The traditional territory of the Ts'elxwéyeqw First Nation covers over 95,000 hectares of land in Southwestern BC. It extends throughout the central Fraser Valley, encompassing the entire Chilliwack River Valley (including Chilliwack Lake, Chilliwack River, Cultus Lake and areas, and parts of the Chilliwack municipal areas). In addition to being an area of natural beauty and abundant resources, it also has a rich cultural history. The Chilliwack region gets its name from the Ts’elxwéyeqw tribe, and this volume delves into what this name means—and also what it means to be Ts’elxwéyeqw. Being Ts’elxwéyeqw portrays the people, artifacts and landscapes that are central to the Ts’elxwéyeqw people, and represents a rich oral record of an aboriginal heritage that has been kept alive—even through adversity—for thousands of years.
Lavishly illustrated with over seven hundred historic and current photos and maps, this book amalgamates a variety of voices and personal histories from elders, while providing background into eighty-five place names within the region. The book’s unique composition—with an emphasis on visual storytelling—showcases a culture with a deep connection to the surrounding land and the watershed.
About the authors
David Schaepe is Director of the Stó:lo Research and Resource Management Centre at Stó:lo Nation, where has worked since 1997. He holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia (2009); an MA in archaeology from Simon Fraser University (1998), and a BA in anthropology from New York University (1989). He is an Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University (School of Resource & Environmental Management) and the University of the Fraser Valley (Social, Cultural & Media Studies). Dave was a co-editor / co-author of the award winning book A Stó:lo-Coast Salish Historical Atlas (2001); a co-creator of Man Turned to Stone: T’xwelátse (2012); project lead on the award winning virtual museum project digitalsqewlets.ca (2017), and has published numerous journal articles and book chapters addressing Stó:lo–Coast Salish cultural heritage. He and his wife live in the Chilliwack River Valley.
Excerpt: Being Ts'elxwéyeqw: First Peoples' Voices and History from the Chilliwack-Fraser Valley, British Columbia (by (author) Tselxwéyeqw Tribe; edited by David M. Schaepe)
“Our stories identify for us the land which surrounds us and tie us to our ancestors. We find ourselves inextricably linked to the past, to the land, to the river, to each other, to the future.”
—Shirley Hardman, contributor