Click the play button to hear the English and Halq’emeylem pronunciation of the title of this tab

Big Idea:

9000 years before the first Europeans landed on the shores of North America or Turtle Island, Aboriginal people lived here in a community structure that was unique to the land on which they lived.  Each group observed their own laws, traditions, religion and stories.

The First People of our area are Sto:lo (The River People). Their territory encompasses twenty-four bands between Fort Langley and Yale (Sto;lo Nation,, 2014). Each group has their own traditions, songs, stories and values that are unique to their tribe. Each community is uniquely connected to the earth through spiritual teachings based on their geographical area. Local resources, especially those found in the water and in the earth, are important to trade and survival of the people.

Inquiry Question

Describe Indigenous culture and way of life prior to European contact.

Core Competency: Communication

Print Resources: (These resources are available to borrow from the Siwal Si’wes Library)

Digital Resources:

Click the following bold link or image below to explore BC Aboriginal Legends and Symbology : Created for the Squamish Lilwat Cultural Centre website, this page describes BC animals and what each represents within BC First Nations people’s culture and traditions, as well as brief versions of some traditional stories.  This page is a place to begin an inquiry about the included animals as symbols and about First Nations traditional stories.

9000 Years of History in the Land of the River People : The Stóːlō : From Time Immemorial “The program ‘From Time Immemorial’ is designed to provide students from primary to mid-intermediate grades with a basic introduction to Stóːlō culture and an understanding of First Nations history. …

Unit 1 Module 1 Who are the Sto:lo

Unit 1 Module 2 Oral Traditions

Unit 1 Module 3 TransportationTrade Routes

Unit 2 Module 1 Housing

Unit 2 Module 2 Social Structure

Unit 2 Module 3 Rites of Passage

Unit 3 Module 1 Cedar

Unit 3 Module 2 Fishing

Unit 3 Module 3 Potlatch

Unit 3 Module 4 Weaving

A Journey Into Time Immemorial: (interactive online resource)

Click the following bold link to explore the works of Roy Henry Vickers : This BC First Nations artist’s commercial website that offers pictures of his paintings along with commentary about many of them.

Roy Henry Vickers, Orca Chief Story shared on CBC: Click here for the Audio Link.

Click the following bold link to explore Thomas King, “I’m Not the Indian You Had in Mind” : Creative video dramatization of Thomas King’s spoken word poem “I’m Not the Indian You Had in Mind”.

Click this link or the following picture to learn of a story that has been passed down through the generations

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Historica Canada – Indigenous Peoples

Quilt of Belonging

Canada’s First Peoples: