Chief Maureen Chapman joins the show this week from Sq'ewa:lxw First Nation (BC). Chief Chapman is a First Nation Land Advisory Board Member and proud to have been a hereditary Chief since 1999. Chief Chapman says having been put on a waitlist due to the demand for First Nations to get into the land code process gave her community the time to create a vision for how the land code could help bring economic development, create housing and employment opportunities for her people in the future. A lesser-known fact about the territory she lives in is that it is known and a recorded site for Sasquatch sightings!
0:40 Maureen describes where her community is located near the beautiful Harrison Hot Springs and the makeup of her community.
1:25 Maureen describes moving back to the community later in life to finish University and help the community
2:19 Speaks to why the land code was an attractive option, having to be put on a waitlist due to the demand from First Nations and the opportunity to learn more and plan for what they would do when they have the chance to pass a land code.
3:11 Younger people from land code communities feel a debt to land code communities that have come before them, setting the foundation for this work
4:11 Sq'ewa:lxw (Skawahlook) land code was passed in 2010 with unanimous support.
4:25 There are Myths around land codes impacting treaties for instance, but Chief Chapman sights that its probably a lack of knowledge and clarity about what is a treaty versus what is a land code
4:57 Sq'ewa:lxw land code was repealed twice and replaced with a newer version which was due to the learning curve of implementing a land code from the ground up. The changes and refinement were to ensure they were confident they could recommend this approach to the community members.
5:50 Maureen agrees that managing heritage sites and environmental protection is important to the community and goes further getting out from the control of the Indian Act was of utmost importance to the protection of sites of cultural importance and ec-dev.
6:47 Sq'ewa:lxw (Skawahlook) First Nation is involved in both treaty negotiations with the Stó:lō Xwexwilmexw Treaty Association (SXTA) and the Additions to Reserve process. Sq'ewa:lxw (Skawahlook) is one of 6 communities in the SXTA that are in stage 5 of the process. The additional lands the Additions to Reserve process will bring much needed land for economic development, business, housing and long-term care facility for elders.
8:12 Sq'ewa:lxw recently benefitted from a specific claim which helped with leverage to borrow money for future projects.
8:38 Syéxw Chó:leqw Adventure Park (opened Sept. 14, 2018) was created as a place for youth and community members and public at large to enjoy with playground, bike skills park and the challenges of this opening*
9:23 Maureen explains the challenge of keeping members in the community and providing work opportunities and the result of members living off-reserve, thus the hope to grow more business in the community.
10:10 25th Anniversary of the Framework Agreement is exciting and a testament that success comes from hard work
11:26 Maureen explains what she would say to other communities considering a land code " it opens the door to so much more" including much-needed land protection laws
12:54 to get in touch with her is through Sq'ewa:lxw office 604-796-9129
13:46 Maureen closes with an interesting fact that her lands at Ruby Creek are known for Sasquatch sightings!
* an article about the opening of Syéxw Chó:leqw Adventure Park can be found here: https://www.hopestandard.com/entertainment/new-skawahlook-adventure-park-encourages-nature-filled-family-fun/