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 practicing them in our everyday life and teaching them to our children. As fishing is so important to our people here in Cheam, we have been practicing the First Salmon Ceremony for many years. We believe this ceremony is so important for the survival of the fish and to continue feeding our families for generations to come. Another important teaching that we practice is the way we have funerals. There are unwritten laws that we must follow to ensure a safe journey for our loved one and along with funerals, we have burnings.