Welcome To This New Chapter & Website

The year 2009 brings this new Nuxalk website from the
Nuxalk Hereditary Chiefs who represent the House of Smayusta

I am Chief Qwatsinas of the Nuxalk. I work with other Nuxalk Chiefs in the House of Smayusta who pursue the Nuxalk Lands and Rights Question.

I supply technical assistance on issues such as providing a Nuxalk voice; the story and history of our struggles; and the resistance to the encroachments and infringements that threaten our Indigenous Rights.

Also, I serve as an impartial representative for all these issues. Our concerns flow from our ancestral land base which provides for us, for our survival as Nuxalk People.

Further, we protect all that provides for us, all that is within our ancestral lands. We use our laws and beliefs to protect what has been provided for us, and we allow these tools to guide us into the future.

We must protect the animals, water, air, marine life, and animal habitats. We must protect the grizzly bear, the wild salmon, the drinking water, our medicines, and all the other things that cannot speak for themselves.

Nuxalk Lands and Rights Question

This issue remains outstanding today. It has withstood the test of time and the consequential encroachments and infringements by industrial development.

There is a feeble resolution process offered by the government, the British Columbia Treaty Process, but it cannot be used or trusted by the Nuxalk.

This is why we continue to demand a just, adequate and representative means to resolve the Nuxalk Lands and Rights Question.

We really appreciate and love the support and friendship in this journey. We thank you all in standing with us in our fight for justice and for a proper solution to our Lands and Rights Question.

Qwatsinas . . .
Q'umk'uts' (Bella Coola)
2 January 2009

Left: Papers Connected with the Indian Land Question, 1850 – 1875. This 1875 publication was suppressed by the government until over 100 years later when it was finally published for the public in 1987. Union of BC Indian Chiefs President Stewart Phillip describes the importance of the Indian Land Question:

"As Indigenous Peoples, we have witnessed how the official history of British Columbia has attempted to legitimize the theft of our traditional lands and the efforts to destroy our ways of life. However, since contact, we have continually resisted encroachment in our territories and the infringement of our political and territorial rights. Confronted with policy after policy designed to achieve our assimilation into the 'fabric of Canadian society' we have fought back, upholding our relationship to our lands and speaking out against our dispossession."

"The phrase 'Indian land question' embodies this struggle, as it was used by BC government officials and reserve commissioners confronted by the 'problem' of our continued demands to have our title and rights to our lands and resources recognized and respected."

Nuxalk House of Smayusta

The House of Smayusta is the traditional form of Nuxalk Government, made up of hereditary chiefs, elders and community supporters.

The House of Smayusta translates as "House of Stories" and refers to the ancestral stories of families that describe family lines and histories, the basis of Nuxalk organization.

The House of Smayusta represents the sovereignty and traditional government of the Nuxalk.

The House of Smayusta is also a physical house where current hereditary chiefs and supporters meet to discuss issues of importance to the Nuxalk.

The House of Smayusta is run by volunteers and does not receive government funding for any of its activities or overhead costs.

Discussions and awareness campaigns organized by the House of Smayusta include environmental threats such as salmon farming, proposed industrial mining and a rock quarry located on sensitive salmon habitat and continued industrial logging and its aftermath throughout Nuxalk Ancestral Territory.

The Sovereignty of the Nuxalk Nation comes from Tatau, the Creator. It is not granted nor subject to the approval of any other nation. As the Nuxalk Nation, we have the sovereign right to jurisdictional rule withinour own Territory.

Our lands are a sacred gift.

The land is provided for the continued use, benefit and enjoyment of our People, the Nuxalkmc, and it is our ultimate obligation to Tatau, the Creator, to care for and protect it.


Nuxalk Smayusta Homepage