The Powtown Post

Stories and photos from Powell River, BC.

Snapshots and quotes from the Tla’amin Treaty ceremonies

Posted by on Apr 11, 2016

Share this!
Tlaamin 12

There’s a lot to celebrate: self-government at last, 8000+ hectares of land, and millions of dollars in capital funds, economic development funding and resource sharing.

On April 9, hundreds of people gathered at Tla’amin’s new Government House and the Evergreen Theatre to witness ceremonies celebrating the implementation of the Tla’amin treaty.

The following is a snapshot of what happened, in pictures and words:

Tlaamin 1

“I’m going to try to hold it together here… I’m so pleased to see all you beautiful Tla’amin people.”
– A teary Hegus Clint Williams, holding his grandparents’ talking stick

“Treaty represents an external reconciliation; self-government, an internal reconciliation…. This self-government make-over looks good on you!”
– Witness Kim Baird, former chief of Tsawwassen First Nation

Tlaamin 2
Tlaamin 3

“I had a hard time sleeping last night. I was tossing and turning thinking about treaty. Then, as I was having my traditional cup of coffee at 5am, I saw the sun come up. The elders used to talk about change and whether it’s even really possible… so many of them have left us now. I know they’re happy and looking down on us. I believe they’re the sun shining down on us today.”
– Walter Paul, Tla’amin councillor

“This ceremony has really done something to the heart. You’re blazing a trail for the rest of us. We’ve been in the treaty process for 18 years. We’re looking forward to a day like this.”
– Chief Gordon Planes, T’Sou-ke Nation

Tlaamin 4
Tlaamin 5

“I’m remembering our ancestors who travelled uphill a long time. Now here we are, and they’re here with us in spirit… Creator, guide us that we’re going in the right direction.”
– Elder Dr. Elsie Paul

“I was a very young man when we began pursuing self-government.”
– Elder Eugene Louie, Tla’amin councillor

Tlaamin 6
Tlaamin 7

“I raise my hands to the people of the Tla’amin Nation and to their ancestors. What a privilege it is to be able to witness this.”
– Former Powell River mayor and long-time self-government supporter Stuart Alsgard

“We were all young people when we started this, and we always did it for future generations. It does my heart so good to see all the young people here, to have witnessed the passage from chief under the Indian Act, to Tla’amin Hegus.”
– Sophie Pierre, witness and former chief commissioner of the BC Treaty Commission

Tlaamin 8
Tlaamin 9

“It was only during this brief period (the 1870s to 2016) that we did not govern ourselves. We look back and we look forward at the same time.”
– Dr. Evan Adams, emcee, and Chief Medical Officer of BC’s First Nations Health Authority

“In the weeks leading up to the treaty, the people were visiting us [ancestors.] There was a warm energy all around. I felt it and I hope you all did too.”
– Hegus Clint Williams

Tlaamin 10
Tlaamin 11

“Ceremony really matters, and I think it’s important that you continue to remind us how important ceremony is.”
– The Honourable Dr. Carolyn Bennett, Federal Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs

Powell River Living Magazine
On Facebook:

Powell River Living Magazine

Powell River Living Magazine is a monthly print publication, showcasing the best of Powell River.
Powell River Living Magazine
On Facebook:

Latest posts by Powell River Living Magazine (see all)

Related posts: