The Powell River Educational Services Society is immensely proud of its Coast Salish leadership, and honoured to be working within the traditional territories of the Klahoose and Tla’amin First Nations. Indigenous traditions express human existence in terms that deeply inspire individuals and communities across the planet. In recent years, there has been a worldwide explosion of interest in the perspectives of harmony, balance, and profound interconnection that are at the heart of Indigenous cultures. Coast Salish people traditionally live in close relationship with the land: a relationship of kinship, not ownership. Within this tradition every action has a spiritual dimension – life can only be sustained by nurturing a loving, intimate relationship with every element of the natural world. The traditions urge us, as individuals and communities, to partake of the natural world with sensitivity, respect, awareness and gratitude.
The Ancestors are intimately present, connected to the current generation through realities that transcend death. Elders within Coast Salish culture are revered as wise teachers, as the ones who stand closest in time to the Ancestors. They are cherished for their guidance and advice on practical, moral and spiritual matters. In its programs and initiatives, PRESS endeavours to embody and honour the Ta-ow [teachings] of the Ancestors, as expressed by Tla’amin Nation:
YEEQ OTL TLET (accountability): Learn from every experience, good or bad; expect more of yourself than you do of others; take responsibility for everything you do.
GANOOXWET (honesty): Be true toyourself and others; intellect should never overshadow wisdom and common sense.
QWAQWI STOWTL (communication): Interact with others in a way that is meaningful, purposeful and inclusive; respect the knowledge and beliefs of others, even when you do not agree; listen and learn – then speak.
KLOSSOM QWAYIGAN (discipline): Work hard to be an asset to others; every day brings a new lesson and an opportunity to make things better; become strong so that you can overcome obstacles.
THATH XWEN (fairness): Don’t choose favourites among people – ensure all are treated equally; be transparent in your deeds, people need to witness how things work.
PEE YET QWAY GON (humility): Examine yourself, and recognize and learn from your mistakes; Have compassion for the plight of others: you have not lived their experience.
TEE HEGUN METUM (integrity): Be a living example of the goodness you want to call forth in others; trust is earned: ensure you are worthy of it.
TEES TAHM (respect): Your actions should embody the Ta-ow, and reflect its wisdom to others; honour the ancestors, the Tah ow, the land and future generations by keeping them at theforefront of all your activities.