Welcome to our Home!
The Salish Sea is an amazing place. Of course, Coast Salish people have known that for a few millennia. But we are pleased to share it. This edition of The Sentinel is about some of the attractions for visitors to our territories. These places reveal the real wealth around us – the waters and lands and the resources created from them.
From Toba and Bute Inlets to Desolation Sound, Okeovor Arm and the beaches of Sliammon; from Squirrel Cove to Newcastle Island; from Indian Arm to Sooke Basin…we live in ‘the best place on earth’ for us. Some people like to travel to far-away places to learn something about cultures that existed 2,000 years ago and more. But we hope you will also want to learn more about this place we call home, a place that archeological data show as being inhabited for 10,000 years or more.
We weren’t able to create Great Pyramids, Coliseums, Taj Mahals or Great Walls made of stone. The material for building our houses, our poles and canoes grew from the earth – the Great Cedar. Our old house poles have disappeared, replaced by new structures and new generations. But we will never forget our ancestors or their values for this place. The Coast Salish have always welcomed guests and only ask that you honour our protocols. Get to know us; we’d like to get to know you. Come here not just as a tourist, but also as a participant in the lives we live on the Salish Sea.
Enjoy Coast Salish Territory
This is tum’qwi’lus in the Hul’qumi’num language – July, the hot month.
It is also the time to begin to travel. Historically it was for fish and other foods. Now it is mostly for pleasure and it certainly is a joy to travel around the Salish Sea, visiting family and friends and
enjoying the bounty around us. The next two editions of The Sentinel are all about such pleasures. There is plenty to see and do as we enter summer. And we’ve tried to tell you about some of the things on offer from Naut’sa mawt Tribal Council nations.
We are honoured that artist Sonny Assu has allowed us to use his 2006 creation – Coke Salish – to illustrate this issue.
The image on this page is courtesy of Sonny Assu and the Equinox Gallery with the photo by Chris Meier.