fraser Valley.
With guidance from the teachings of our Elders, Cheam is excited to support Tourism Ch’illiwack’s new Action Plan, which is rooted in the spirit of reconciliation and partnership and is committed to upholding our cultural principles, values and traditions. This is the first tourism action plan in Canada to include Indigenous teachings and practices at the forefront and express a commitment to reconciliation and working together. This plan will surely provide Cheam First Nation and our Stó:lō relatives with many quality tourism opportunities.” Affirmed Chief Andrew Victor, Cheam First Nations.
“Tourism Ch’illiwack partnerships and engagement such as having a Stó:lō representative on Tourism Ch’illiwack Board, the Stó:lō Welcome Figures at the Chilliwack Visitor Centre – carving onsite for visitors to watch and learn and for school groups – 2017, 2018 RBC Cup – Partnership with Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe, Tourism Ch’illiwack rebranding – pays respect to the peoples of the land – 2019, Indigenous culture integration into all marketing initiatives and tourism experience developments, all supported the creation of the Sí:yá:ya Yóyes Friends Working (Together) Plan.” commented Dave Schaepe.