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Cheam Community Life

Introduction by Rick Quipp (former Councillor)

Our culture and spiritual teachings are important to the Cheam community. It is our teachings that build the person that we become. Our most important teachings to ourselves is to have fun, respect ourselves and others, be proud of our community and be proud of who we are and where we come from. We have a program for Cheam children in foster care, this program is called "Roots and Ties". Once a month we have a dinner and encourage family members of children in care to come spend time with their children. At the dinners, the families share stories and other cultural activities. Historical events are discussed such as colonization and residential schools and how this changed our community life and our families. In fact, these two historical events almost wiped out our spiritual and cultural traditions by: taking our identity away; banning our spiritual practices; prohibiting us from voting and enforcing the Indian Act.

The experience of our people has been ...

 

Chief and Council Portfolios

In order to achieve a more consistent and balanced workload among elected leadership, the following tasks and outcomes have been developed for Council to advance grouped issues on a political level.

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Education Department

Education Manager Responsibilities

Cheam’s Education priorities are to provide members with a sense of belonging and personal worth and ability. Provide employment training\trades education. Our goal is to promote learning and provide life skills education free from economic worries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

History

Overview of History of the Sto:lo After Contact

Indian reserves are the remnants of "Our Land" they are the bits and pieces of our sovereignty, of our culture that have survived. They are monuments of our victory against extinction. They are symbols of continuing struggle against our oppression by the Europeans. Today an Indian reserve is a jail. Tomorrow it should be the basis of independence.

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History Of The Mountain Goat People

A young man went hunting mountain goats, as the story goes, on Cheam Mountain and became lost to his people, and came to live with the Mountain Goat People that live deep inside Mount Cheam. He lived with these people for many years, taking a wife and together they had 2 children. Eventually he returned to his parents who were, by that time very, very old. He lived in his parents’ village with his wife and children from that time on, never returning to the home of the Mountain Goat People. It is said that the young man, his wife and children are the ancestors of the people who live on Cheam Indian Reserve today. The name “Cheam” is a Halq’eméylem word pronounced “Chiyom”, which mean “wild strawberry place”. The village of Cheam is located just below the highest peak in the mountains stringing along the east side of Chilliwack. The people of Cheam live on two parcels of land, Cheam #1, holding most of the community with 821 acres, is located on the south ...

 

Hunting and Fishing

We have been practicing the First Salmon Ceremony for a very long time. We believe this ceremony is so important for our survival of the fish and to continue feeding our families for generations to come. Fish have always been a main source of our people’s diet; fish were smoked, dried and eaten fresh in season. Later we began to can and freeze fish as ways of preserving food for the off season. As the Pilalt people are a fishing tribe, all our reserves are situated by a river, although sometimes now the river is channeled away or the spawning grounds destroyed.

 

 

Medicinal Plant Harvesting and Uses

Plant harvesting for medicinal purposes and food has been our common practice for as long as anyone can remember and a very important key to our way of life. There is a connection that our First Nation people have to our traditional plants. In Cheam we have a few members dedicated to traditional medicines and have their own back yard gardens containing our medicines. Harvesting is still practiced today and growing stronger and our younger generation is taking notice, this is good as the traditional medicines will not be lost and can be handed down to generations’ to come.

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Projects

Short /long term strategic housing development plan The strategic housing development plan consist of staged development of new housing, that differs from surge housing development (build 10 homes wait five years), the idea is to develop at a consistent pace to allow for expansion of infrastructure and lot development to keep up.

Tenant training methods Tenant training: to provide tenants with a firm understanding of their responsibilities as a renter; leaser of a home including maintenance requirements of the tenant; budgeting methods; technics; as well as a better understanding of how a housing department budgets and how tenants contribute to the success of the program.

Call to action maintenance tracking system Although the process is not new, the methods for our housing program are. The purpose is to demonstrate accountability of the housing department; budget tracking; council reporting; maintenance use of time; maintenance trends and maintenance efficiency. Domestic issues / tenant behavior ...

 

 

Spiritual Tradition

To respect our teachings passed down from generation to generation, we cannot share too much about our spiritual traditions as they are very sacred to us. Cheam has a number of band members that practice the spiritual tradition of the longhouse and those oral teachings are passed down from one Cheam member to another. Our culture and spiritual traditions are unwritten practices that are so important to Cheam people and can be summed up in one word,”Identity”. Our spiritual traditions are kept alive through oral history and shared with the outside. Our traditions and culture bring back who we were and who we are now.

Tradition and Culture was and is about survival. Collecting, preserving and bartering were our way of life and it was what we had to do to survive. We don’t have that as much today. Now we are gaining our culture and traditions back from the knowledge of our elders and are practicing our traditional ceremonies. The best way to preserve our traditions and culture is by ...