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8.

TSLEIL-WAUTUTH

LEGAL PRINCIPLES

know about our people and our land is our snəw̓ əyəɬ. It’s our law. It’s our truth.” 15

photo by Zack Embree

is our truth. What we “ This have told you about what we

KEY POINTS

» In 2009, Tsleil-Waututh adopted a Stewardship Policy founded on Tsleil-Waututh and Coast Salish legal principles. » These legal principles include Tsleil-Waututh’s sacred obligation to protect, defend, and steward the water, land, air, and resources of our territory. » Our stewardship obligation includes the responsibility to maintain and restore conditions in our territory that provide the environmental, cultural, spiritual, and economic foundation our nation requires to thrive. » Living Tsleil-Waututh are responsible to both our ancestors and future generations for maintaining and restoring conditions for these activities: - Cultural transmission and training - Spiritual preparation and power - Harvest and consumption of safe, abundant wild foods from Tsleil-Waututh water and land to feed the present community, our ancestors, and other beings - Control over and sharing of resources according to Tsleil-Waututh and Coast Salish protocols » Failure to act responsibly toward the people, the earth, the ancestors, or any other being has serious consequences, potentially including loss of physical sustenance, of access to resources, of cultural knowledge, and of social status.

The Tsleil-Waututh Stewardship Policy rests on the foundation of our ancestral laws and is interpreted in accordance with them. The following section of the assessment provides an overview of applicable legal principles as laid out by Tsleil-Waututh teachings and other traditional and contemporary Coast Salish sources.16

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 ral Aboriginal traditional evidence given by Leah George-Wilson on October 16, 2014, during the National Energy Board’s hearing for the TMEX proposal, held in Chilliwack, British Columbia. O Just as Canadian common law consists of a body of case law developed over the centuries, Coast Salish stories express the ancestral laws of the Tsleil-Waututh. Tsleil-Waututh elders have told us that in light of substantially common legal traditions on matters of stewardship throughout the Coast Salish world, the principles contained in stories from all Coast Salish peoples are also applicable to Tsleil-Waututh. These expressions of Tsleil-Waututh law are referred to interchangeably here as stories, traditional narratives, or teachings. See Appendix 9 for a list of the stories cited.

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Profile for Tseil-Waututh Nation Sacred Trust Initiative

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