Acknowledgment of Traditional Territory in the Chilliwack School District

A Protocol for School District #33 (Chilliwack)

Why do we Acknowledge Territory?

When opening an important event or function, it is important to acknowledge the traditional territory of the Aboriginal people who have occupied this land since time immemorial. Acknowledging traditional territory...

  1. builds health communities and relationships
  2. honours the land and the privilege to live here
  3. restores power to the original peoples in the territory; that in the past has been taken away
  4. emphasizes the important relationship with the Stó:lō  First Nations communities.


Traditional Territory of the Stó:lō People of the River

The Stó:lō territory is comprised of twenty four First Nations that spans the area from Fort Langley to Yale BC and the territory is part of the Coast Salish region of southwestern British Columbia. The Ch-ihl-kway-uhk (Ts'elxweyeqw), one of the tribes of the Stó:lō, are the first people of Chilliwack river watershed in the Central Fraser Valley. "How many people know that the name of the town, river, valley and watershed - Chilliwack - comes from our tribes?" (Ts'elxweyeqw Tribe Chiefs 2017)


When would we acknowledge territory?

The acknowledgment is carried out at functions such as:

  • Important meetings or presentations
  • Assemblies
  • Awards nights
  • Graduations


How do School District Hosts Acknowledge Territory?

Any school district staff  (the host of the event) can and is the person to acknowledge the traditional territory. It is not necessary to have an Aboriginal person from the territory to do the acknowledgement.


How to provide a Welcome to the Territory

A Welcome - Only the Aboriginal people who live on the territory or are originally from the territory would welcome people.

For larger more important events, it is proper protocol to have an Elder or designate from the host Nation to perform the Opening or Welcome, if possible. 

Script for Acknowledging Traditional Territory

"We are privileged to meet on the STOH-LO (Stó:lō) unceded traditional territory of the Pilalt (sounds as spelled) and Ch-ihl-kway-uhk (Ts'elxweyeqw) tribes"


The Ten First Nations within Chilliwack School District

Ts'elxweyeqw Tribes include (7): Aitchelitz, Shxwha:y Village, Skowkale, Squiala, Soowahlie, Tzeachten, and Yakweakwioose. 

Pilalt Tribes include (3): Cheam, Skwah, Kwaw Kwaw apilt


For more information please contact  the Neighbourhood Learning Centre:
Phone: 604-701-4978