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PRINCIPLE 1:

Tsleil-Waututh has a sacred obligation to protect, defend, and steward the water, land, air, and resources of the territory.

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ur stewardship obligation is to act with respect for all beings, human and non-human, and for all elements of the natural and spirit worlds. This responsibility is reflected in the principle of ʔaχʷəstəl̕ (reciprocal giving/reciprocity). If respect is shown, the syəwenəɬ (collectively, the spirits of those who came before us; the ancestors; our brethren—all creatures that live on the earth with us) will also care for and support us in return. However, if respect is not shown, negative or even disastrous consequences for the Tsleil-Waututh may be expected.

1.1 Sources of Tsleil-Waututh’s stewardship obligations Cicəɬ siʔem̓ (the Creator). Cicəɬ siʔem̓ is the ultimate source of Tsleil-Waututh law. The Tsleil-Waututh Creation Story recounts how Cicəɬ siʔem̓ transformed the first TsleilWatt man, created the first Tsleil-Watt woman, and ensured that they were instructed in their responsibilities of reciprocal respect and caring for each other and for all elements of təməxʷ (the earth, the entire world, the territory, the environment). Tsleil-Waututh’s spiritual connections and close relationship to other species and beings present throughout the territory, dating back to time out of mind. In the Tsleil-Waututh Creation Story, Cicəɬ siʔem̓ transforms a wolf into the first Tsleil-Watt man, who travels the territory learning from his relatives around him, including the birds, black bear, and salmon, all he needs to know in order to live. They teach him how to look after the land. The close relationship between Tsleil-Waututh and our non-human brethren is likewise demonstrated in the Story of Waut-Salk, which recounts Chief Waut-Salk’s ability to speak to fish and his special relationship with all marine life. These stories recount how the territory came to be ours, as well as describing the stewardship responsibilities placed upon the first ancestors by Cicəɬ siʔem̓ . The physical and spiritual presence of the ancestors in the territory. Burrard Inlet is the “womb” of Tsleil-Waututh, where Cicəɬ siʔem̓ , with the help of the cedar tree, brought the first Tsleil-Watt woman to life from earth, rock, and sediment beneath the salt water. This intimate connection to Burrard Inlet gives rise to an obligation of stewardship and respect; we must care for it because our ancestors are part of the landscape. Through the centuries, we have returned our ancestors to the earth, where they have become part of the environment for the birds, fishes, and other species, contributing to the spiritual connection between us and

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to our stewardship obligation. Our snəw̓ əyəɬ tells us that if something is alive, it must be respected and that not just the animals but also the rivers, the sand bars, and the rocks are alive and are beings with spirits. Sacred locations associated with the time of transformation, supernatural beings, and historical events. Coast Salish traditional narratives also make clear the importance of respecting spiritually and historically significant places and objects. Such places are present throughout Tsleil-Waututh territory. For example, the Story of the Two-Headed Sea Serpent describes the locations where the serpent’s heads were lodged, one on either side of Indian Arm, and the pathway this stla’leqem (supernatural being) followed as it made its way to die in Buntzen Lake. The story also describes the rock into which the serpent’s fangs were thrust to bring fresh water to our Tsleil-Waututh ancestors during a time of drought. Geological formations in Indian Arm marked with tumulh (red ochre) rock paintings preserve knowledge of these places and of the related teachings from these ancient narratives for future generations (see Figure 4). Similarly, another traditional narrative recounted by Gabriel George describes how Xe:l̕ s transformed the beloved daughters of a great Tsleil-Waututh chief into the twin peaks known as “the lions.” These peaks overlook what is today Vancouver and Burrard Inlet.17 The presence of transformed ancestors in the territory means that we are not just “of” our territory; we are the places and beings of the territory. Inherited stewardship responsibilities placed upon caretakers of particular resources or resource harvest locations. Individuals may carry special responsibilities in upholding Tsleil-Waututh’s stewardship obligations, serving as caretakers of particular resources or resource harvest locations. Selected based on their aptitude, ancestry, and merit, these individuals have spirit power, technical expertise, and receive training / apprenticeship from elders or from other relations. They may also have inherited ancestral names. These individuals’ “good name” and status depends on their ability to manage the resource sustainably.

 e:l̕ s was a supernatural being sent by Cicəɬ siʔem̓ “to help our people, to right wrongs” X and to “make things right” in the territory.

Assessment of the Trans Mountain Pipeline and Tanker Expansion Proposal

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Profile for Tseil-Waututh Nation Sacred Trust Initiative

Tseil-Waututh Nation Assessment of the Trans Mountain Pipeline and Tanker Expansion Proposal  

Landmark independent assessment by the Tsleil-Wautuh Nation of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Expansion Project. The assessment applies TWN'...

Tseil-Waututh Nation Assessment of the Trans Mountain Pipeline and Tanker Expansion Proposal  

Landmark independent assessment by the Tsleil-Wautuh Nation of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Expansion Project. The assessment applies TWN'...

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