The Stó:lō Nation Longhouse on the Coqualeetza grounds in Chilliwack. ‘Picture our Constitution as the posts of a longhouse that our six communities are building together,’ according to online info about the constitution and treaty process. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress file)

Draft Stó:lō constitution under discussion now in six villages in Chilliwack and beyond

Renewed approach to treaty negotiations saw Stó:lō group reach Stage 5 last fall

The Stó:lō people’s constitution will be known as Shxwelméxwelh, a document mapping out the Stó:lō way.

There’s a newly completed draft being circulated now in the six Stó:lō villages as they continue working their way toward a final treaty, spelling out the specific terms of a self-governing nation.

The draft document is under discussion, and “community champions” have been contracted by Stó:lō Xwexwilmexw Treaty Association (SXTA) to knock on doors seeking input on the draft constitution.

“Our six canoes are continuing down the river towards the final goal of a vote on the Treaty,” according to a recent update.

The “Constitution/Shxwelméxwelh” vote next fall will be the next major milestone for the six Stó:lō Villages which include:Áthelets (Aitchelitz); Leq’á:mel, Sq’ewá:lxw (Skawahlook); Sq’ewqéyl (Skowkale), Ch’iyáqtel (Tzeachten); and Yeqwyeqwí:ws (Yakweakwioose).

The six communities reached Stage 5 in the treaty process as of last fall.

The constitutional document was created by SXTA leadership after years of public input, and is being brought back to members now for further input ahead of the November 2020 vote. It defines who they are, where they come from, and how they will be governed once they get out from under the Indian Act.

Six Stó:lō communities joined forced to become Stó:lō Xwexwilmexw. Members are indicating in a survey how they’d vote on the Constitution/Shxwelméxwelh if the vote were held now, according to SXTA. It is not the actual vote on treaty which will be coming up in November 2020.

“In the last two years, we’ve achieved a remarkable amount – a Land and Capital Transfer Agreement and a renewed approach to treaty negotiations that led us into Stage 5 of the BC Treaty Process on October 12, 2018,” according to SXTA updates.

The SXTA even has a hashtag for the consultation process: #SXTAHaveYourSay

Members of the six villages are weighing in about what they like about the constitution, and what would they change in this phase of the engagement process.

Deadline for input on the draft Stó:lō constitution is March 15, 2020.

For more details contact, 604-824-3281 or @TheSXTA.

READ MORE: Milestone reached with Stage 5

READ MORE: Supreme Court ruling has implications for Sto:lo

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

First NationsGovernmentIndigenous peoples

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Are you a senior needing help during COVID-19? These Chilliwack volunteers are here for you

Picking up groceries and phone chats are just some of the services being offered at no charge

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Chilliwack Learning Society finds new way to get free books to kids amid COVID-19 pandemic

Debbie Denault is hoping others will join her in handing out free books in their own neighbourhoods

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

‘I love you this much’: Chilliwack firefighters share drone video on two-metre physical distancing

The Chilliwack Firefighters Association has been doling out helpful, visual reminders about COVID-19

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Insurance shock for B.C. condo owners

Claim-free two-year-old townhouse complex told premium will nearly triple

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

Most Read