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Introduction

“Our vision seeks to find a balance between values over time. It is holistic in nature.”

The Tsleil-Waututh Nation means “The People of the Inlet” and is one of many groups of Coast Salish peoples who populate the Pacific Northwest throughout British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. Our people have been very much shaped by our intimate knowledge of the lands and waters of our territory. Many generations of men, women and children have lived, had families and thrived in this area, due in no small part to the abundance of resources available. We therefore have what we refer to as a sacred trust, a responsibility to care for our traditional territory, and to restore it to its former state. This stewardship of the land, air, and water is so deeply ingrained in our culture because we understand that the health of our people is interconnected with the environment we inhabit.

We have a clear vision for our people. It is reflected in everything we do, every decision we make as a sovereign people, and in our commitment to our territory. While we underwent drastic, damaging changes after contact with Europeans because of colonial policies, we have made the conscious decision to acknowledge bitterness and anger but to set it aside, preferring instead to focus finding creative means and tools to move forward into our future.

Our aim now is to once again put the Tsleil-Waututh face on our traditional territory, to be active participants in all social, economic, cultural, and political activities that take place on our lands by building strong relationships based on trust and mutual respect. We believe in thinking big and acting decisively to care for our lands and waters. Only through this approach can we sustain and enhance our own culture, and contribute the wealth of knowledge we have to the broader community.

© Copyright 2014, Tsleil-Waututh Nation