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Shqwultuns tu s’ulxwe:nst : the voice of our ancestors Jardey, Samaya 2009

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Shqwultuns tu s’ulxwe:nst: The voice of our ancestors by Samaya Jardey B.A., University of British Columbia, 2003 B.S.W., University of British Columbia, 2005 A THESIS SUBMITTED iN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) April 2009 © Samaya Jardey, 2009 ABSTRACT Disproportionate numbers of indigenous children are removed from their birth families and placed in child welfare care and there is reason to believe the incidents of this practice will increase. The current trend threatens to assimilate indigenous peoples into mainstream Canadian society, as did the preceding state mandated Indian residential school policy. The Indian residential school experience contaminated traditional indigenous childcare values and the current child welfare system further destroys them. The purpose of this indigenous and phenomenological study is to address and eventually reverse the practice of removing Coast Salish children from their homes and placing them in child welfare care. This study identifies, describes and gives voice to the lived experiences of five Coast Salish elders who were nurtured with traditional childcare values. The findings show that the childcare values experienced by the elders are now virtually non-existent in present day Coast Salish childcare practice. The recommendations offer concrete methods for Coast Salish people to reclaim the traditional childcare values that sustained children within their birth families for thousands of years before the genesis of Indian residential school and the child welfare system. 11 TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT.ii TABLE OF CONTENTS iii LIST OF TABLES v LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS vi ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS vii DEDICATION viii LIFE iN JEOPARDY OF LIFE 1 Introduction 1 Glossary of Terms 2 Purpose of the Study 4 Indigenous Child Welfare System in Canada 4 LIFE UNWORTHY OF LIFE 8 Introduction 8 Euro-Candian!Judeo-Christian Worldview and Values 8 History of Indian Residential School 10 Impact and Effects of Indian Residential School 16 LIFE WORTHY OF LIFE 19 Introduction 19 Indigenous Woridview and Values 19 Coast Salish Woridview and Values 21 Comparison of Indigenous and Euro-Canadian/Judeo-Christian Woridviews and Values 31 LIFE WORTHY OF LIFE RECLAIMED 34 Introduction 34 111 Elders .34 Methodology 36 Relevant Methods 38 Participation Selection 39 Understanding of Hul ‘qumi’num Snuw’uy’ulh 40 Insight 1: Importance of Family 41 Insight 2: Importance of Elders 45 Insight 3: Importance of Nature 50 Insight 4: Importance of Snuw’uy’ulh 53 Insight 5: Importance of Nurturing Our Children with Snuw’uy’ulh 56 Recommendations 64 Conclusion 69 REFERENCES 70 APPENDIX A 74 The United Nations Genocide Convention 74 iv LIST OF TABLES Table 3.1 Comparison of Indigenous and Euro-Canadian/Judeo-Christian Woridviews 31 Table 3.2 Comparison of Indigenous and IRS Childeare Values 32 V LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Figure 4.1 Cedar Tree 62 vi ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank all of the people who have helped guide me and inspire me on this journey. I would like to thank Snuneymuxw First Nation for their continued support, with a special acknowledgement to late Barbara White, hay ce.p q ‘a. I would especially like to thank my elders, Auntie Ellen White, Auntie Sarah Modeste, Big Bill Seward, my brother Joe Norris and late Margaret James, who generously shared their time and knowledge of our most sacred snuw ‘uy ‘ulh. I want to assure them that I will do all that I can to echo their teachings to future generations. I raise my hands to them with gratitude and love, hay ce:p q ‘a si ‘em. I owe my deepest gratitude to my son, Nigalle Jardey, who has stood by my side throughout this long and challenging journey. He has been, and continues to be, one of my greatest teachers. I raise my hands to him with love, care and respect, hay ch q ‘a si ‘em. I would like to thank my brother John Thomas and my dear friends Lorna and Dennis Joseph for their love and support. I raise my hands to them with love and gratitude, hay ce:p q ‘a si ‘em. I would like to thank my brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and friends for their patience, understanding and continue love and support during this journey. I raise my hands to them with love and gratitude, hay ce:p q ‘a si ‘em. I would like to say a special thanks to Robbin Jeffereys for her support in completing this work. I would like to thank my thesis supervisor, Dr. Margaret Wright and committee members Dr. Richard Vedan and Dr. Bruce G. Miller for their interest and support of this work. There are no words that can fully describe the gifts that each of you have shared with me. I am eternally grateful. vii DEDICATION This is dedicated to my auntie, Qwustayneeuh, My grandmother, Thleexulwut, My great-grandmother, Xalunamut and To my father, Oscar Thomas, And To our children and all of our children’s children viii LIFE IN JEOPARDY OF LIFE Introduction “Life in jeopardy of life” refers to the disproportionate number of indigenous children removed, historically and currently, from their birth families and placed in child welfare care. The majority of the apprehended children are placed with non indigenous foster/adoptive families by non indigenous child welfare workers whose values are rooted in a Euro CanadianlJudeo-Christian woridview, which vastly differs from the values rooted in an indigenous woridview (Blackstock & Trocme, 2005). This practice threatens to assimilate indigenous children into mainstream Euro-Canadian society, thus jeopardizing their lives as distinct peoples. This “is ofparticular concern in light of the history of assimilationist education and child welfare policies in Canada” (Trocme, Knoke & Blackstock, 2004, p. 578). This paper has been written as a vehicle for Coast Salish people to begin addressing the apprehension of their children into the child welfare system of the colonizing culture. My purpose is not to create a document for federal and provincial debate, but, rather to provide a compelling description of why, without a complete and internalized relearning and reclaiming of our traditional Coast Salish ways of being in the world that are founded on our broad and in- depth cultural values, we will continue to have our children removed into child welfare care. Much has been written about specific aspects of indigenous culture: the need to reclaim art work, languages, dance and cultural ceremonies. With the exception of anthropological literature, very little has been written about the extensive network of values and family and community laws informing all parts of indigenous culture that are visible to the external world. It is that which is not visible that I will be addressing in this paper. In Chapter one, Life in Jeopardy of Life, I will provide a glossary of terms and discuss the purpose of this study, followed by a brief overview of the history of the child welfare system 1 in Canada. Then, I will describe the situation as it currently exists in Canada relating to indigenous families nationally, then specifically, in British Columbia (BC). In Chapter two, Life Unworthy of Life, I will describe the principles of a Euro-CanadianlJudeo-Christian worldview and value system, specifically as it pertains to childcare. I will provide a brief overview of the actions and laws of the colonizers that led to the breakdown of indigenous families, with particular emphasis on the Indian residential school system (IRS). In Chapter three, Life Worthy of Life, I will describe the principles of an indigenous woridview and value system, specifically as it pertains to childeare, followed by a description of a Coast Salish woridview and value system. I will conclude with a brief comparison of the two colliding woridviews and childcare value systems: that of indigenous peoples and that shared by the colonizing groups, particularly the Canadian government and the numerous churches involved in IRS. In The Final chapter, Life Worthy of Life Reclaimed, I will describe the traditional Coast Salish values as gathered from the teachings of five Vancouver Island Coast Salish elders, including a study of why these values and laws are critical to the reclaiming of our right to raise our own children. I will conclude with recommendations for the development of programs and opportunities for Coast Salish people to begin to releam, or in some cases discover for the first time, who they are, where they come from and how traditional healthy families function. In summary, my goal is to promote the reclaiming of Coast Salish values, norms, and family and community laws in order for Coast Salish people to survive, and ultimately thrive, as distinct peoples within a dominant culture not of their own making. Glossary of Terms Aboriginal people: This is a political term used in the Canadian Constitution Act, 1982, to refer to Indians as defined by the Indian Act, Metis and Inuit peoples. Coast Salish people: The indigenous peoples who speak a Salishan language in the Gulf of Georgia area of southern British Columbia and Northern Puget Sound of northern Washington. 2 Here it refers specifically to the “Central Coast Salish” who traditionally “possessed the southern end of the Strait of Georgia, most of the Juan de Fuca, [and] the Lower Fraser Valley” (Suttles, 1990, p. 453). Elder/s: People knowledgeable about the research topic. Extended family: This includes a child’s birth parents, their maternal and paternal aunts, uncles, grandparents together with their cousins who are considered brothers and sisters. Hul’ciumi’num: A dialect of the Salishan language spoken by the Coast Salish people on Vancouver Island from “Malahat in the south to Nanoose Bay in the north” (Hukari & Peters, 1995, p. iii). Indian Residential School (IRS’): These were government fmanced, church administered schools where indigenous children lived in residence. Indigenous peoples: The descendents of the original peoples of what is now known as Canada, which includes the Metis and Inuit peoples, and all the peoples that fall under the terms First Nations, Aboriginal, Native, and Indian as defined by the Indian Act. Intergenerational survivor: A descendent of a former student of IRS. Snuw’uy’ulh: Hul’qumi’num word for values/teachings. Survivor: A former student of IRS who lived through their IRS experience. Traditional: Indigenous peoples’ way of life before the genesis of IRS and other racist, colonial policies that attempted to exterminate the peoples as distinct societies. Values: The teaching of ideals, customs, institutions, traditions and ways of knowing and being in the world. Xeel’s: A transformer figure who travelled throughout Coast Salish territory and transformed the landscape by permanently turning humans and animals into stone, fish plants or animals. 3 Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study is to develop concrete methods that will support Coast Salish people in learning, understanding, knowing and practicing their traditional values, specifically as they pertain to childcare. This will be achieved by working in partnership with five Coast Salish elders who agreed to share their lived experiences of traditional Coast Salish childcare values (snuw ‘uy ‘ulh), as well as describe the meaning they give to their experiences. The process is rooted in an indigenous and phenomenological methodology. Multiple, unstructured, in-depth interviews were conducted. My hope is that Coast Salish people take ownership of their traditional values and consciously and habitually practice them once again because, as Taiaiake Alfred states, “the threat to our existence as indigenous people is so immediate that we cannot afford not to. The only way we can survive is to recover our strength, our wisdom, and our solidarity by honouring and revitalizing the core of our traditional teachings” (1999, p. xii). It involves “restoring order to daily living in conformity with ancient and enduring values that affirm life” (Brant Castellano, 2004, p. 100). This study, considered urgent by many, is feasible to conduct and over the short and long term could prove effective in bringing an end to Coast Salish children being removed from their birth families and placed in child welfare care. Indigenous Child Welfare System in Canada The child welfare system in Canada infiltrated the lives of indigenous families beginning in 1951, the year that also marked the beginning of the closure of IRS in Canada (to be discussed in chapter two). At this time the federal government changed certain laws which previously prevented provincial governments from having any involvement in indigenous child welfare for peoples who lived on reserve, as most did at this time (Bennett, Blackstock & De La 4 Ronde, 2005). Prior to the mid 1950s, indigenous peoples were generally not affected by the child welfare system, largely because no additional funds were offered to provinces for indigenous children apprehended. This changed in the late 1950s when the provinces were guaranteed monies for each indigenous child apprehended (Fournier & Crey, 1997). Payment to provinces unleashed a vile attack on indigenous families, illustrated by the rapid increase in indigenous children apprehended. “Only 1 per cent of all children in care were native in 1959, but by the end of the 1960s, 30 to 40 per cent of all legal wards were aboriginal children, even though they formed less than 4 per cent of the national population (Fournier & Crey, 1997, p. 83). Continuing to the present date, disproportionate numbers of indigenous children have been removed from their birth families and placed in child welfare care (Blackstock, Brown & Bennett, 2007). Between 1960 and 1990, more than 11,000 indigenous children were removed from their birth homes and adopted out to mostly non indigenous peoples (Blackstock & Trocme, 2005). Currently, the number of children and youth in child welfare care nationally is 76,000 and of those, 40% are of indigenous ancestry. This number increased 71.5% between 1995 and 2001 for indigenous children living on reserve (there are no numbers for children living off reserve) (Blackstock & Trocme, 2005). In some territories across Canada indigenous children “comprise nearly 80 percent of children living in out-of-home-care” (Trocme, Knoke & Blackstock, 2004, p. 578). The current number of indigenous children in child welfare care is of such concern, that Blackstock & Trocme (2005), “estimate that there may be as many as three times more Aboriginal children in the care of child welfare authorities now than were placed in residential schools at the height of those operations in the 1940s” (p. 13). In BC, according to the Provincial Health Officer and the Child and Youth Officer of British Columbia (2006), in October 2005 approximately one percent of all children in BC under the age of 19 were in child welfare care. Of the 9,080 children almost half were of 5 indigenous ancestry (49%), even though indigenous children made up only seven percent of the general population of children in BC. The number of indigenous children in child welfare care is disproportionate to the number of indigenous children in the general population. The 2001 census data reports that almost seven percent of the indigenous child population compared with 0.5 percent of the non indigenous child population are in child welfare care. Of the total number of children currently in care throughout various territories in BC, between 33% - 77 % are indigenous (Child and Youth Officer, 2006). The Child and Youth Officer (2006) also states that indigenous children generally go into care at a younger age than non-indigenous children, have higher numbers in continuing care (66%), compared to non-indigenous children (54%), and are estimated to remain in care for longer periods of time than non-indigenous children. The number of indigenous children in care has increased from 31% to 49% from 1997 to 2005, while the number of non-indigenous children has decreased over the same period. Unless changes are made to apprehension policies, there is every reason to believe that these numbers will continue to increase. This trend is forecast because the indigenous child population is projected to grow more rapidly than the non- indigenous child population. It is also forecast because children who have been in child welfare care are more likely to have children enter into care, often at a younger age and for longer periods of time, than those who have never been in care (Child and Youth Officer, 2006). This is substantiated by the extensive research of Trocme et al (2004). It must be stated, that for thousands of years before European contact, indigenous peoples in Canada raised their children within their birth families and communities without support, desire or need of strangers from foreign societies. For the 500 years since contact, these people have shown incredible resiliency when confronted with a “myriad of traumas” brought by European contact and colonization (Blackstock & Trocme, 2005, p. 13). Yet, disproportionate numbers of their children are currently being taken into child welfare care. 6 Many have suggested that the root cause of this practice lies in the history indigenous peoples share with European newcomers and colonial policies, specifically the Indian residential school policy (Blackstock & Trocme, 2005; Hughes, 2006). If this phenomenon is to be addressed with any real meaning we must examine this shared history to gain knowledge and understanding of how indigenous peoples changed from raising their own children to having so many raised by strangers from a foreign society. Without knowledge of this history it is impossible to fully comprehend why a study such as this is needed. As Chrisjohn, Young, & Maraun claim in The Circle Game (2006): A major requirement for Undoing What Has Been Done’ is full recognition of What Has Been Done. Any commitment to “undo” which leaves the “what” unspecified is an empty gesture, and as such is not a commitment at all. As well, the Canadian public has continued to express skepticism concerning grievances of Aboriginal peoples with respect to their treatment in Residential Schools; it is time they became educated (p. 127) Emphasis in text 7 LIFE UNWORTHY OF LIFE Introduction The phrase “life unworthy of life” (Glass, 1999, P. 5) was used by the Nazis to describe peoples who they believed, and ultimately decided had no right to live and therefore exterminated (Glass, 1999). In terms of indigenous peoples, the phrase is used to describe the attitudes and beliefs of pre-confederate and confederate state representatives and the state policies they implemented. Specifically, the phrase refers to the Indian residential school policy, which was devised to exterminate indigenous peoples and eradicate distinct indigenous societies in what is now known as Canada. This chapter will provide a brief overview of the fundamental principles of a Euro Canadian/Judeo-Christian woridview and the childcare values rooted to this woridview. These are the childcare values that were practiced on indigenous children in IRS. This will be followed by a brief history of IRS, which will include descriptions of pre-confederate and confederate policies implemented, and quotes from leaders of the time that will provide examples of the general attitude towards indigenous peoples. Only a brief discussion of IRS will be given due to the fact that there is much literature available regarding both the history of IRS and the experiences of indigenous children who attended. This chapter concludes with a discussion about the direct effect IRS has had on former students and the intergenerational effects it has had on their children and grandchildren. Euro-CanadianlJudeo-Christian Woridview and Values No matter how dominant a woridview is, there are always other ways of interpreting the world. Different ways of interpreting the world are manifest through different cultures, which are often in opposition to each other. (Little Bear, 2000, p. 77) A Judeo-Christian!Euro-Canadian worldview is hierarchical with a single creation story and a single supreme being governing the entire world. Creation is understood as a “beginning 8 event of a linear time sequence in which a divine plan is worked out” (Deloria, 1973, p. 91). This woridview does not attribute spirit to animals, plants, rocks or other non human features within its universe; rather, these are viewed as inanimate objects. This concept is linear (Deloria, 1973; Frideres, 2005; Little Bear, 2000; McKenzie & Morrissette, 2003; Zapf, 1999), fragmented, and functions in terms of time (Deloria, 1973). In this woridview land is viewed strictly as an economic resource to be owned (Zapf, 1999) and belonging to man (Deloria, 1973). It is best symbolized by a triangle, with God at its apex, humans in the middle and nature at the bottom. The values of cbildcare rooted to this worldview are such that children are seen as dependents of their adult “masters” who have undisputed influence, power and unlimited authority to rule over them (Miller, 1990, p. 59). Parents determined in “godlike fashion what is right and what is wrong” for children (p. 59). Children were forbidden to express anger, creativity, willfulness, feelings or a sense of self-esteem. Corporal punishment was the norm and the primary tool used in breaking the will of children at an early age. Breaking the will of children at an early age was carried out so they would not “notice” what was being done to them and therefore would be unable to “expose the adults” (Miller, 1990, p. 59). “The primary obligation of the European child. ..[was] that of obedience to his parents” (Bull, 1991, p.l’7). The attitude was that children were “undeserving of respect simply because they were children”, that “the body is something dirty and disgusting”, and that “a high degree of self-esteem is hamiful” (Miller, 1990, p. 59). Children were meant to be seen but not heard (Bull, 1991) and, along with women, considered mere possessions of men (Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996). Alice Miller (1990) calls this approach to childcare “poisonous pedagogy” (p. 58). The methods Miller said could achieve the desired goal of suppressing children’s “vital spontaneity” (p. 59) are: 9 Laying traps, lying, duplicity, subterfuge, manipulation, “scare” tactics, withdrawal of love, isolation, distrust, humiliating and disgracing the child, scorn, ridicule and coercion even to the point of torture (p. 59). These were the childcare values and practice utilized in IRS. “The image Europeans had of children and the expectations they had of schooling were not only much different from Indian images and expectations, but also different from the views that modem Canadians share” (Bull, l99,p. 10). For anyone who might question that these childcare values and practices are rooted to a Judeo-Christian religion, Vine Deloria Jr. (1973) asks: It is said that one cannot judge Christianity by the actions of Western secular man. But such a contention judges Western man much too harshly. Where, if not from Christianity, did Western man get his ideas of divine right to conquest, of manifest destiny, or himself as the vanguard of true civilization, if not from Christianity? (p. 127) History of Indian Residential School IRS has a long history in Canada. Missionaries arrived close on the heels of early explorers with the goal to civilize and Christianize the ‘uncivilized’, ‘pagan’, ‘savage’ peoples, labels often used by European newcomers to refer to indigenous peoples (Annett, 2001; Assembly of First Nations, 1994; Bull, 1991; Haig-Brown, 1988; Fournier & Crey, 1977; Royal Commission of Aboriginal Peoples, 1996). As early as 1620, “the Recollets, a Franciscan order”, (Fournier & Crey, 1997, p. 50) had established a school in Quebec and soon thereafter other schools were opened. The schools often remained empty at the time because indigenous children would run home and the missionaries had no way to force them to stay (Assembly of First Nations, 1994; Fournier & Crey, 1997). These mission schools were financed and administered by various churches. The schools discussed in this study are the government financed, church administered (Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, United) Indian residential schools that operated in Canada from 1831 to 1996. 10 Soon after arriving on the shores of what is now known as Canada, the European newcomers’ relationship with indigenous peoples went from being “necessary”, as they needed indigenous peoples to survive the rugged territories and harsh winters, and as allies to the British in war, to “irrelevant” (Miller, 1991, p. 98) and a hindrance to European settler progress. The newcomers soon began to refer to indigenous peoples as the “Indian problem”. One “problem” with the people was that they occupied large tracts of land desired by settlers (Chrisjohn et al, 2006; Fournier & Crey, 1997; Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996). The settlers were prohibited from freely taking over indigenous lands because of the British North America Act 1763, which stated that indigenous peoples and lands reserved for the peoples would be protected by the Crown (Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996). The drive to take over indigenous lands was a “direct motivation for the colonial government’s support of religious-run boarding schools for Indian children (Fournier & Crey, 1997, p. 53). The first IRS opened in Ontario in 1831 (Aboriginal Healing Foundation, n.d), but it wasn’t until 1846 that the colonial government officially committed itself to IRS. They recognized prosperity for both church and state in working as allies in the operation of the schools; “the churches could harvest souls at government-funded schools while meeting the shared mandate of eradicating all that was Indian in the children. The “Indian problem” would cease to exist” (Fournier & Crey, 1997, p. 53-54). This marriage would be maintained until 1969. Thereafter, the federal government assumed full responsibility of IRS until the last school closed in 1996 (Aboriginal Healing Foundation, 2005; Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996). The goal of IRS was to transform all indigenous peoples “from their helpless ‘savage’ state to one of self-reliant ‘civilization’ and thus to make in Canada but one community — a non Aboriginal, Christian one” (Royal Commission of Aboriginal Peoples, 1996, Residential Schools, ¶ 1). Over many years this was repeated numerous times in racist policies and 11 attitudes. Due to the push of British settlers, by 1820 several civilizing policies were developed that outlined methods to establish “Indians in fixed locations where they could be educated, converted to Christianity and transformed to farmers”. In 1847, Egerton Ryerson, Chief Superintendent of Education, recommended indigenous people’s education “consist of the training of the mind, but of a weaning from the habits and feelings of their ancestors and the acquirements of the language, arts, and customs of civilised life” (Claes & Clifton, 1998, p. 14). He suggested the peoples continue to stay within Crown jurisdiction, that endeavors to Christianize them continue and that schools be set up and operated by missionaries as a means to relieve indigenous people’s control over their lands and be raised “to the level of the whites” (Haig-Brown, 1988, p. 29) and that the schools be state financed (Bull, 1991; Nuu-Chah-nulth Tribal Council, 1996). In 1857, the Gradual Civilization Act was devised to “piecemeal eradication of Indian communities through enfranchisement” (Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996, The Gradual Civilization Act, ¶ 9). Two years following Confederation, the state moved towards assimilation policies. This is seen in the Gradual Enfranchisement Act 1867 that expanded previous enfranchisement policies and incorporated measures intended to “psychologically prepare indians for the eventual replacement of their traditional cultures and their absorption into Canadian society” (Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996, The Gradual Enfranchisement Act, ¶ 1). Eurocentric attitudes were at the root of these policies. In 1884, John A. MacDonald, then Prime Minister of Canada, said “I think we must, by slow degrees, educate generation after generation, until the nature of the animal is changed by the nature of the surroundings”, while Clifford Sifton, Department Superintendent of Indian Affairs, assured the settler society that “we are not going to educate Indians to compete with white men for their jobs” (Nuu-Chah-nulth Tribal Council, 1996, p. 193), rather, the idea was to educate the people to live on the lower rungs of Canadian society. In 1892, an editorial in the Calgary Herald 12 endorsed educating indigenous children in residential schools as a “means of wiping out the whole Indian Establishment” (Claes & Clifton, 1998, P. 15-16). In 1920, after legislating into law that all indigenous children 7-15 years old attend IRS, Duncan Campbell Scott, Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, declared “I want to get rid of the Indian problem. ..Our object is to continue until there is not a single Indian in Canada that has not been absorbed into the body politic and there is no Indian question, and no Indian department (Claes & Clifton, 1998, p. 17). IRS had one goal and that was to “kill the Indian in him and save the man” (Fournier & Crey, 1997, p. 55). To achieve this goal the federal government of Canada and the churches declared war against indigenous children via IRS. Children were forcibly removed from their birth families and placed in IRS for 10-12 months of the year, for, in some cases, up to 20 years. They were prohibited from having contact with their families, including siblings in the same school (Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996). Upon arrival, the children were prohibited from speaking their indigenous languages or practicing their culture. Their heads were shaved, they were given a number, segregated by sex and age, kept under 24 hour surveillance, and they were forced to live by rigid timetables. The sexual abuse of children was rampant; some have suggested that all children in some schools were sexually assaulted (Corrado & Cohen, 2003). A judge who sentenced a former supervisor of an IRS in BC called the supervisor a “sexual terrorist” and described the residential school system as “nothing but a form of institutionalized pedophilia” (Corrado & Cohen, 2003, p. 9). It is well documented that many children were severely abused psychologically, physically, emotionally, spiritually and sexually (Aboriginal Healing Foundation, 1994; Annette, 2001; Chrisjohn et al, 1997; Haig-Brown, 1988; Nuu-Chah-nulth Tribal Council, 1996; Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996). They were inadequately clothed and fed and often forced to eat maggot-filled food (Annett, 2001). They were belittled, shamed and 13 ridiculed about family, culture, tradition and beliefs (Assembly of First Nations, 1994; Nuu Chah-nulth Tribal Council, 1996). The attack on indigenous languages was aggressive and unrelenting. Children were punished if caught speaking their language, many severely, in ways that included being strapped with studded straps (up to more than 100 strikes at one time) (Bull, 1991) and having needles stuck in their tongues (Aboriginal Healing Foundation, 1994). They were punished for smiling at a boy or for refusing to eat rotten food (Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996) and for “behaviours over which they had no control, such as bedwetting” (Corrado & Cohen, 2003, p. 8). Some had needles stuck into their hands, cheeks, ears, penises (Annett, 2001) and rectum, some were choked and had their heads shaved. Some were forced to eat regurgitated food, while others experienced shock treatments, were shackled and chained or starved. Corporal punishment was the norm (Assembly of First Nations, 1994). As noted earlier, Alice Miller (1990) calls this method of childcare practice “poisonous pedagogy” (p. 58). Countless children died in the schools from disease. In some schools the death rate was as high as 60 per cent, a rate higher than “the death rates in some Nazi concentration camps” (Chrisjohn et al, 1997, p. 144). The federal government, the churches and the general public became aware of this as early as 1907 but chose to do nothing. The reaction from Duncan Campbell Scott was to fire the doctor who made the report and thereby suppress the evidence uncovered (Annett, 2001). He said: It is readily acknowledged that Indian children lose their natural resistance to illness by habitating so closely in the residential schools, and that they die at a much higher rate than in their villages. But this alone does not justify a change in the policy of this Department, which is geared towards a final solution of our Indian Problem (Annett, 2001, p. 39). The United Church response in 1935 was “Residential schools are front-line trenches in the warfare on Indian diseases, and must be given considerable credit if the race is increasing in 14 numbers, the Residential School is the key to the solution ofthe problems ofIndian health”2 (Bull, 1991, p. 24). In 1958 an Anglican Church official “described.. .the federal government’s practice of “not hospitalizing Indians and Eskimos with tuberculosis” because of an “unoffIcial attitude... that they were dying races and wouldn’t last long” (Annett, 2001, P. 38). In any given situation or event there will be a broad range of experiences and perceptions and we do hear from former students who describe their IRS experience as neither negative nor frightening. We know that some indigenous children in residential school were not physically or sexually harmed and ultimately speak favourable of their experience. Some have said it was a good place, that they were treated well, learned sports and received a good basic education, albeit completely devoid of traditional cultural teachings. Despite the positive stories and experiences, the fact remains that the number of children brutalized far outweighs the number of those who were not. In IRS indigenous children were brutalized, tortured and treated like slaves. They were poisoned and raped in mind, body, heart and spirit. In its truest form, they were institutionalized (Annett, 2001; Bull, 1991). As Roland Chrisjohn states “Even if the children were well fed with three healthy meals a day and were given a warm, safe place to sleep, it was still wrong because no one has the right to forcibly transfer children from one group to another group — that is genocide!” (personal communication, 2005). Under the United Nations Genocide Convention (1948) genocide is defined as five acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group (see appendix A). It can be argued that each of the five acts were committed purposefully against indigenous children in IRS (Annett, 2001), but none so clearly as subsection (e), of Article II, which states that genocide means “forcibly transferring children of the group to another group”. This is exactly what church and Canadian state did, in partnership for more than 130 years. They forcibly removed indigenous children from their birth families and placed 2Jlicized in text 15 them in the care of another (the church) (Annett, 2001; Chrisjobn et al., 2006). No part of the IRS policy or practice happened haphazardly. It was deliberate, systematic and purposeful (Chrisjohn et al., 1997). “By the 1 960s, child welfare agencies successfully replaced residential schools as the preferred system of care for First Nations children” (Bennett, Blackstock & Dc La Ronde, 2005, p. 18) (emphasis added). They then became social welfare institutions. Impact and Effects of Indian Residential School The impact of IRS can be described as the violent collision between indigenous and Euro-CanadianlJudeo-Christian worldviews and values. Indigenous children were affected from their first day at IRS by the fact that they were dislocated from their birth families, their traditional language, land, foods and culture. They were affected when they were isolated, shamed and humiliated with sexual, emotional, physical, spiritual and psychological abuses. Many were left numb, psychologically frozen and paralyzed, and feeling helpless and powerless (Assembly of First Nations, 1994; Haig-Brown, 1988). They were affected when they were taught that they were evil and dirty and to “abhor their bodies” (Corrado & Cohen, 2003), when they were robbed of their inherent right to speak their own languages and when they were given no chance to say no or get angry or shed tears when they were harmed (Haig-Brown, 1988; Nuu-Chah-nulth Tribal Council, 1996). The children were affected when their voices, thoughts, feelings and beliefs were silenced. The IRS experience continued to have a tremendous impact on the lives of children once they left the schools. Many left the schools only to fmd themselves sitting on a fence, stuck between an indigenous and Euro-CanadianlJudeo-Christian world and not fully belonging to either (Nuu-Chah-nulth Tribal Council, 1996). Many have said “It is impossible for any of us to be a whole person without a world in which we belong” (Assembly of First Nations, 1994, p. 33). Claes & Clifton (1998) and the Nuu-Chah-nulth Tribal Council (1996) offer great insight in regards to the overwhelming losses experienced by survivors of IRS. Many experienced the 16 loss ofmemory, of appropriate behaviour patterns, childhood and childcare knowledge, spirituality, pride, self-control, identity, the ability to make decisions or trust, to respect themselves, their family, tradition or culture, to love themselves or another .. .the list is endless. Children who spent years incarcerated in IRS were given little opportunity to participate as members of a traditional family (Ing, 1991). When allowed to return home, many returned to families who were abusing alcohol. It is suggested the parents’ alcohol abuse was a direct result ofbeing severed from their children (Assembly of First Nation, 1994). Several generations of being robbed of their responsibility to care for their children has resulted in some parents freely handing their children over to child welfare agencies because “the parents knew of no other alternative because raising children at home, for them, had become a mystery” (Ing, 1994, p. 80). IRS Survivors had no positive role models of childcare practice for when they themselves became parents. Institutionalization offered no opportunity for children to experience being loved and nurtured in an affectionate, gentle manner (Assembly of First Nations, 1994; Ing, 1991). They were taught that the only way to discipline a child was with corporal punishment or belittling. As one former student said about this “learning” I would tell myself to be good to my kids and then they would do something small that annoyed me. I’d get angry and the first thing I knew I was hitting them way too hard. Then I’d feel so bad. I’d go out and get drunk. Then I’d feel even worse (Assembly of First Nations, 1994, p. 92) According to Miller (1990), “We punish our children for the arbitrary actions of our parents that we were not able to defend ourselves against” (xiii), the missionaries in IRS were essentially just that “substitute parents” (Aboriginal Healing Foundation, 1994, p. 39). This “poisonous pedagogy” (Miller, 1990, p. 58) has been passed down from one generation to the next, “The effect.., is like a disease ripping through our communities” (Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996) and has affected indigenous societies as a whole. 17 “Psychosis, drug addiction, and criminality are encoded expressions of these experiences” (Miller, 1990, p. XV), along with the disproportionate number of indigenous children in child welfare care. The Aboriginal Healing Foundation (2005), states: Intergenerational or multi-generational trauma happens when the effects of trauma are not resolved in one generation. When trauma is ignored and there is no supportfor dealing with it, the trauma will be passedfrom one generation to the next. What we learn to see as “normal” when we are children, we pass on to our children. (p. 55) Dr. Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart (1999) describes it as “historical trauma”, which is “the collective emotional andpsychological injury both over the life span and across generations resultingfrom a cataclysmic history ofgenocide” (Aboriginal Healing Foundation, 2005, p. 40). Notwithstanding these events, there is hope.. .undoing what IRS has done is possible. 18 LIFE WORTHY OF LIFE Introduction “Life worthy of life” refers to the fundamental life ways of many indigenous peoples across Canada before the genesis of IRS, specifically as they pertain to cbildcare values and practices. This chapter will provide a brief overview of the fundamental principles of an indigenous worldview — the soil that cultivated values and practices for the care of children. This will be followed by an overview of a Coast Salish woridview and childcare values and practice. It will conclude with a briefdiscussion of the collision between Coast Salish and Euro-CanadianlJudeo-Christian worldviews and childcare values. First, it must be acknowledged that there are more than 600 diverse indigenous tribes across Canada. They speak different languages, have different cultural practices, traditions and beliefs rooted in very different land bases (Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996). Fundamentally, they “have different ways of being in the world” (Duran & Duran, 1995, p. 15). Many of the differences expressed in cultural practices, traditions and beliefs are rooted in their connection to the land in different territories (Northwest Indian Child Welfare Institute, 1986; Native Council of Canada, 1990). Although the people are not the same, they share many similarities in their worldviews and values (Alfred, 1999). Indigenous woridview and values “Culture comprises a society’s philosophy about the nature of reality, the values that flow from this philosophy, and the social customs that embody these values” (Little Bear, 2000, p. 77). The philosophy about the nature of reality in an indigenous worldview is non hierarchical. There is no single supreme being, no single superior group of human beings and no single superior form of energy that holds greater power over another (Deloria, 1973; Native Council of Canada, 1990). There are many creation stories. Each given band or tribe could 19 have more than one creation story because creation is considered as “an ecosystem present in a definable place” (Deloria, 1973, p. 91), which refers to relations with organisms and their environment. There is equal respect for, and relations between, all aspects of creation that include, Creator/Creation, humans, animals, plants, rocks and all natural features within an indigenous universe. The value of respect is founded upon the knowing that all are imbued with “spirit and knowledge” (Little Bear, 2000, p. 78) and were created with a purpose of contributing to the survival of the whole, rather than any form of the individual (Deloria, 1973; McKenzie & Morrissette, 2003). It is a concept that is cyclical, interconnected and functions in terms ofplace (Deloria, 1973; Warner, 2006; Zapf, 1999). in this worldview humans belong to the land (Deloria, 1973). The image of a circle best symbolizes this concept where humans, nature and Creator/Creation are equally represented and valued. There are many common values rooted to an indigenous worldview for indigenous peoples across Canada, with the value of family being strong and prevalent. Dr. Bruce Miller, an anthropologist at the University of British Columbia (UBC) who has done extensive research with indigenous peoples states: “Historically, there was only one institution in indigenous societies and that was the family” (personal communication, April 8, 2008). This is echoed by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples in Volume 3, Chapter 2, on families (1996) where they state: That family as a social institution fulfils in some measure all the various roles of social institutions: it performs a mediating or bridging function, helps the individual understand the world and respond appropriately to society’s expectations, and helps society recognize and make a place for the individual (Family Life in Various Traditions, ¶ 39). Family included a large extended family. At the centre of the family were children (Barman, Hebert, & McCaskill, 1986; Ing, 1991), at the foundation was spirit (Little Bear, 2000), and holistic relationships were the glue that held it together (Deloria, 1973; McKenzie & Morrissette, 2003). 20 Children were recognized as gifts from Creator and as such were sacred and meant to be revered (Barman et a!., 1986; Ing, 1991). They were born complete with inherent gifts and teachings for the people (Haig-Brown, 1988; Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996). Therefore, nothing regarding the care of children happened haphazardly; everything had purpose. Children were respected, valued and listened to, they were cared for by the entire family, but it was elders who were their primary teachers. The process of teaching was informal. They learned through role modeling, storytelling and experimentation. Children were given the freedom to make decisions and had age appropriate responsibilities. They learned about their interrelatedness and interdependence with others and their surroundings. Collectively, this allowed children to develop healthy personal independence which fostered in them a sense of self-esteem, connection and empowerment (Native Council of Canada, 1990). Much of this is supported in the analysis of a Jesuit missionary’s writing about living with a tribe of indigenous peoples in 1633-34, referenced in Bull (1991). The missionary acknowledged that the peoples functioned within a non hierarchical system, that personal autonomy was equally afforded to women and men, as well as granted to children. The “social ethic” of the peoples “called for generosity, cooperation, and patience” (Bull, 1991, p. 14) and stinginess was frowned upon. There was love and care for all children, “not just for one’s own children, but love for all the children of the tribe”, including those who were orphaned (Bull, 1991, p. 158). “The fact that Indian people did not practice corporal punishment on their children posed a stumbling block for the Jesuits” (15), along with the fact the people did not answer to any single person in authority, that women had a great deal of power, and children were given much freedom (Bull, 1991). Coast Salish Woridview and Values Coast Salish refers to the indigenous peoples who speak a Salishan language between the northern half of the Strait of Georgia of British Columbia to the head of Puget Sound of 21 northern Washington. Within this large territory there are several different Salishan languages spoken by several tribes. This study will focus on Central Coast Salish peoples who speak Hul’qumi’num, a dialect of the Salishan language spoken on Vancouver Island from “Malahat in the south to Nanoose Bay in the north” (Hukari & Peters, 1995, p. iii). The process of recounting and documenting a Coast Salish woridview and value system is extremely challenging. The worldview and values of the people are rooted in a complex, multilayered history that intricately weaves First Ancestors, non-humans, plants, animals, the land and spirits; as an oral tradition, this history was never intended to be written down. The peoples’ woridview and values are rooted in stories that were passed down from one generation to the next and the writing about these stories is contrary to this oral tradition. As a Coast Salish person, I am contravening my own culture by recording these historical facts, yet I believe it is necessary to do so if I am to present a discussion of traditional childcare values of Coast Salish people. It must also be clearly stated that Coast Salish elders have said repeatedly and consistently that what they are sharing is what they know. Using ‘myth’ or ‘fairy-tale’ to refer to their oral histories is inappropriate because it implies their histories were “fictional and lacked any grounding in truth” (Thom, 2005, p. 81). Coast Salish elders have often prefaced the telling of their histories in a manner similar to the introduction used by Katzie elder, Old Pierre (Jenness, 1955). The elder said “What I shall now relate to you about this land is not a mere fairy-tale, but the true history of my people, as it was taught to me in my childhood by three old men whom my mother hired to instruct me” (Jenness, 1955, p. 10; Arnett, 2007). The term that will be used to refer to historical events will be a term that Coast Salish elders suggested Thom (2005) use when referring to their genesis stories, which is the word syuth, meaning “history, lore” (Hakari & Peter, 1995, p. 90). 22 The syuth is entrenched in First Ancestor and Xeel’s (transformer figure) stories that are rooted in very specific places in the land (Thom, 2005). Knowledge of First Ancestor and Xeel’s stories is necessary in order to appreciate how Coast Salish peoples’ sense and practice of holistic and interconnected relations between humans, non-humans, plants, animals, spirits and place established the foundation of Coast Salish childcare values and practice. Coast Salish First Ancestor stories tell about how “sometimes one, sometimes two” (Arnett, 2007, p. 194) very powerful first peoples would “drop from the sky or otherwise appear in the world and found original villages” (Thom, 2005, p. 83; Barnett, 1955; Jenness, 1955). These First Ancestors were considered to have come from the sun according to Hul’qum’num elders from Snuneymuxw, the city now known as Nanaimo (Boas, 1889; Arnett, 2007) and Cowichan (Duncan) (Arnett, 2007), and from “He Who Dwells Above” according to an Elder from Katzie (mainland Coast Salish tribe) (Jenness, 1955, p. 35). The following First Ancestor story about the “Origin of Snuneymuxw” (Arnett, 2007) was shared with Beryl Cryer by a Snuneymuxw Elder named Tl’utasiye. The Elder began her story by acknowledging that Cryer might receive her syuth as a “fairy story” when in fact she said it was about “the beginning of our people.. .and how they grew to be a great tribe” (p. 194). In the beginning as you know.. .the Sun, Sum’shathut, made.. .people in different places.. .at the foot of Tetuxutun (Mount Benson) the Sun made a man and his wife.. .they had three sons. At the same time another man and his wife were made at Sti’ilup (Departure Bay), and these people had three daughters. One day.. .the man at Sti’ilup heard a Voice calling in the air to him! “Get some cedar wood... and make for yourself a swayxwi [mask]”.. .Now, up at Tetuxutun the three boys were getting grown up.. . and one day the eldest said to his brothers, ‘I wonder whether there are any more people in the world? Let us go and see what we find.’ The three brothers came across the man in Sti’ilup making his sxayxwi (ceremonial mask), who was instructed by the Voice (often said to be the Creator) not to allow another to “see or know what he was doing”, not even his wife and daughters. When witnessed making the sxayrwi by 23 the three brothers he was troubled. He said “Now that you have come here, you must marry my three girls”. So the three boys married the man’s three daughters.. .After a time.. .the boys thought they would like to take their wives back to Tetuxutun for a visit.. .Now sometime after these people at Tetuxutun and Sti’ilup had been made the Sun made a man in a place not far from Tetuxutun. This man had no woman.. .the Voice told him to light a fire and out from amongst [the wood chips in the fireJ jumped a man and a woman. The three young couples met these three fire people on their journey back to Tetuxutun. They watched them without the three knowing. The youngest brother and his wife stayed amongst these three people while the older brothers and their wives continued on to Tetuxutun. When their father found out where his youngest son was he... .threw up his hands. ‘My son has gone to look at those people’, he exclaimed. ‘Does he know no better than to mix with such low class. Why, they cannot be friends; these people were brought from a fire’. Tl’utasiye explained that “the old father and mother did not think people made from a fire were as ‘good class’ as people made by the Sun” (p. 197). (As will be discussed later, high-class people were those who knew their history and genealogy and had teachings in Coast Salish values and low-class people were those who had lost it. The notion of low-class people, real or mythical, motivated people to live within society’s accepted social conduct). After some time the youngest son came home with his wife, and would have walked into the house, but ‘NO’, said the father... So the two young people went away... looking all the time for a good place to make a home. At last they came to a big river.. .they found the best place that they had seen in all their journey. They named the place S-amuna, ‘a resting place’. . . and so grew the tribe of S-amuna Indians, who ever after have made their home beside the Cowichan River.. . Sometime after, the other brothers and their wives went back to Sti’ilup, and the old mother and father went too.. .the tribe at Sti’ilup grew so big they had three rows of houses (p. 194-197). Then Tl’utasiye said, “Those people.. .were my own people - my tribe. My old granny lived at Sti’ilup. . . So you see, those people at Tetuxutun, and the man and woman at Sti’ilup, were the very first of our tribe that is now called the Snuneymuxw tribe” (p. 197). 24 There are several examples of Coast Salish First Ancestor syuth (Arnett, 2007; Barnett, 1955; Bierwert, 1999; Jenness, 1955; Miranda, 1980; Thom, 2005), with similarities and differences in the details of each account. These stories connect First Ancestors and their descendents to the land; lay the foundation of the large kin network we see across Coast Salish territory today; offer guidelines about kin relationships (Bierwert, 1999; Thom, 2005) and suggest “the nature of Coast Salish property systems” (Thom, 2005, p. 88). These First Ancestor stories taught people about the importance of marrying outside their birth families and provided teachings regarding choosing a spouse, while at the same time connecting local residence groups to other groups (Thom, 2005). The names of many of the First Ancestors are remembered and carried by their descendents today. The sxayxwi also remains in use, but only by individuals who can prove direct descent from a family who possesses one. Many of the original villages continue to be populated by First Ancestor descendants. If the village is currently unpopulated, it is still acknowledged and respected as the peoples’ original birth site. These First Ancestor stories reflect “the uniqueness of Coast Salish social organization among hunter-gatherers as being settled in large permanent winter villages while recognizing local descent groups, having pervasive notions of property, and having long standing class-based social stratification” (Thom, 2005, p. 83). Xeel’s was considered to be an agent of the sun (Jenness, 1955) or was actually Sum’ shathut (the sun) (Arnett, 2007; Jenness, 1955). He travelled through every Coast Salish village. Unlike the First Ancestors, Xeel’s was not involved in social relationships and had no descendents (Bierwert, 1999). He was “a maker of willful intent and moral purpose” (Bierwert, 1999, 73). He would reward those who worked hard, were struggling, and most importantly, were of good intent. He punished individuals, families and animals (during a time when fish, birds and animals had human form) that were lazy, stingy, neglecting their families, lacking gratitude, doing wrong or had ill intent (Amefl, 2007; Bierwert, 1999; Jenness, 1955; Thom, 25 2005). Xeel’s punished them by transforming them into stone, animals, plants, and the wind with his incredible powers (Beirwert, 1999; Jenness, 1955; Thom, 2005). The transformation was permanent. Xeel’s educated people in the values of reciprocity, sharing, prayer, gratitude, humility and respectful relations with the land and surrounding environment. These teachings were founded on the knowledge that humans are interconnected with every aspect of their territory. Those transformed are recognized as familial relations, and therefore connect Coast Salish people to non-human ancestors (Thom, 2005). Xeel’s taught the people to have respect for past, present and future generations (Jenness, 1955). He had “particular — not generic — moral edicts in every context” (Bierwert, 1999, p. 135). Those transformed to plants and animals offered an abundance of food for surviving family members, while all those transformed offered a source of spiritual power (Bamett, 1955; Miranda, 1980; Suttles, 1987; Thom, 2005). Xeel’s instructed people in how to acquire spiritual powers and what they needed to do to ensure abundance for future generations (Bierwert, 1999; Jenness, 1955; Miranda, 1980, Thom, 2005). Those transformed are sacred and meant to be revered (Jenness, 1955; Thom, 2005); they are not merely imbued with spirit, they are beings “alive” (Thom, 2005, p. 132). If the spirit was mistreated, mocked or discovered unwittingly, or if a person was not strong enough to host the spiritual powers encountered, contact with these beings could be fatal (Swinomish Tribal Mental Health Project, 1991; Thom, 2005). Those places where Xeel’s transformed ancestors into stone further connect Coast Salish people to the land and, just as the names of the First Ancestors are remembered and used today, so too are many names of the ancestors transformed by Xeel’s (Thom, 2005). Xeel’s connects the ancient syuth of the First Ancestors of Coast Salish people to present day and although he is no longer physically present, his power continues to be experienced in transformed places and animals (Bierwert, 1999; Thom, 2005). It is unknown where he went when his work was 26 complete (Jenness, 1955). When asked, one elder responded by stating, “Well, I never heard for sure. . .but my mother told me she thought he went back to the sun again, and there he stays today” (Arnett, 2007, p. 177). The teachings of First Ancestors and Xeels’ are the foundation Coast Salish childeare values. The Hul’qumi’num word for these values is snuw ‘uy’ulh (Tommy, 1999, p. 13). Coast Salish snuw ‘uy ‘ulh are holistic and encompass a person’s life from before conception to death and beyond. Here the focus will be on Coast Salish childcare snuw ‘uy ‘ulh utilized until puberty. Childcare was purposeful and strategic. Every step and stage had purpose and nothing was taken for granted or undertaken haphazardly. To understand why childcare was taken so seriously, it is important to acknowledge and clarify what family traditionally means to Coast Salish people. Among the Salish, the highest unit of common allegiance was the extended family. There was no tribe or state; hence, there were no offenses against or loyalty to either. There were no tribal officers; no council; no bodies for the enactment, adjustment, or enforcement of regulations. Action involving the rights of others was governed by a set of traditional and theoretically unchangeable rules. These like other rules of behavior, were inculcated from early youth by precept and by example. Ignorance of the rules excused no one; every well-bred person was familiar with them and took pride in his knowledge of them. It was a part of good breeding, almost etiquette, to respect and observe them, and it was beneath the dignity of an aristocrat to commit a breach (Barnett, 1955, p. 241). Breach, by a child or adult, of the traditional rules (that stretched back to First Ancestors and Xeel’s) affected the entire family. While children were born with “their own individuality and unique gts, they were also a reflection on theirfamily” (Swinomish Tribal Mental Health Project, 1991, p. 149). A child who behaved in accordance with family rules was a source of honor to their family; a child who did not was a source of “shame to all of his/her family” (Swinomish Tribal Mental Health Project, 1991, p. 149). Each family bore a name and its members enjoyed a set of secular and ceremonial prerogatives which distinguished it from other families. In accordance with the system of collective responsibility, each family member was liable to the rest of the community 27 for the behavior of every other member of his extended family; and the claims of individual members were supported by the family as a whole (Barnett, 1955, p. 242). Therefore, it was critical that childcare ensure “balance or ofbeing in the right relation to the world, and especially to onesfamily, kin and sigi4fIcant others” (Swinomish Tribal Mental Health Project, 1991, p. 138). The responsibility entrusted to children could be considered by some, to be an inordinate amount of pressure brought to bear on a child, but their training began long before a child was conceived and continued throughout their lives. It began with the parents, and often grandparents, carefully choosing appropriate mates to give birth to their grandchildren (Jemiess, 1955). Childcare values and practices that did not instill in children the unyielding ‘rules’ about family, lead to there being no family and therefore, no future for the people. Childcare was about life and death of the people. The teachings of Xeel’s regarding reciprocity, sharing, gratitude, prayer, humility and respectful relations, “included such warnings as “don’t lie”, “don’t steal”, “be polite to your elders,” and so on”. These teaching are what Suttles (1987) refers to as “moral training contained in advice” (p. 9). Advice was a form of teaching that “consisted of genealogies and family traditions revealing family greatness, gossip about other families demonstrating how inferior they are, instruction in practical matters such as how to quest for the right kind of guardian spirit, secret signals for indicating that someone is of lower-class descent, and a good deal of moral training” (Suttles, 1987, p. 8). Lower-class families were those who had lost their knowledge of family advice, and such families had no right to inherited property such as the most abundant fishing and hunting sites or to spiritual objects and paraphernalia (Suttles, 1987). Children were supported and instructed in advice largely by the extended family, including aunts and uncles, and in particular grandparents (Swinoniish Tribal Mental Health Project, 1991). Grandparents were children’s primary teachers because they were considered the most knowledgeable about advice, which ranged from community to family specific. They 28 were also children’s primary caretakers, nurturers, and disciplinarians (Swinomish Tribal Mental Health, 1991). Advice training of children was age appropriate and young children, in addition to being given much freedom, received their training by way of “Animal people myths” called “sxwi ‘em” (Thom, 2005, p. 84). These myths were more than entertainment; they contained teachings about how to be in the world (Swinomish Tribal Mental Health Project, 1991). For example, in a single short story called the Creator and the Flea (White, 2007), there are teachings about life, death, survival, prayer, family, gratitude, interconnectedness with the surrounding environment, as well as examples of what could happen if these teachings are not followed. In a single Squamish Legend (n.d.) about Sinulkay’ (The Two-Headed Serpent), there are teachings about the value of listening to one’s parents, spiritual cleansing, and individual spiritual acquisition, as well as an example of how spiritual acquisition supports the whole family. Children were never told the morals of these stories; they were left to discover and understand them on their own (White, 2007). The telling of the same story could highlight different values at different times depending on who was telling the story and for what purpose (Thom, 2005). Children were “given the best love and care because no one knows what is in store in the coming years” (Miranda, 1980, p. 9). They learned by listening, watching and modeling the behaviour of adults around them (Swinomish Tribal Health Project, 1991). Their unique gifts were cultivated, encouraged and valued, including gifts that were enhanced or acquired during their quest for a guardian spirit. Children were never expected to become specialists in every aspect of family life, i.e. hunter, carver, weaver, spiritual healer; rather, they were appreciated and acknowledged for their “unique ways of contributing to the family” (Swinomish Tribal Health Project, 1991, p. 150). They were not disciplined with corporal punishment; instead, when misbehaving, they were ignored or spoken to by elders about the consequence of their behaviour. 29 Squamish Nation elder Louis Miranda (1980) shares a story about the importance of time and patience during a child’s training. He tells about a boy who became discouraged when learning to shoot a moving target with his bow and arrow and how his “trainer would never become impatient, or rebuke the boy”, instead, he would ask the boy to rest, offering him “words of encouragement”. The boy was given two examples of men in the tribe who too got discouraged during their training as boys. One example was of “big respected men” in the tribe who overcame their discouragement and the other was of a man who could not “provide for his self’ because he gave up and succumbed to his discouragement. The trainer explained to the boy that quitting will become a habit and that habit would remain with you for the rest of your life and the result is that you become a failure and would never amount to be of any benefit to yourself or your people so the boy is told should you feel discouraged put your bow and arrows away for the time being, and spend more time in bathing and training then you have been doing in the past and while bathing... and cleansing yourself, ask sincerely of the guide protector and provider, to provide you with the ability to become more skillful and meet with greater success... The boy is told that if he is serious and sincere about his training, he should leave for the mountain immediately. He is told that if he continues to postpone it, even after being reminded by his family, that he risks becoming “a mere nobody”. So after this incident is related to the young boy he is requested to give real serious thought of what was related to him, then he is asked to make a true decision whether he would like to take it easy and become like the man in the incident just related to him or go on serious training for a day or so and become a well respected person similar to so and so (p. 9-10). During a child’s training she/he was given information regarding the pros and cons of persevering or giving up when confronted with challenges and in the end, the decision was always left up to the child. As stated above, there were no policing or truant officers to force someone to do something, rather conformity developed from social mores out of respect for the family (Suttles, 1987; Swinomish Tribal Mental Health Project, 1991). 30 The care of children also includes several significant infonnal and formal events in a child’s life, each involving ceremony, a ritual or a spirituai specialist, together with the involvement of village members as advisors and/or witnesses (Barnett, 1955; Jenness, 1955). These events ranged from the birth of a child, to their informal and formal naming, to puberty and marriage (Barnett, 1955, Jemiess, 1955; Suttles, 1987). Each event is serious and involved a tremendous amount of time, effort and consideration by the family. Nothing took place without forethought, care, respect and concern for the safety of the child. The next section will offer a brief comparison between Coast Salish and Euro Canadian/Judeo-Christian woridviews and childeare values. Comparison of Indigenous and Euro-CanadianlJudeo-Christian Woridviews and Values The fundamental principles of an indigenous and a Euro-Canadian/Judeo-Christian worldview are radically different. The table below3 compares the two. Indigenous Woridview Euro-CanadianlJudeo-Christian Worldview Multiple creation stories Single creation story Unity between Creation, nature and Partiality between God, humans (partiality humans also based on skin color between humans) and nature Non-hierarchical Hierarchical Animate Inanimate Cyclical Linear Interconnected Fragmented/compartmentalized Place important Time important Humans belong to the land Land belongs to man Table 3.1 Comparison of Indigenous and Euro-CanadianlJudeo-Christian Woridviews For example, see Deloria, Little Bear, McKenzie & Morrissitte, Warner and Zapf. 31 The table below4compares the traditional childcare values of indigenous peoples and the childeare values perpetrated against indigenous children in IRS. Traditional Childcare Values Indigenous Childcare Values Perpetrated Against Indigenous Children in IRS Extended family Immediate family Allegiance to the family based on love and Allegiance to the family (i.e. church) based respect on fear Children inherited as gifts/sacred Children owned as possessions Born complete, gifts within The Christian teaching, born (original sin) empty, molded by outside Grandparents primary teachers Parents (i.e. missionaries) “masters” Independent Dependent Encouraged to think Prohibited from thinking Individuality honored Conformity enforced Responsible for self No responsibility Patience Impatience Encouraged Discouraged Information given to make a decision Told what to do Permitted to make decisions Prohibited from making decisions Self-esteem nurtured Self-deprecation demanded Praised Humiliated Loved Withdrawal of love Social repercussions for misbehaviour Corporal punishment for misbehaviour Women valued and respected Women treated like children, as property Children valued, respected and listened to Children disregarded and meant to be seen but not heard Table 3.2 Comparison of Indigenous and IRS Childcare Values example, see Barman, Hebert & McCaskill, Bull, lug, Alice Miller, Miranda, Native Council of Canada and Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples). 32 Present day indigenous childcare values do not fall wholly on either side of this chart, but rather vacillate on different points at different times depending on the situation, as expressed by the IRS survivor who said “I would tell myself to be good to my kids and then they would do something small that annoyed me. I’d get angry and the first thing I knew I was hitting them way too hard”. As well, it must be stated again, that although the childcare values that were perpetrated against indigenous children in IRS are rooted in a Euro-CanadianlJudeo-Christian worlclview, many aspects of the values underpinning this world view have evolved and changed over time, moving toward a more compassionate and humanitarian practice of childeare. Many indigenous children left IRS school “sitting on a fence”, stuck between two worldviews. As a result, traditional childcare values practiced in survivor families were also contaminated, and effectively destroyed, by the IRS experience. Considering our history with IRS and the current situation we find ourselves in, having disproportionate numbers of children placed in child welfare care, we, Coast Salish people, have to ask ourselves one of the basic questions any society must answer: what is the right way to raise our children? Alfred’s (1999) statement regarding the right way to govern is appropriate here: For generations, foreigners have provided the answer this question. Our deference to other people’s solutions has taken a terrible toll on indigenous peoples. A focused re commitment to traditional teachings is the only way to preserve what remains of indigenous cultures and to recover the strength and integrity of indigenous nations. At this time in history, indigenous peoples need to acknowledge the losses suffered and confront the seriousness of their plight. There is no time left to wallow in our pain. Instead, we should use it as a measure of how urgent our challenge is. The power of our most important traditional teachings will become evident as they begin to ease our suffering and restore peace (p. 29). 33 LIFE WORTHY OF LIFE RECLAIMED Introduction “Life worthy of life reclaimed” refers to Coast Salish people reclaiming their right to freely learn, understand, know and practice Coast Salish snuw ‘uy ‘ulh, specifically as they pertain to childcare. This chapter will introduce the elders I visited, followed by an overview of the methodology, relevant methods and participant selection utilized. This will be followed by my understanding (findings) of this study, concluding with a list of recommendations and conclusion. Elders I met with five Coast Salish elders, three from Snuneymuxw First Nation and two from Cowichan Tribes. They range between 71 and 96 years old. All of the elders are fluent Hul’qumi’num speakers. All of the elders were raised with the cultural teachings and strong influence and of their grandparents. They are knowledgeable about their genealogy, cultural ceremonies and family history. In addition, they know how to teach. The elders were generous and patient with me. They taught me how to conduct myself during my visits with them. For example, I was so focused on the qualitative research methods taught to me at UBC, that I naively walked into my first visit thinking that I was going to turn the tape on, fire questions and get direct and immediate answers. Not one visit happened that way. On my first visit with my Auntie Ellen White, I arrived with my bag of paper, pens, interview guide and audio equipment thinking I was going to conduct an “interview” with her. I had already met with her to inform her of what I was doing and why, and she had agreed to meet with me. I thought I would get right to work once I got there. Instead, she made a pot of coffee and we sat and visited in a way that seemed more social than business. She shared her extensive knowledge of our family roots and, two hours later, she made us lunch. She continued to talk 34 about the history of our family for another three hours. When it was time for me to leave I reminded her of the work I was doing and I asked her if I could at least read her my “Interview Guide” questions (even though it felt awkward at the time doing so, I thought it was necessary if I was going to conduct research). She said, yes. I pulled out my list of questions and proceeded to read. When I was done, I put my head down and was ready to crawl out of the room with embarrassment knowing it was the wrong approach for this work; she just smiled at me and gently patted my knee and said, “That’s okay honey, we’ll work on it”. My auntie was teaching me during those five hours, but I was so concerned about time that I just didn’t know it. I left there feeling like a failure, like I had accomplished nothing. My qualitative and quantitative courses and Creswell’s text (2007) didn’t prepare me for that day. While I learned a great deal from my Auntie Ellen (86), I did not immediately put what I had learned into practice. During my initial visit with Bill Seward (88) and his wife Maria, I continued to believe I could arrive and immediately “interview” him. Again I was wrong. Instead, we sat, had coffee and muffins and he talked about our culture. I finally came to my senses (as my late grandmother would say) by the time I visited with Auntie Sarah Modeste (76), Joe Norris (71), my shuyulh (older brother, sister, cousin) (Chemainus, Nanaimo, and Nanoose First Nations and Nanaimo School District No. 68 [CNNFN], 1997, p. 286) and the now late elder Margaret James (96). Despite their teachings I continued to have personal and cultural challenges. For example, I was completely embarrassed when asking elders to sign the UBC consent form. The consent form is meant to prove that the interviewee freely agrees to participate in the study. They had already agreed to meet with me and in our culture that is worth more than their signature on a piece ofpaper. As stated in the work of the Swinomish Tribal Mental Health Project (1991), “Since elders are regarded as both knowledgeable and morally right, they tend to have considerable Age of the elders in brackets 35 social power” (p. 154). Therefore, I could not pressure them to do anything, or to say anything they were uncomfortable with. It is also important to note that I had considerable inner turmoil much of the time because of the nature of the topic, the fact that they are elders, for whom I have a tremendous amount of respect and gratitude, and because I was in the role of a researcher from UBC who was going to write a paper based on what they shared with me. In the sharing of their extensive knowledge of our genealogies and our culture, the elders were telling me that they knew who they were, that they knew who I was, and in a way, were asking or challenging me to see if I knew who I was. They were looking at me. They also answered questions I had without me asking them, as if they knew intuitively what I needed to know. For example, I often cried when I talked about the work I was doing regarding this study and I was not sure why. During one visit an elder told me that when he was a boy and his elders spoke about our snuw ‘uy ‘ui/i that they used to cry. He said they cried because that was how much our snuw ‘uy ‘ulh meant to them and how seriously they took it. Methodology Choosing the research methodology has been difficult for me because what I learned about qualitative and quantitative research methods is contrary to all that I know and understand about my family and community’s cultural teachings, traditions and protocols. I understand the need for the study, but it must be designed in a more culturally appropriate and respectful manner. Ultimately, this study must benefit the people “researched” rather than non-indigenous institutions. Generally, research has been a disrespectful undertalcing in many of our indigenous communities (Smith, 1999). My family has firsthand experience with it. My grandmother was visited several times by an anthropologist who was conducting research on Coast Salish people. The anthropologist was a complete stranger to my grandmother. He would ask her very direct questions about very private and often sacred knowledge (knowledge that would only have been 36 shared with other blood relatives). She found him to be pushy and aggressive and his questions too forward and direct. I remember my family talking about how rude he was. To a great degree, the approach that anthropologist took with my grandmother is the approach many researchers continue to practice today. I concur with Linda Tuhiwai Smith (1999), who states that “The term ‘research’ is inextricably linked to European imperialism and colonialism” and “The word itself, ‘research’ is probably one of the dirtiest words in the indigenous world’s vocabulary” (p. 3). Therefore, I had to be very careful and conscious about bow I conducted every step of my study. I have moved slowly, been patient and always mindful of my purpose, goals and hopes. I conducted this study rooted in a Hul’qumi’num woridview and value system, that is respectful to the voices and meaning the elders (participants) visited (interviewed) have given to the “matter of importance” (Steinhauer, 2002) (phenomenon) studied. The phenomenon studied will aid in addressing the issue (problem) identified (disproportionate number of indigenous children in care, specifically, Coast Salish children). I focused on utilizing, for lack of a better term, an “indigenous methodology” that is founded on my understanding and knowledge of Coast Salish cultural teachings, traditions and protocols. I also utilized aspects of phenomenological methodology (Creswell, 2007). This is what Creswell (2007) calls a qualitative study. This approach was chosen because it allowed for a flexible process; it allowed the elders and Ito be co-researchers; and, it respected teachings (data) collected through a storytelling process which is conducive to indigenous peoples who come from oral traditions, as Coast Salish people do. Storytelling is “more compatible with traditional ways of knowing, as it examines relationships and the whole” (Struthers, 2001, p. 126). I, as the re-searcher, (the person unearthing old knowledge that was once widely know before colonial policies, specifically IRS, and not creating “new” knowledge that is often the purpose of research conducted in postsecondary institutions), am what Archibald (1992) calls, 37 the learner, and the elders are the teachers. I listened to the elders teachings as if hearing them for the first time. Had I entered into the relationship as if I already knew anything about the topic would be arrogant and disrespectful to the elders. As Archibald puts it, the elders and I are in “a teacher-learner cultural relationship in a research context”. She acknowledges that “the process is old: it goes as far back as our peoples’ memories reach” (1992, p. 150). In phenomenology, this process is called “bracketing”, when the researcher sets aside their beliefs, feelings, and experiences of the phenomenon to be studied (to the best of their ability) so that the data gathered is viewed as if for the first time, as if new. Bracketing is done so that the researcher can “best understand the experiences of the participants in the study” (Creswell 2007, p. 235) at a more profound level. The principles of this study are founded on having an understanding of an indigenous woridview and how it differs from the dominant mainstream woridview, recognizing the effects of colonization on indigenous peoples, recognizing the importance of indigenous identity, appreciating the values of traditional cultural knowledge and traditions in advancing healing and empowerment and knowing that all indigenous peoples are not the same. These are the principles McKenzie and Morrissette (2003) utilize when conducting respectful social work practice with indigenous peoples. To this I add, my understanding of the meaning of land to indigenous peoples. I also utilized the principles Kirkness and Bamhardt (1991) speak of: respect, relevance, reciprocity and responsibility. Relevant Methods The teachings (data) were collected through personal, in-depth, open-ended, unstructured, uninterrupted visits (interviews) with five Coast Salish elders from Vancouver Island. It was an informal process, with no strict time limit or regimented procedures followed. The elders guided the process; they decided when to take a break or end the visit. The elders determined what was most important and relevant to discuss regarding the study, which left the 38 study topic open and without limitations. The meeting place for the visits was determined by the elders. Most often I met with them at there homes, but I also met with one elder at the river, and then a restaurant, and another at the mall. Each visit lasted between 1 and 6 hours, the latter being the usual. Multiple face-to-face visits with each elder took place between April and November, 2008; in total I met with the elders no less than 17 times, not including several telephone conversations between meetings. Most visits were audio-recorded. A copy of the audio- recording has been/will be made available to each elder. The visits were transcribed verbatim, except for the information the elders specifically asked me to not write about. At the end of each initial visit I gifted each elder with a handmade crocheted lap blanket as a way of saying “thank you” to them for sharing their knowledge and time. After the second visit and any subsequent visits I gifted them with handmade crocheted dishcloths, a book, coffee/tea and food or lunch. The elders did not know about the gifts ahead of time. This is a common practice in traditional Coast Salish culture, to gift someone who has helped you. Participation Selection The purpose of this study is to identify and document core traditional Coast Salish values as understood by Coast Salish elders from Vancouver Island. Elders were chosen because they are the most knowledgeable about the study topic. They “carry credentials that are recognizable within Aboriginal society, but invisible to those who assess expertise on the basis of formal education” and “In many cases, they have exceptional skills in transmitting... values to those who seek their counsel” (Brant Castellano, 2004, P. 101). The elders I visited are regularly invited to attend gatherings and cultural ceremonies for their knowledge of how to properly conduct Coast Salish events. They are highly respected within and beyond the Coast Salish territory, in both indigenous and non-indigenous societies. They offer rich teachings (data) that yield insights, depth ofknowledge and understanding of the re-search topic. 39 I chose these methods of participant selection because I am interested in the quality of teachings (data) generated, rather than quantity. I recruited the familial elders by going to their homes to inform them of the purpose, goals and hopes of this study and how I wanted them to work in partnership with me. I informed them that they could quit the study at anytime and that their identities would be included unless they chose to remain anonymous. Each elder expected to be identified in the study. In the work done by Coast Salish elder, Kwulasulwut, with Archibald (1992), she states that it is important to “Neverforget who toldyou, neverforget to mention who toldyou, neverforget to mention who told them” (p. 154). It is how Coast Salish people reference their knowing. It is how their teachings are validated and verified. As the learner I am responsible for developing an understanding of what is shared. Understanding of HuI’qumi’num Snuw’uy’ulh To begin with, it has been difficult to separate and categorize the teachings and values the elders shared. The teachings are meant to be understood as a whole, not in segments or compartmentalized as if they were separate ideas. They are interconnected and do not exist in isolation. Second, what follows are the words and teachings of the elders; they are not my words and not my teachings. Throughout our visits the elders constantly reminded me that the teachings and values they shared came from their grandparents, and that the teachings of their grandparents came from their grandparent’s, grandparents. Therefore, the elders never claimed ownership of what they said. They always acknowledged who told them. The elders were humble, saying as so many elders have said before: “I can only share with you what has been shared with me”. As Auntie Ellen White put it: EW: I’m not smart. I didn’t think about that. Do you think I’m smart? No way! How many generations did those words come from? We can’t abuse it. We can’t make it up. We can’t just make it up and make stories. What the elders are saying is that the snuw ‘uy ‘ulh that have been handed down from one generation to the next from our First Ancestors and Xeel’s are complete. They don’t need 40 modification. They are what they are and have sustained Coast Salish people since time immemorial. Insight 1: Importance of Family The importance of family was made clear to me on my first visit. As mentioned above, I did not audio-tape anything on my initial visits because the elders were teaching me about my family history and culture. The elders discussed at length our shared genealogy and my place within it. I had read about the importance of family to Coast Salish people in Bamett (1955) and other texts, and I heard Dr. Bruce Miller say that family was the only institution in Coast Salish society. I have also lived with my mother’s family, who practiced the culture and did not attend IRS. I, however, never fully understood the depth and breadth of the importance of family until I met with the elders. Meeting with the elders took my understanding of family from my head and moved it more fully into my heart. Every elder talked about how fearful they are that so many of our children don’t know who their family is and that many are having intimate relationships with close relatives, especially close cousins. The elders were adamant that such relationships are inappropriate. I have heard this echoed by many elders throughout Coast Salish territory. An intimate relationship between close relatives is contrary to the most fundamental teachings of our First Ancestors, creating problems on multiple levels. As my brother Joe said “When the blood line is too close, same grandparents, how are you going to explain your history to the next generation”. The following gives examples of the importance of family and the extent families went to ensure children knew who their relatives were. Auntie Sarah Modeste said: SM: Family relationships according to the elders, it’s important to know your relatives. And from the time you’re born their tradition was a family get together. When the baby can open its eyes and see already, it can see your face, they pass the baby around. Everybody gets to hold the baby, like all the baby’s cousins hold the baby. They let the baby touch the face and go near your mouth so they get to know 41 who their relatives are. And the teaching with relationship seemed to be urgent to the elders. They kept telling us your cousins are just like your brothers and sisters. • •j6 it’s important to care for them. So, all my first cousins were all my brothers and sisters. And we cared for one another. That’s why we have gatherings to introduce new babies in the family. The concept of cousins as brothers and sisters is supported in the kinship term for sibling in the Hul’qumi’num language. The word sqe ‘eq refers to younger brother, sister, cousin and shuyulh to older brother, sister, cousin (CNNFN, 1997, p. 286). This concept is also supported in the research Suttles (1987) conducted among Coast Salish people. Auntie Sarah shared a story about her uncle who took her to town to get her ears pierced. The purpose of her story was to demonstrate that aunts and uncles are like parents. She also said that grandparent’s siblings are the same as your grandparents, both concepts supported by all the elders. Suttles (1987) research says the same thing and in the Hul’qumi’num language sit ‘ii refers to grandparent and grandparent’s siblings or cousins (CNNFN, 1997,241). SM: The teaching is that your aunts and your uncles are the same as your parents. And if your parents die and then they call it F....] you’re my swunmeth (nephew, niece, when the parent is deceased) (CNNFN, 1997, p. 264). You belong to me now. If your parents die then one of your aunts or your uncles would take you as their children and that’s for the safety of the children, for the safety of the family group. Because there’s always a take over in case something happens because the tradition is really important. The reason it was important is the family. Auntie Sarah shared a beautiful story about connection, about how family constantly helped one another and showed love to one another without needing a reason or special occasion. SM: Teaching is really important when you have a family and helping one another. And making clothes for your cousins, this is my, I love you gift, they said. What is if for? Today they ask that. Gramma used to say don’t ask, she’d explain this is just my I love you gift, it’s not a thanks. It’s just my, I love you gift. They used to do that a lot in the olden days. She talked about the sacredness of marriage, which is one of the Coast Salish laws. 6HuJ’qi’n language spoken 42 SM: Gramma and them used to talk about L.. ..1 that means its law. Way back...once a couple was married nobody could break them up. They had to stay together, unless something was just absolutely not right. They couldn’t get along together. They couldn’t bond because you need to bond with your mate. Then they’ll separate them and choose another mate for the girl or the man. But, they had to stay together and their laws were that nobody can break them up. Young girls weren’t allowed to flirt with this woman’s husband. Sisters couldn’t flirt with their brother in-law. They had to have respect for them and stay out of their way. They could be friends but you know they couldn’t...uh. To clear that story she (grandmother) told me a story about some place way up she said its way up there where this family were and the story was that the brother went hunting; they had to travel a long ways to go hunting. They’d be gone for weeks. And while he was gone the brother in-law decided to come in and be spending time with his sister in- law. And the parents told this man, could be their own son, they told him that he couldn’t do that. As a result of the brother spending time with his sister-in-law, the family spent the next four years accumulating everything the couple needed, such as water tight baskets, dried foods,. clothing, and a canoe to prepare to move to another village. SM: They were sent out. The brother had to take his family out. All because of law, you cannot break a marriage up. You can’t interfere. It’s where [....] comes from. It’s where respect comes from. When something is said, there’s absolutely no, ands, ifs or buts about it. It’s the way it is. And the other one was abusing children. Someone was fondling his child or someone else’s child. When that happened they were sent away. And it was the grandmothers that initiated the law. Absolutely, you cannot do that. In today’s world I hear people say, ahh they didn’t have any laws. I know they did because they talked about it. The elders talked about the laws. Marriages were sacred, when they say [....j and that means once you’re married that you can’t go backwards. Sacredness means you cannot go forward, you can’t go back, you can’t go sideways. There’s no way you can get out of it. That’s the way it is. My brother Joe Norris shared the extent his grandfather went to ensure he knew exactly who his family was on both his mother’s and his father’s side, covering at least four generations. It took a tremendous amount of time, patience, commitment and ingenuity on his grandfather’s part. Joe began the history lessons of his family when he was five years old, continuing for fourteen years until his grandfather passed away. Joe’s grandfather used different colored pebbles to teach him about his family. JN: I’ll share this with you; grandfather gathered all these small pebbles the size of my finger nail, the small one. He went all around and it took him time to gather the 43 different colors and he laid it all out on the table for me. There were four on each side, his side, my grandmother’s side and then he had a third one for my dad’s. So there are four, that’s grandmother, great-grandfather all the way down to you. And the history, who they were and where they came from and that’s really key to a history lesson of who you are as a person. This teaching began when I was five. He had a pretty good size basket. By the time we were finished the teaching it was half full. He shared something similar to what Auntie Sarah said regarding children whose parents die. He also spoke about the consequence of children who are removed from their birth families and placed in ministry care. Not only are these children left without connection to their family and virtually erased from the important family tree, they lack knowledge of their true identity. JN: Grandfather said when family perishes and they have two or three children, the grandparents raise those children, they don’t go outside the family. Today the law steps in. They are totally wiped out of the family tree; they are put into serious conditions. A lot of them I met who have been adopted out and come back; they’re just tarnished. They don’t know who they are. It’s just really sad. That’s what’s going on with our people, poor people that lost the true meaning of our culture. So we’re in a crossroads today, our culture, our history, everything. He went on to say that when a person truly knows who they are and where they come from, knowledge that Suttles (1987) calls advice; they would never look down on another. JN: You have to truly know who you are and not condemn the individual because when you are exactly in that place of knowing it’s not necessary to condemn others. That’s why it’s so crucial to say I know exactly who I am and why they pin point the formula of walk with dignity, know exactly where you’re going and where you came from and never forget who the family is. That’s the crucial issue that always came out. So, that really means, when you find out that formula of families its there, that’s why it’s passed on. Bill Seward, also known as Big Bill, said the reserve he lives on used to be one family. Everyone helped and supported one another. He talked about how his uncles used to regularly gather at his father’s home to talk about snuw ‘uy ‘ulh. BS: Well, there were a lot of elders. I had my dad and my uncles. They were all one family. The whole reserve was one family. Not now. See we’ve lost our culture, our teaching. The majority of the teaching was done in the longhouse. When I was young there were longhouses from here to the other end. That’s all gone. Every night all my uncles gathered at my dad’s house. My dad was the youngest of all the uncles. They gathered there. And I was made to sit there and 44 listen. That’s why I know. That’s where I got it from. And now that’s gone. That’s why I’m really worried about our children. The extent taken to ensure children knew their family history and their place within it offered children a safe, secure, solid foundation to grow. They knew they were not alone and that they had an important place within the family. They were necessary, respected and loved and there was a process in place that ensured children would never be raised outside the birth family. Insight 2: Importance of Elders The elders said the most important people in their lives were their grandparents. Their grandparents, along with other elders in the community, were their primary teachers; they were the ones who taught them about how to be in the world. Their grandparents taught them about love, sharing, respect, humility, having a strong work ethic, gratitude, and their family history, the snuw ‘uy ‘ulh that are necessary to live in balance with self, family and nature. They were also the ones who disciplined them, which often consisted of being spoken to regarding their behaviour. Every elder spoke about how much they loved and respected their grandparents and how their grandparents gave them unconditional love. Every elder shared how they helped their grandparents and other elders in the village without needing to be asked, and without expecting payment in return. Each of them said that they never talked back to their grandparents because of the love and respect they had for them. They also spoke about how they never had to be told twice to do anything; they did whatever the elders asked them to do, without question. This affirms the work the Swinomish Tribal Mental Health Project (1991) conducted regarding the significance of elders in traditional Coast Salish life ways. The elders said they are troubled by the way many young people treat elders today. They are troubled that many young people yell at and talk back to elders. They are hurt by the fact that many young people disregard what they say. it is unfathomable to them, considering 45 they would never have treated elders in such a manner when they were young. Every elder spoke about how the young people don’t help the old people without payment; they said the youth always have “their hands out” asking for money. They said too many parents give too much too freely to children without them having to work for it or earn it. They said they would be shocked if a young person just showed up out of the blue and gave them a freshly caught fish or piece of deer meat or shoveled the snow from their driveway just because they wanted to help. As well, the elders spoke about how the young people are impatient with them and have no time for them, while when they were children they always had time for their grandparents and other old people in the community. Margret James spoke about the love and respect she had for her grandmother and the “old folks”. She would go to visit the elders and get special foods that they asked for. She mentioned several times how the young people today don’t treat elders well, that they talk too harshly to them. She said she helped the elders because she wanted to and because she liked being around them, not because she was going to get paid. MJ: I’d see my grandmother; oh she knew a lot, she knew a lot of stuff. I liked my grandmother, I respected the old folks. She’d come to visit and we’d fix her bed and she’d tell us some stories. She would tell us bedtime stories. Oh, she knew lots. She was just like a book. That’s how I’d describe it. You just lay down and ask her and she’d start, a bedtime story. MJ: As for me, you know, I liked the old people. I fitted the old people; it’s just in me I guess. I had real old folks (she named two). I’d just go over and say hello. I went to see them, yah. They talk. Sometimes they want some of the wild things there in the woods. The young roots they used to eat. You know the salmon berry, new shoots. They liked to eat it. They want you to get that for them, I’d say okay. MJ: You gotta respect the old, respect the old always. It was kinda natural to me cause I liked talking to them. I guess it’s just in me. You helped old folks because you want to. You just do this from your heart. I guess that’s what you call respect hey? You gotta talk right when you speak to them. I never hollered at my parents. Not one harsh word, just go when they say go. I guess that’s the way they teach you to learn to do things. Yes, teaching you to learn how to live. No punishment they just talk. 46 Auntie Sarah’s teachings came from her grandmother, a fact she always acknowledged. She shared how her mother, who was an IRS survivor, was unable to show her love or nurturing. Auntie said her mother had no patience or ability to just sit and listen or show her love. She said her mother acted like a “machine”. SM: She couldn’t do that with us. She kept saying “you go do this, you go do that”! She couldn’t talk to us. If I needed my talk and my love I just went to gramma. I’d go there and I’d hug her around her tummy and I’d hang on to her. And she’d hold me. And then she’d ask me, you come help me. When she wanted to talk to me she wanted me to be close to her and then she’d talk to me. Auntie’s grandmother told her to leave her mother alone and forgive her because it was “that [....] school” that did that to her. She began her snuw ‘uy ‘ulh training with her grandmother when she was a young girl. Brother Joe talked about how his grandfather brought him to work with him. Joe said that’s how he learned about work ethics. He shared a story about how his grandfather helped save his life. JN: You know what I really respect about him is, I was a really sickly boy and I was five years old and he packs me up to the mountain. And I was really surprised when we got to this bathing hole. I remember it was winter, it was February. He had to get a rock to break this water, there was ice on there and he dipped me in the water four times and I’ve been good ever since. But what I’m really saying here is this; this is how much they loved us. That he had to pack me up because I was too little to walk up the mountain by myself. His grandfather finished his teachings with the pebbles as follows: iN: The reason I’m teaching you this, he said “I want to you to be a good elder, not just an old person”. So an elder is truly a teacher when it comes right down to it. But what he said to me in the end, my grandfather, was this, he said you be proud of who you are, walk with dignity, hold your head up and know where you came from. This is what it’s all about. That’s why this history lesson is here. That doesn’t mean you look down on others, but you know exactly who you are. That’s the gift he gave me. Everything that I have today, all the unconditional love that I have for people is based on what he taught me. He went on to say: iN: When I realized what he was doing with me and when I realized he was referring to our culture and our history I said to him, “you know grampa, I don’t 47 know if I can walk in your footsteps it’s so deep and entrenched” and he laughed, he thought that was funny. He said you foolish boy make your own tracks, but as long as you’re going in the same direction as mine. That’s what they’re talking about, history, culture, who we are as peoples. There’s no difference in their tracks, one smaller, one bigger, but they’re going in the same direction. You see an elder walking and you see a little boy walking and you see their steps going in that right direction and that’s really the most precious picture you can ever develop in your mind. Brother Joe also talked about the unconditional love he received from his grandmother. She said to him: JN: “I loved you so much I don’t care if you ended up in prison on death row I would still love you”. So there’s that whole scenario of unconditional love. That’s based on love, everything they said. So I experienced that. I have that fufflilment, what’s needed for every child. So that I’m overflowing if you will based on gifts she gave to me. I’ll never forget that. You know the only thing I regret is I wish I had five more minutes with her just to let her know how much I cared, how much I loved her. This was Big Bill’s response when I asked him what snuw ‘uy ‘ulh means? BS: The majority of everything I said was snuw’uy’ulh, teachings that’s snuw’uy’ulh. If I done something wrong, our elders were together, we were one people. Any elder was around I had a talking to ff1 done something wrong. And my own elder would go and thank that elder for straightening me out. Today you cannot do that. They get mad at people like that now. That’s our snuw’uy’ulh. The elders treated me good, with respect. No spoiling children. We don’t ever respect one another no more. That’s the main thing is respect one another. I was taught by my elders don’t you ever touch a woman. That’s why you’re here. Respect. That’s the way I was taught by my elders, my dad, my mom, my, grandparents. That teaching has to come back. The elders worked together, helped one another. Brother Joe’s grandfather also talked to him about having respect for women. Both Big Bill and Joe said women were the knowledge and property keepers and were held in the highest regard. They both spoke about their concern that many of our women are violated, disrespected and not acknowledged as the ones who, not only give birth to future generations, but also nurture and teach them. iN: The key to all this, and he always emphasized this very clearly to me, always have the highest regard and respect for the women. Never underestimate that they are the key of who we are as people. I really understand that because the women 48 are the one’s that carry the future. They’re the one’s taught methods. That’s really key, songs and all that. You know he was really adamant about that. Auntie Ellen was taught by several elders. Her teachings began at an early age. One of her gifts was the ability to help women give birth. She delivered her first baby when she was nine years old under the watchful eyes of her grandmother. She said her grandparents taught her how to have balance and respect for the environment, for food and for others and she constantly acknowledged and expressed gratitude to them. Auntie Ellen’s grandfather used the concept of a river to help teach her about helping herself and others who are troubled. She shared the story with me to help me understand the place many residential school survivors are as a result of their IRS experience. EW: Just like grampa Tommy said, “it’s just like you swimming in shit and you smelling it and all of a sudden its getting clear and oh my gosh its getting better”. He said “pretty soon it’s so good; the water is so clean you get washed off and you get cleaned. The water is so clean you can even drink it”. Then you get the troubles off and you go and you feel good. Can we do that then to cleanse people? Can we make them think that they got shit on their bodies and then you have to cleanse them? If they keep thinking nobody’s gonna cleanse me! Nobody’s gonna remove some of this shit I got on, no way! So are you gonna help them? No. You can do everything you can do to help them and they’ll still carry that because they refuse to let it go. So you have to train them then to think from within and out. You have to train them then to love themselves. That means the person who carries all that shit has to learn to cleanse it off from inside out or else its gonna be there all the time. They have to do the work. Because the old person said, just like grampa Tommy used to say, you gotta want it very bad. So your inside starts working and I’m here brushing it off, brushing the shit off of you. The method that Auntie’s grandfather used to teach her was creative. He drew a picture in the sand for her. This teaching helped her understand that when she was troubled that he could not do the work for her, but he assured her that he would always be at the bank of the river supporting and guiding her. It also helped teach her that she in turn could not do the work for another, that they would have to do it for themselves, but she could be at the bank of the river. The elders all shared a story about how they were taught with the aid of some aspect of nature, whether it was having a picture drawn in the sand, or a cedar tree or pebbles. All the 49 elders shared a story about how water was utilized in their teachings, very often for cleansing. The elder’s elders taught them in a gentle manner, but that does not mean the teachings were easy. Some were difficult and took much time and effort to understand, but regardless of the challenge, neither the children nor the elders gave up learning or teaching the snuw ‘uy ‘ulth. Insight 3: Importance of Nature As was stated earlier, nature was a central aspect of Coast Salish people’s lives. Traditionally, the people treated all aspects of nature with respect because they recognized that every rock, plant and animal were their relatives. It was not just lip service; they lived it. Nature offered everything needed in life from food, shelter, spirit powers, and relationship to teaching tools. The relationship with nature is rooted in the First Ancestor and Xeel’s syuth. Auntie Ellen shared the First Ancestor story about the origins of Snuneymuxw, as told by Wilkes James. It is similar to the story shared above. She also shared another First Ancestor story about two wolves, one female and one male. This First Ancestor story shares a deeper understanding of the significance and purpose of bathing and ritual cleansing that is often discussed (Arnett, 2007; Bamett, 1955; Bierwert, 1999; Jenness, 1955; Miranda, 1980; Suttles, 1987; Thom, 2005). EW: It was the same with that other story (Origin of Snuneymuxw), these wolves they didn’t know how they came to be there and they were coming down the mountain, and crying and crying, and howling and howling. Nobody answered them. They got to the river and he said “I’m told we must cross this water”, she didn’t want to go and he howled and she howled. He howled and he howled. So he got in the water, he looked back and she was sifil there and he howled again and he was halfway in the water. Then he swan across to the other side and he looked back and she was coming behind him. They got there, they shook themselves and they were still howling and they didn’t know why it couldn’t end. They howled and every time he howled his voice was getting different and he shook himself and his fur started to drop. And they became, they were humans then. So, they were the first people there. So there are so many First Peoples all over the place, but it’s always that they were put there by somebody. There are many similarities. Auntie Ellen went on to say... 50 EW: So a lot of these show how important it is, that water. So they said, when they went into the water and come out that it was the water that took their clothing that made them become human with the help of this energy and the creators work to strip them and make them what they were really supposed to be. Auntie’s story offers greater depth and understanding of the significance of water and bathing. The water helps strip humans of their coats to reveal the gifts they are born with, to make them what they were really supposed to be (i.e. hunter, weaver, healer...). She said you have to “talk to the water, the elements and the trees”. She said you must always say “thank you” to them. As Miranda (1980) states in his story about the young man during his training, you don’t get the gift by lying around waiting for it; you have to work for it. Auntie Ellen says the same thing. She talked about the need to be prayerful, have gratitude, and be humble, to work for it and make a connection with it. It was about survival. EW: There was always that connecting. You didn’t just say, okay, I need a beautiful log to drift in front of me, you know. So the creator said, is it just gonna drift there or are you gonna go and look for it because you have to do something for it. You have to qualify to be able to be helped for what you are asking for. Auntie said she was told by her grampa Tommy that you could not be arrogant about it or say “I’m the most beautiful person in this world; now give me everything I need!” She was told that “the energies ofuniverse would flick you and your little legs would be sticking out like this and you’re flying”. Every Coast Salish person is born with a unique gift, but they have to work to connect with it. Traditionally, the people were never given anything for free. In Miranda’s (1980) story, those that chose to take the easy route and not go up to the mountain and endure isolation, fasting and bathing/cleansing were “left alone” (p. 10). The only ones who were given special support were the orphaned and widowed. My brother Joe shared the importance of nature to his grandfather. JN: What did my grandfather do, what did he do for his own personal preparation for himself? He used to go to the woods where it’s really comfortable for him and then he would sit there and meditate. Let’s get back to nature, let’s start doing 51 that. You know we don’t have to have a meditation room. We can just go to the woods like he did. It was so comfortable where he used to go. I have heard many elders say this. One elder said “go up the mountain and walk off the trail and let the bushes and branches hit you. You will feel better”. Another elder, Ray Peter, said: RP: Our people used to be able to talk to the trees and we could understand them when they talked to us. We could communicate with all living creatures, the plants, trees, anything on the land, in the water and in the air. We could stifi do that. Our children could still do that if they would go up to the mountain or sit by the river and be quiet and without, you know (he made a gesture of having ear phones on and playing a handheld video game). If our children could do that everyday or every chance they got. Auntie Sarah said this: SM: They talked about mother earth and how we’re all part of it. You go with the flow and you take it easy. When you talk don’t talk too loud. She went like that; listen to the birds (Auntie and I were sitting by the river). They’re teffing stories and that’s what we do, we tell stories. And then you go with the seasons, there’s four seasons and they say you need to be busy in every season. She would be telling the children all these things. And the children, my cousins really absorbed all these stories that she told and we tried to act it. Big Bill shared this story that offers another example of the importance of nature. BS: Well, respect, we’ve lost that. We have no respect for nothing no more...even land. When I cut a little tree down one time right here in front of us, I had a bawling out from my elders. You know that little tree is living just like you and you killed it. That’s respect. We’re ruining our land. Look at all the trees that are gone. I was talking to my elders you know and they’re really sad about that. They’re killing it. That’s why our people are going haywire. I’m really worried about our children, our kids. All the elders expressed knowledge about their territory, about plants, trees, animals and fish. They were taught to respect and have gratitude for every aspect (which vastly differs from mainstream society’s attitude that is so quick to kill it for a profit). The elders were taught about the snuw ‘uy ‘lh (teachings/values) of nature by being shown the strength it has and how it “gives its life up for us”, even a blade of grass. In Auntie Ellen’s story about the wolves, once the wolves crossed the river they built a shed and they threw sod on top and grass started to grow on 52 it. “It was the kind of grass that they make baskets and make clothing and make blankets and make everything that they used, so they had to look after it”. Auntie Sarah was taught about the strength of our people by looking at the grass. Her grandmother said, “We are like the grass. You can cut it, step on it, pee on it, pull it out of the ground and throw it on a rock, but it still continues to grow. That’s how strong our people are”. Coast Salish people are a part of nature. Insight 4: Importance of Snuw’uy’uth The snuw ‘uy ‘ulh of Coast Salish people are rooted in the First Ancestors and Xeel’ s syuth. They are teachings and values that sustained the people for thousands of years before the first Europeans arrived. They are the values that children were raised with from birth to death. They are complex and multilayered. The snuw ‘uy ‘ulh were purposefully buried in state legislated colonial policies, specifically the iRS policy. Every elder stressed the importance of leaning, understanding, knowing and practicing our snuw ‘uy ‘ulh again, they said it is about life and death of our people. JN: My grandfather said that the government and the church itself, the two, literally took away our values blanket and buried it so that we no longer understand who we are as people. He said “it’s going to be entirely up to you to dig up that blanket. And when you spread it out, the values, our snuw’uy’uTh, you’re gonna find holes in it”. And he said “it’s entirely up to you to patch it. And once you’ve patched all those holes and you redo it and a new blanket comes out”. That’s what he was talking about. Because today, even when you look at our values now, we have to reclaim it, that’s what he was saying. So we wifi all have to look at our family tree; it’s all there. It’s really important, it’s key to turning things around based on our culture, our snuw’uy’ulh. It’s key to how we governed ourselves in the past. For thousands of years we governed ourselves based on those areas and when a church and government takes that away from us that’s robbing us of who we are our true identity as people. That’s what happened. If each family really started teaching their young children about who they really are as people everything is gonna stop, the abuse, the alcohol, all those things that we’re talking about. So when you think of the whole concept of snuw’uy’uTh, its all there. He went on to say: JN: Everything that the creator taught our elders is about life and death. That really means in order to live you have to learn all these issues, plants and all the foods. 53 Auntie Ellen talked about the significance and responsibility our elders had/have to transfer the snuw ‘uy ‘ulh to the next generation. EW: It’s hand-to-hand passing of the legends, the history. If you don’t pass it on to the next generation, and the next, and the next; it’s like you’re removing all their clothing, good clothing that they have. [....1 It’s like you took all their clothes off. The snuw’uy’uTh is like garments of beauty, beautiful garments. This is similar to what my brother Joe said. He said the snuw’uy’ulh are like a blanket that covers the people and Auntie Ellen said the snuw ‘uy ‘ui/i are our clothing. She said without these teachings we are naked and if we are naked what will protect us from the elements? (i.e. mainstream culture and values). Auntie said the more fully we live the snuw ‘uy ‘ui/i, the better off we will be mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Both she and Joe said there will always be hurdles in life, but the snuw ‘uy ‘ui/i will give us the strength to overcome them. What Auntie Ellen said we are doing with this study regarding our snuw ‘uy ‘ui/i is: EW: We’re looking at it and making it come alive. It’s the coming alive that’s important. [....] if you don’t wake it up and make it alive you’ll never be able to contain it. E....1 you’re gonna forget. See? We need to pass it on for our children. By waking it up, the beauty of the garment will bring goodness to the people, to yourself first and then to the people. She went on to say: EW: We’re getting ready to pass it on to others who are not aware of it and we’re doing it in the right way. We’re not demanding that they take it. You’re passing it on the right way, the honored way. One of the old people said, if you hammered the table or what ever and said “are you listening”? “Can you hear me”? (Auntie was pounding on the table). They said instantly, the energy of the person becomes solid like that (Auntie hit the table) because your energy protects you. Nothing is gonna go in if you do it harshly. But if you do it nice and softly, then, L....1 the energy of body accepts it. The L....1 energy of the body is like a fence, a protector. We have to be allowed to go in the energy of the body to teach the snuw’uy’ulh. Honoring it the right way and you’re gonna be accepted, allowed in and the teachings will bring goodness to our people, but they will have to know it. Auntie Ellen offered greater depth and understanding of the gentle teaching methods utilized in Miranda’s (1980) story about the boy who was feeling discouraged during his training. Auntie Sarah also echoed the importance of teaching children in a gentle, conscious 54 maimer. It is similar to what Barnett (1955) referred to when talking about the significance of family. He said you could not force someone to do something. Auntie Ellen said the same thing. If we are harsh or demanding when teaching our children about the snuw ‘uy ‘ulh, the energy of the children will shut down and they will not hear or absorb what is being taught. Every elder said that they don’t blame the children for not knowing about the snuw ‘uy ‘ulh. The elders didn’t blame anyone, outside of IRS. Auntie Ellen, Auntie Sarah, Big Bill all echoed what Brother Joe said: JN: Because of residential school the roles and responsibilities that individuals had and the respect of self, have been lost. In saying that, I’m not condemning any individual, it’s not their fault. I look at is now and I say no, it’s not their fault. They need an opportunity to learn and we need to give them that opportunity to learn. It’s a crucial point in time for individuals to embrace that and learn. Learning the steps, taking the little steps you have to take. There are many levels of the teachings of snuw ‘uy ‘ulh; they cover every aspect of our lives from birth to death. The elders I visited began their training at a young age and it continued throughout their lives. The way I understand it is that they have their “PhDs” in snuw ‘uy’ulh, while so many ofus are only at a pre-school level of understanding and knowing, and still others don’t know these teachings exist. I also acknowledge that there are many who fall in-between our elder’s level of knowing and those of us who are just beginning. The way Auntie Sarah’s grandmother put it: SM: “Snuw’uy’ulh is how to raise your children so they’ll be human beings” and by being human beings, she means being kind and caring, looking after other people, being strong with whatever you do in life. The laws are the big ones, marriage laws, how you get married, and how to choose your spouse. All that came from the elder ladies. There’s lots to snuw’uy’ulh. How to treat people who are gone, who have passed away and how to treat your babies when they’re first born, how to treat your elders when they’re going, and all that. It’s everything from birth to death. Brother Joe said that’s why it takes so long, the teachings of snuw ‘uy ‘ulh, because it covers everything from birth to death. 55 iN: It takes a long time because there’s so much to give. There are so many areas to cover, so much information. That’s why they have methods and ways of comprehending it, adopting it, accepting it and moving with it. And always remember, that’s what they said, always remember. I thought about this years later, I forgot a section of my teaching that was given to me and when I picked up that certain color pebble it all came back to me. Oh, that’s what he meant. The elders said they have a responsibility to pass on the teachings of the snuw ‘uy ‘lh. They said they are responsible to those elders who taught them. In one way or another they each said it was an incredible weight or burden that they carry and that the only way to lighten the weight is to pass on the teachings. The difficulty they face is finding children and young people who are willing to take the time and have the patience needed to listen and learn about the snuw ‘uy ‘ulh. As Auntie Ellen said: EW: Well, these teachings are gramma’s. I’m passing them on. The promise is that j....j don’t just hang on to it. They said i....1 your ass is gonna get real big because your sitting on it. You’ve got to give it out. This does not necessarily mean that you’re gonna get really fat, but means that you’re gonna be loaded with all this without giving it out. They said; “don’t let us just keep talking for years and years and you don’t use it”. It was their time, they said, “You’re wasting our time then. Even when we’re on the other side we’ll still watch and we will lift up our hands when you pass it on to others”. The snuw ‘uy ‘ulh are alive. They are meant to be lived and the only way that they can survive is if we teach our children and our children embrace the knowledge. Insight 5: Importance of Nurturing Our Children with Snuw’uy’ulh The elders expressed concern and fear regarding many of our children and young people’s behavior today. They expressed concerned that so many are angry and fighting. They talked about how many don’t listen, talk back and don’t show respect to their elders or parents. This may not sound unusual in today’s society, the fact that youth are rebelling. Some might say, “That’s what youth do”, but in traditional Coast Salish ways of being in the world that would never happen. The elders said when children act out or misbehave it is a reflection on their family, that their family is not teaching their children the snuw ‘uy ‘ulh. 56 The elders are concerned that so many children and young people spend so much time watching television, playing video games and wearing ear phones. They said that our children too often talk about being bored and yet have so much to stimulate them. The elders said they never had the things our children have today when they were growing up and they were never bored. Regarding the way many young people dress, Auntie Sarah put it this way: “The reason our children act this way, with their hats on sideways and their pants falling off is because they never had their coming of age ceremony. So they are still like little children”. The elders are concerned that many children are so quick to dismiss our snuw ‘uy ‘ulh as “old fashioned” or say “that’s how it was in the olden days, don’t you know its 2009”. Many children and young people don’t understand the significance of snuw ‘uy ‘ulh. The elders said the future of our people rests on our children being taught and cared for with our snuw ‘uy ‘ui/i, not just for them as individuals, but for the whole family and community. Brother Joe said: iN: This is a real crucial time of the transition period because when you think of where we are as peoples. We’re more or less wallowing around now. Who are we? What are we doing here? How come I’m different from those other people? Our younger generation are wondering who they are. Why am I here, they might as well say that. So when you live in a city there’s all kinds of problems. When you live in a country, doesn’t matter where you live. There’s still the scenario of who they are. He talked about how many young people don’t understand what the elders are saying. It refers to the present day gap between the elders and the children, a gap that was not there when the elders were growing up. It is an example of how so much has fundamentally changed in the traditional life ways of Coast Salish people in the last sixty years. iN: The most crucial time is to teach the younger ones so that we can speak in our own language, so they would understand us. The true meaning of our teachings is based on what the elders gave us. The journey has just started and the inner strength is there but we have to pass that on to them so that they can stand up to whatever is coming their way. When we go to a gathering there might be 500 people and when we speak our language maybe 5 would understand. That’s the sad part, so what happens there is they miss the key points of what we’re talking about. The delivery is no longer accepted because they really didn’t understand 57 what we said. It’s our language; it’s our way of life. It’s really key to stand up and say this is who we are. He said, just as every other elder said, we must teach our children a little bit at a time because if we give them too much all at once, they will forget. This concept is supported by the teaching method his grandfather used with the pebbles. JN: When you start to look at the levels of our teachings and our culture you only do a little at a time, a step at a time because if you did it all at once people will forget. Big Bill repeatedly stated “we have to bring back our snuw’uy’ulh for our children”. He said: BS: That teaching has to come back. I’m really worried about our children. And they gonna have children and how are they gonna come out like. That’s why I say our teaching, our culture, has to come back. BS: There were a lot of elders when I was growing up. And it was the elders who brought up our children. If I done something wrong I had a talking to from the elders and I listened. I used to go fishing on a canoe and come home with a load of fish. My parents would say go pass that around to the elders and don’t charge them. That’s the way our people used to be we shared, everything was shared. Today you want something you gotta have money. Now we’re loosing our ways, our teaching, our culture. That has to come back for the sake of our children. I’m worried about our kids going into drugs, alcohol. Life is short enough as it is without making it any shorter. I’m really worried about our children. State implemented policies, specifically IRS and child welfare policies, robbed many children of their inherent right to be cared for by their grandparents. It robbed them of being taught Coast Salish snuw ‘uy ‘ulh. The elders repeatedly said this needs to be set right. One elder said our children’s “minds and spirits were equally nurtured and feed with snuw ‘uy ‘uth”. As one Stolo Nation elder explained it: “Our children are bored and raging because their hands are empty. They’re waiting for us to fill their hands again with the snuw ‘uy ‘ulh” (personal communication) and Auntie Ellen says that “our gifted elders have both hands full”. We must make easy, that which has become so difficult... living our snuw ‘uy ‘ulh. 58 Big Bill shared a story about how the teachings of the snuw ‘uy ‘ui/i helped turn his life around and helped him recover after he returned home from IRS. He said “I played lacrosse and that residential school turned me mean hey. Every game they were packing a white guy off the floor”. He said he became known all over as BIG BAD BILL. He said “The residential school done it”. BS: My grampa made me a canoe after I got back. There were still a lot of elders around and I had a talking to. They said “we watch you out there playing. You’re a mean person. That canoe is sacred. Don’t you ever get on that canoe if you’re mad”. And that’s what turned me around. I went up the mountains four mornings cleansing myself before I got on that canoe. And I won eight years straight in that canoe. I beat the Americans; I beat the mainland and here on the island. I won every race, just by listening to the elders. Now I go to a canoe race and they’re fighting, clubbing one another on a sacred canoe. We’ve lost our ways, our teachings, our culture. That respect is gone. That respect has to come back for the sake of our children. He also shared a story about how our neighboring non-indigenous communities are beginning to recognize the value of our traditional teachings. During one of his visits to a local public school to talk about Coast Salish culture, he said the principal and the teachers said to him “you know your ways is way better than ours”. He said “Now they want to learn”. Auntie Sarah talked about how children were cherished. She said “They called the babies [....] sacred new human beings. That needs to come back. They are a blessing. Children are a blessing”. She said: SM: Children are sacred. You can’t molest them, you can’t harm them. They need to grow up on their own. There’s another teaching. Allow your children to grow up and don’t own them. We can’t own our children and they can’t own us. I guess that’s what it is snuw’uy’ulh, its education. Snuw’, is ‘to put in’ and uy’ulh is ‘our children’. She said we have to be responsible for what we ‘put in’ our children and what we allow to be ‘put in’. She said “that’s what is missing, what we put it”. SM: A part of growing is being taught how to use your ears and use your eyes and how to use your fingers and your toes. And how to open your heart when a good word is there, open your heart and fill it and keep it in there. And she said (grandmother) the only time you close your heart is when people from the dark are 59 there. [....] she said, face the other way. Don’t listen to what they tell you. And then when you’re around your family again you open up and listen to your family. If we want to open a child’s heart and teach them about snuw ‘uy ‘uth we need to be gentle with them. We cannot be harsh or demanding. Every elder said we have to be clear and conscious when teaching. It is done purposefully and it is taken seriously. Auntie Sarah’s grandmother spoke to her about how to pass on the teachings of the snuw’uy’ulh, just as Auntie Ellen’s and Brother Joe’s grandparents spoke to them about how to pass on the teachings. Auntie Sarah’s grandmother said: SM: “When you say something you say it plain and clear and everybody knows what you meant”, I said okay. When I do my snuw’uy’ulh I have to really think about what I’m saying. It’s almost like a building block you know, your first few words, and then you go on until it gets to be a picture. It’s like you paint a picture before you say it. Auntie Ellen said that we need to open the minds of our children and make them “think” and we need to be clear so that they can “see what we are talking about”. She said it is crucial that we tell children the when’s, how’s and whys of the teachings; they need to understand the purpose and essence. If we are not explicit, we threaten to cause greater harm, if children begin to practice the snuw ‘uy ‘ulh without thinking. The snuw’uy’uth are alive. They have energy and spirit and therefore, must be treated respectfully. They must be taken as seriously today, as they were when our First Ancestors and Xeel’s taught them to our people. Talking about the snuw ‘uy ‘ulh is not enough. Writing them down in a book is not enough. They are alive and therefore must be lived. The teachings of “when and how is important”. The elders are our link to the past and the children are the link to our future. As Auntie Ellen said, “what we do today will have a long term effect on our future generations”. EW: If you know how to use the knowledge then you can always be protecting the next generation down the line. Knowing the rights and wrongs of our snuw’uy’idh wifi help take care of our children. As long as they know the values, like talking to the water and the trees. It’s about their survival. She went on to say: 60 EW: The survival of our people goes right back to square one, when the creator put the people down. There were always lessons about respect, survival, appreciation, honoring, and the connecting with all the elements. When you first go out in the morning, you say thank you to the beautiful air and then of course the waters. Auntie Ellen spoke at length about the need to practice our snuw ‘uy ‘ulh or we “will be killed”. She said must save ourselves and fight back, i.e. learn and live our values. She said that we must do this for “our great-great-grandchildren long ahead of us”. She said “if we don’t, then we go back to the way it was before”, before our existence. She stressed “you gotta look after yourselves or be killed”. It goes back to the teachings of our First Ancestors. Auntie Ellen weaves the teachings about Coast Salish snuw ‘uy ‘ui/i beautifully and completely when she describes the cedar tree (figure 4.1). Her story shows the significance and interconnectedness of family, elders, nature, children, our ancestors and our snuw ‘uy ‘ui/i. It demonstrates the importance of past, present and future to Coast Salish peoples. 61 Illustration 4.1. Cedar Tree Auntie said “Snuw’uy’ulh is the teachings. Snuw’ is to lecture the young people and uy ‘ui/i means that it branches out to the father’s side and the mother’s side”. This is just as Auntie Sarah said, only in another way. She used the cedar tree to explain family history, just as Joe’s grandfather used pebbles. She said the branches of the tree connect a child to their mother’s and their father’s side of the family. Each parent has their own branch to explain their 62 lineage. She said “this is why some of the old people say we are like a tree, we have branches all over, but we always have to remember the root”. She said her grandfather drew a tree in the sand to help her understand. She said the roots of the tree are our ancestors who connect us back to our First Ancestors who dropped from the sky. She said the branches are our families today, each needle representing a family member. She said just as a child’s maternal and paternal family members are represented in the branches and needles of the tree, they are also represented in the roots. The roots are supported by the rocks. The rocks tell the roots which way to grow and how to hang on so that they stay firmly implanted in the grouncL Auntie said “If it wasn’t for the roots the top branches wouldn’t survive. But if it wasn’t for the branches the roots wouldn’t survive either. So, you have to carry the lessons of the roots up and spread it into the little relatives, the little kids, your descendents that come. That’s their history. That’s their life. Never forget to teach the children where they came from and how they’re connected deep into that soil”. The roots nurture the branches and the branches equally nurture the roots. It goes around in a circle. Just like Brother Joe’s picture of two sets of footprints walking side by side, only in this picture one set of foot prints is in this world and the other set of footprints is in the spirit world and both are going in the same direction. All of the elders validated and verified each others’ teachings by saying the same thing. Their teachings were going in the same direction. Every aspect, family, elders, nature, children and our snuw ‘uy ‘uth’ is necessary if our Coast Salish people are to survive as a distinct society. If we do not wake our snuw ‘uy ‘ulh’ and our snuw ‘uy ‘ui/i goes to sleep, who will we be? Who will our children be? How will they know who they are? How will our children understand themselves, their history, their culture, their future? If we do nothing, our children will only know themselves, their history and their culture from a book. We will still have Coast Salish people walking the earth, but without a living language, culture, history or tradition. Our future generations will be empty and “naked”. Who 63 will be responsible for that? I cannot risk getting a “fat ass by doing nothing”; by not sharing what the elders have shared with me. I cannot disrespect them. I cannot have wasted their time. As Big Bill said, “Our children are our future. They are the ones who will get into self- governance. It’s not us that will be doing it, its going to be our children. In order to do it successfully we need our snuw ‘uy ‘ulh”. Recommendations The recommendations that follow come from the teachings of the elders. They are designed to offer concrete methods that will support Coast Salish people in reawakening our snuw ‘uy ‘ulh (teachings/values), by learning, understanding, knowing and consciously practicing them. The primary focus is on teaching children, but it is open to all community members. The recommendations provide various opportunities on multiple levels, for those who are just starting out to those who are most skilled, to train in snuw ‘uy ‘ulh. The intent is to saturate the community with opportunities to participate in reclaiming our snuw ‘uy ‘ui/i. Overtime, the conscious, habitual practice of these snuw ‘uy ‘ulh will once again be internalized, i.e. what was once easy and has become difficult, will become easy again. The purpose is to allow all Coast Salish people to know who they are and where they come from, a process that will ensure that children will be cared for within their birth families and not in child welfare care. The participation in any of the recommendations that may be implemented would be voluntary. To better communicate the intent of the recommendations I will share Auntie Sarah’s story about one of the consequences of IRS. She drew a picture of a river and on one side of the river she drew people going up the mountain, the direction we are supposed to be going. She drew people in the river who were drowning and struggling and floating down the river. On the other side of the river she drew people who were following those in the water drowning, but they were all going the wrong direction. She said the people in the water are survivors and intergenerational survivors who are struggling with the effects of IRS and the people following 64 them are their family members who want to help them, who are ready to jump into the water to try and rescue them. As well, on the other side of the river are survivors who are lost and wondering, who have never really returned home after IRS. They are all going in the wrong direction. She said those people on the other side of the river, our relatives, want to come home and the way we can help them is to build a shqutuw ‘ul (what they are crossing the river on) (Hukari & Peter, 1995, p. 146), a bridge for them to cross the river on. Auntie said to build the bridge we must build it plank by plank until it reaches the other side. She said our snuw ‘uy ‘ulh are the planks. My list of recommendations are intended to help build the shqutuw ‘ul, based on the ideas and methods of reawakening our snuw ‘uy ‘ulh. • Inform all the elders in the community, by going to their homes, about the intended work to reawaken the snuw ‘uy ‘ulh • Invite elders to work in partnership to develop a framework/process for the project • Audio and video tape the elders talking about the snuw ‘uy ‘ui/i regarding the significance of, and ceremonies that go along with, birth, informal naming of a child, formal naming of a child, puberty, marriage and death, including as much detail as possible about the process and the taboos. • Invite the elders to the daycares and preschools in the villages to tell the sxwi ‘em (animal myth stories) to the children on a weekly basis • Invite parents (and all community members) of young children to an information session to learn about the sxwi ‘em. Give them a copy of the sxwi ‘em that are in print so that they can read them to their children at home. As well, invite them to listen to the elders telling of these stories. • As the children get older have them put on a play of the sxwi ‘em for the elders and community members • Host monthly genealogy workshops for all community members, young and old • Designate one area (such as one wall in the elders building) that will map the record of the ancestry that community members produce in the genealogy workshops. The space must be made available for all community members to see. • Support families in hosting family reunions 65 • In the spring, invite all community members to the big house (ceremonial home). Ask them to bring pictures of their eldest family members. Sit the people in the big house based on their family names. Have the youngest sit at the top and the eldest sit closer to the floor. Have an agreed upon family speaker introduce their elder family member in the pictures to the rest of the house. Have the speaker inform everyone how they are connected to that person. (Considering 95% of Snuneymuxw are rooted back to one family, many will begin to see how they are connected to one another.) Then have the speaker invite their family onto the floor to introduce themselves. Continue until all families’ members are introduced and then feast together. (This recommendation comes from elder Bob Baker from upper Squamish) • Support community members who are looking for/want an ancestral name, but are not sure how to go about it and then support them in hosting a formal naming ceremony. In the process teach them about the significance of an ancestral name. • Host community potluck feasts every summer and winter solstice • In the summer, host annual community sports days • When a baby is born, support families in hosting an informal family gathering to introduce the baby to the family and let the baby’s cousins hold the new baby • Every spring, host a formal gathering at the big house to introduce all the babies born the year before to the elders of the conununity. The new babies and their parents would be brushed and cleansed with a traditional ceremony. Then the elders would be invited to address the parents and children with snuw ‘uy ‘ulh for parents with new babies. • When a couple is expecting a child invite them to learn about the dos and don’ts during pregnancy and childbirth (to be taught by the elders). • Conduct coming of age ceremonies for the youth based on the guidance of the elders. (No watered down versions). Then begin ongoing teachings for the youth about their responsibility as young adults, such as their responsibility for self, future relationships, caring and operation of a home, and children. • Conduct multiple information sessions for all community members on First Ancestor and Xeel’s syuth, with the first one taking place in the big house in the spring. • Twice a year do community walkabouts to teach children, youth and community members about the history of Coast Salish territory, including places and names. • Do walkabouts to First Ancestor sites after community members become more familiar with the history • Inform community members about places where Xeel’s turned our ancestors to stone, and then based on what the elders say, do a walkabout or not. I suggest caution here due to the significant spirit powers present in those places. 66 • Do walkabouts up the mountain, the rivers and beaches to teach the children about the names and history of local plants and trees. Teach them both the Hul’qumi’num and English names. Teach them about how the plants and trees were utilized for clothing, shelter, medicine. In time, teach them about how they can use these plants and trees today. • Do walkabouts up the mountain, the rivers and beaches to teach children about the names and history of local fish and game. Teach them both the Hul’qumi’num and English names. • On the walkabouts, once the destined site has been reached, invite the children to close their eyes and be quiet and listen to the sounds of the place. Over time, increase the amount of quiet time. • For those communities that have summer fun programs for children and youth spend half the time teaching snuw ‘uy ‘ulh. Have the youth give back to the elders by cleaning their yard or cutting their grass, without payment. • Host summer, winter and spring break snuw’uy’ulh camps. • For people in the community who are collecting social assistance and are required to get signatures from ten places they applied for work in a month, which ensures they will get another cheque, give them the option to take weekly classes, for lack of a better term, on Coast Salish snuw ‘uy ‘ui/i and the Hul’qumi’num language. • Invite those in the community who are knowledgeable about hunting, fishing, weaving, traditional cooking, knitting. . .to teach children, youth and adults who want to learn. This includes having hands on experiences, when ready. For hunting and fishing that means cleaning the game too. • Half of what is caught and produced in the bullet above is to be gifted to the elders in the community, as “I love you gifts”. • Teach the dos and don’ts for hunting and fishing, including any necessary ceremonies that must be conducted to ensure abundance for future generations, such as first salmon ceremonies. • Host ongoing Hul’qumi’num 101 sessions for community members with the focus on teaching the history of Hul’qumi’num people and territory. The topics would range from First Ancestor and Xeel’s syuth, the waves of disease that plagued the people, IRS, the sixties scoop, all anthropologically written material on the people, cultural traditions and protocols, to present day issues. (It would be modeled on Musqueam 101, which is co sponsored by Musqueam Indian Band and UBC). • Conduct ongoing Hul’qumi’num language sessions. • It is intended that all of the recommendations be implemented and facilitated with participants volunteering their time. The meeting places would be the big house or band 67 office so that there would be no cost to the people. It is important that during most of the sessions that food is shared with the people. Chief and council would be asked to contribute to covering the costs initially, and over time have participants who are in a position to, contribute to the food, i.e. potluck style. The purpose is to have the people own the process and any change that occurs. It is acknowledged that much does not happen in our communities unless payment is attached, therefore to initiate some of the recommendations the monies needed is to come from all religious denominations that operated an IRS in Canada and the federal and provincial government. The monies are to offer a fair wage to the elders (not that they are asking, but out of respect) who will be leading and teaching the work of reawakening the snuw ‘uy ‘ulh. As well, an honorarium would be offered to those who teach the children and youth about hunting, fishing, weaving.. .Monies will also be needed to cover materials. • Once enough money is acquired, hire youth for summer employment to learn about the snuw ‘uy ‘ulh. Make sure there is a balance of male and female youth. The recommendations are not outrageous requests. Some would be more easily implemented than others and could begin immediately. It will take time, effort, work and commitment from all community members from the youngest to the oldest, over a consistent and extended period of time, to fully awaken Coast Salish snuw ‘uy ‘ulh. It may be difficult for some to accept the teachings and therefore, change, especially those who have the “poisonous pedagogy” of IRS deeply rooted within, but as Alice Miller (1990) states: If we are courageous enough to face the truth, the world will change, for the power of that “poisonous pedagogy” which has dominated us for so long has been dependent on our fear, confusion, and our childish credulity; once it is exposed to the light of the truth, if will inevitably disappear (xiv). Racist, colonial policies designed to “kill the Indian in him and save the man” (Fournier & Crey, 1997, p. 55) did not succeed, as is evident by our growing communities and the resilience of our elder’s and their teachings. We, and our snuw ‘uy ‘ulh, have survived many attempts at obliteration. The elders have been waiting for us, the next generation, to wake up and embrace our most sacred teachings and that time has arrived. The strength of our snuw ‘uy ‘ulh have supported our people through innumerable changes since the beginning of time. Our traditional values can support us both in reclaiming our families and our children and 68 in succeeding within mainstream society. We do not have to give up our knowledge of who we are and where we come from. We can, and will, have both. As one former student of IRS so eloquently said: In retrospect, if white man thought we were so dumb, we learned our own system first, then we learned their system. If we really were all that dumb, how could we have learned two systems, whereas they have only one system to learn? Really, it must take double the intelligence to be able to do that! Why could they not have learned from us if they perceived themselves to be the “superior” race? (Bull, 1991, 57-5 8). Conclusion Historical attempts by the dominate Euro-Canadian society to assimilate Coast Salish people continues, as is evident in the disproportionate number of Coast Salish children apprehended by the child welfare system. It is ironic that the responsibility for righting the wrongs of past racist colonial policies falls on our laps. Regardless, no one can reverse this trend, but us, Coast Salish people. By reinstating the traditional childcare values of our ancestors we can, and will, return our children to their rightful place within our family tree. As the elders have said repeatedly, “Our children are our future”. We believe that the Creator has entrusted us with the sacred responsibility to raise our families. . . for we realize healthy families are the foundation of strong and healthy communities. 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Edmonton, AB. 73 APPENDIX A The United Nations Genocide Convention The Contracting Parties, Having considered the declaration made by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 96(I) dated 11 December 1946 that genocide is a crime under international law, contrary to the spirit and aims of the United Nations and condemned by the civilized world, Recognizing that at all periods of history genocide has inflicted great losses on humanity, and Being convinced that, in order to liberate mankind from such an odious scourge, international co-operation is required, Hereby agree as hereinafter provided: Article I: The Contracting Parties conflnn that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish. Article II: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. Article III: The following acts shall be punishable: (a) Genocide; (b) Conspiracy to commit genocide; (c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide; (d) Attempt to commit genocide; (e) Complicity in genocide. Article IV: Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals. Article V: The Contracting Parties undertake to enact, in accordance with their respective Constitutions, the necessary legislation to give effect to the provisions of the present 74 Convention, and, in particular, to provide effective penalties for persons guilty of genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III. Article VI: Persons charged with genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III shall be tried by a competent tribunal of the State in the territory of which the act was committed, or by such international penal tribunal as may have jurisdiction with respect to those Contracting Parties which shall have accepted its jurisdiction. Article VII: Genocide and the other acts enumerated in article III shall not be considered as political crimes for the purpose of extradition. The Contracting Parties pledge themselves in such cases to grant extradition in accordance with their laws and treaties in force. Article VIII: Any Contracting Party may call upon the competent organs of the United Nations to take such action under the Charter of the United Nations as they consider appropriate for the prevention and suppression of acts of genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III. Article IX: Disputes between the Contracting Parties relating to the interpretation, application or fulfilment of the present Convention, including those relating to the responsibility of a State for genocide or for any of the other acts enumerated in article III, shall be submitted to the International Court of Justice at the request of any of the parties to the dispute. Article X: The present Convention, of which the Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall bear the date of 9 December 1948. Article XI: The present Convention shall be open until 31 December 1949 for signature on behalf of any Member of the United Nations and of any nonmember State to which an invitation to sign has been addressed by the General Assembly. The present Convention shall be ratified, and the instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. After 1 January 1950, the present Convention may be acceded to on behalf of any Member of the United Nations and of any non-member State which has received an invitation as aforesaid. Instruments of accession shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Article XII: Any Contracting Party may at any time, by notification addressed to the Secretary- General of the United Nations, extend the application of the present Convention to all or any of the territories for the conduct ofwhose foreign relations that Contracting Party is responsible. Article XIII: On the day when the first twenty instruments of ratification or accession have been deposited, the Secretary-General shall draw up a proces-verbal and transmit a copy thereof to each Member of the United Nations and to each of the non-member States contemplated in article XI. The present Convention shall come into force on the ninetieth day following the date of deposit of the twentieth instrument of ratification or accession. 75 Any ratification or accession effected, subsequent to the latter date shall become effective on the ninetieth day following the deposit of the instrument of ratification or accession. Article XIV: The present Convention shall remain in effect for a period often years as from the date of its coming into force. It shall thereafter remain in force for successive periods of five years for such Contracting Parties as have not denounced it at least six months before the expiration of the current period. Denunciation shall be effected by a written notification addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Article XV: If, as a result of denunciations, the number of Parties to the present Convention should become less than sixteen, the Convention shall cease to be in force as from the date on which the last of these denunciations shall become effective. Article XVI: A request for the revision of the present Convention may be made at any time by any Contracting Party by means of a notification in writing addressed to the Secretary-General. The General Assembly shall decide upon the steps, if any, to be taken in respect of such request. Article XVII: The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall notify all Members of the United Nations and the non-member States contemplated in article XI of the following: (a) Signatures, ratifications and accessions received in accordance with article XI; (b) Notifications received in accordance with article XII; (c) The date upon which the present Convention comes into force in accordance with article XIII; (d) Denunciations received in accordance with article XIV; (e) The abrogation of the Convention in accordance with article XV; (f) Notifications received in accordance with article XVI. Article XVIII: The original of the present Convention shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations. A certified copy of the Convention shall be transmitted to each Member of the United Nations and to each of the non-member States contemplated in article XI. Article XIX: The present Convention shall be registered by the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the date of its coming into force. 76


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