Revitalizing Indigenous Law for Land, Air and Water: St’át’imc Legal Traditions Report

Indigenous law, water, environmental governance
Dean Billy, Lindsay Borrows, Jessica Clogg, Helen Copeland

The RELAW project – which stands for Revitalizing Indigenous Law for Land, Air and Water – was launched by West Coast Environmental Law in 2016 with the support and guidance of the Indigenous Law Research Unit at the University of Victoria. RELAW provides co-learning opportunities and legal support to Indigenous nations seeking to revitalize and apply their own laws to current environmental challenges. The St’át’imc were part of the first cohort of nations who participated in RELAW.

Over the course of a one year period from June 2016 to May 2017 the St’át’imc RELAW team read approximately a hundred publicly available St’át’imc stories, travelled throughout the territory to learn from the wisdom of Elders about the legal principles embedded in these stories, and met with members of all eleven St’át’imc communities.

Revitalizing Indigenous Law for Land, Air and Water: St’át’imc Legal Traditions Report shares teachings from the stories and St’át’imc Elders about legal rights, responsibilities and standards, legal processes and decision-making, teaching, consequences and enforcement, as well as foundational legal principles and legal principles related to inter-community and international relations.

This report was produced for educational purposes and to deepen understanding of St’át’imc law amongst all peoples. It is a contribution to the ongoing process of learning and revitalizing St’át’imc legal traditions and does not purport to be comprehensive or conclusive.

The copyright of this report is held by the St’át’imc Chiefs Council in trust for all St’át’imc. The information contained herein is available for non-commercial use by any St’át’imc person. It may be cited for academic purposes.

The St’át’imc Nation and the Elders and knowledge holders quoted herein maintain intellectual property rights in the oral histories and cultural information contained in this report, which are protected by international human rights law. This report may not be reproduced or copied in whole or in part for commercial use or profit except with their written permission. In particular, this report or any oral histories or cultural information shared in it may not be relied on by non-St’át’imc in any negotiation, or legal or administrative proceeding, without the prior, written permission from the St’át’imc Chiefs Council.

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Lillooet and Vancouver
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