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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 ...

 

 

 

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 ...

 

Educational & Cultural Programs

Homework club runs Monday and Wednesday (3:30-5pm) every week during the months of October to June; this is open to all students needing assistance with their school work. Cheam Education Center provides an ABE (adult basic education) program available to adult learners needing to complete their grade 12, or to upgrade for future post-secondary. This runs Thursdays from 6-9pm weekly form September to June following a regular school schedule. Language program is open to all community members whom are willing to learn, this is provided in partnership with Coqualeetza Cultural Education Center whom provides the instructor for the program, and the session’s run on a weekly basis for 10 weeks. The Summer Program provides various activities for children ages 6-12. It is available at the Cheam Education Center throughout the summer months, also providing employment and work experience to secondary summer students who run the program. Salish Weaving & Sewing classes runs on a weekly basis Tuesdays evenings, ...