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Chehalis Sacred Sites Protected Under New Agreement

I love reading about agreements between First Nations and government which are designed to protect sacred sites. In the case of an agreement between the Chehalis (Coast Salish; Fraser Valley) and the BC government, the sacred area contains archaeological components — but spirituality, heritage, tradition, and history are also integral to this cultural landscape and its protection.

From the government’s press release:

The Chehalis have a long history of respecting Kweh-Kwuch-Hum as sacred and there is archaeological evidence of an established and structured community in the area from 1,500 years ago. Events like weddings, name ceremonies, memorials, potlatch celebrations, and spiritual activities such as rites of passage and the Winter Dance ceremonial continue to take place in the area and its longhouses, as they have done for years and generations before. Aboriginal people from all over the region have traditionally come to Chehalis to participate in Winter Dance activities …

Government actions regulations provide direction for the establishment of land designations that protect forest values including First Nations cultural heritage resources, watersheds, ecosystems, fisheries, species at risk and recreation sites or trails.

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