19 9 / 2014
At the current rate, the Squamish Nation will be approximately 5,743 members within 30 years. That’s at a 1.5% growth rate. The rate prior to recent Membership Codes was 0.9%, so the change in growth rate is an estimate. Prior to the 2000 amendments, the growth rate was closer to 1.9%.
Factors that will change this:
1.) The number of members who have children with other Squamish members
2.) The number of members who have children with other status indians.
3.) The number of members who have children is non-Status ppl.
4.) The average number of children each Squamish family has.
Generally speaking, when socio-economic conditions in income or education level , the average number of children per family in low-income or marginalized communities tends to decrease. Where poverty, low education levels, and such exists, there tends to be higher averages for children per family.
This means the growth rate could simply go down as families and individuals have less children or no children at all.
There is a chance the growth rate could start decreasing. Remember — the growth rate is the annual number of members added to the Membership Registry (new born members) subtracted by the number of members who pass away. As the older generation continues to age, more health factors come into the picture and could increase the number of annual deaths in the nation.
Less members being born + more older members passing away = a decrease in growth percentages.
It is important to note — this is only concerning “Membership” of the Squamish Band as defined under the Indian Act, where Members are defined as having to be Status Indians as well. This projection does not deal with who is and who is not defined as being Sḵwx̱wú7mesh — a matter that has zero to do with colonial policies of Membership Codes, Indian Status, and the Indian Act.
18 9 / 2014
18 9 / 2014
16 9 / 2014
15 9 / 2014
Motivation is fleeting sometimes. There are days where the work in front of you just needs to be done and nothing but taking one step forward is the only option. No leaping, not skipping, but just step by step because the fleeting feeling of passion and aliveness isn’t present.
I see it with our struggle to reclaim our Indigenous languages all the time. People are excited, interested, and passionate to study our language(s). They want to learn to speak it. They want to become fluent. They want to talk like our ancestors did.
Then as time passes the priority of the language falls to the side. Other opportunities or activities take present. I understand why it happens. There are sexier things to do then sit in a classroom and try to commit to memory the syntax, grammar, or vocabulary of a given language.
It’s also a task that can sometimes be best suited to those who know that hard work over a long period of time leads to bigger results.
I started focusing very dilligently and more successfully on studying Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Sníchim almost 5 years ago. I started with hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ just over 2 years ago. Next to learn and study is kwak̕wala.
I find my motivation with language comes back when I take a moment to dream again. To imagine, to create, to believe in a possible future. “If anything were possible, what would our language speaking community look like in 50 years?” I ask myself.
And the joy of those images remind me of how proud our elders would be if we make it happen. The happiness in our peoples hearts to feel certain feelings in a beautiful language that connects us to the land and to each other. To sit on a bus with a cousin and talk to each other in a language no one else on the bus can recognize. The sweet laughter in teasing a cousin and make a joke in the language.
A different future is possible. We just have to remember there are times where the only option is taking one more step forward. Where can only take on more stroke in the canoe. And the winds will pick up behind us again, and we’ll say to each other…
"Well that sure changed quickly…"
14 9 / 2014
06 9 / 2014
No one becomes fluent in a language from 1-2 hours of class study per week. That’s why I decided to organize a group of friends who commit to speaking the target language habitually or exclusively for a year in a immersion #languagehouse.
We are currently looking for one more potential roommate. 18-30 years old who can pay approx. Can pay $500 rent each month and wants to become a fluent Sḵwx̱wú7mesh speaker!
Pass along or send me a message if you’re interested!
03 9 / 2014
29 8 / 2014
A word used a lot in Squamish culture is “chiyáx̱w”. It is said to mean “protocol” or “the law of our peoples”. In the English dictionary a protocol is “a system of rules that explain the correct conduct and procedures to be followed in formal situations”.
The word chiyáx̱w is actually a quiver for arrows. (See the the container holding Legolas’ arrows for his bow — that’s a quiver.)
The word started getting used as a metaphor in the past few decades by some of our speakers for our culture. That all of our cultural aspects are arrows and our chiyáx̱w holds these things together.
Again, it was used as a metaphor and only started being used as such most recently it seems.
There seems to be a perception now that there is a set rules for everything in our culture and that some families are following the correct rules and others are breaking the rules.
The reality being prior to contact there were so many villages with so many families it is inconceivable not to think of how many different ways of doing things there would have been.
And of the cultural knowledge we gained from our old times we know even amongst them there was differences and perspectives on how things COULD be done (notice: I’m not saying ‘should’ be done).
The word protocol makes it sound like this is how our culture works.
"Protocol is in everything we do. It’s our law, our teachings, our way of life."
A container for arrows is in everything we do?