The Beating Heart – the root of the Sts’ailes community, which rests on the shores of the Harrison River, was created in a battle between a shaman and Xals, the Transformer. Up the west side of Harrison Lake, the battle took place, and Xals turned the once powerful shaman to stone. With the shaman’s powers limited, spreading broken pieces of his body amongst the territory conserved him, as each piece created landmarks. The village of Sts’ailes lies in the place where his heart landed. His heart beats on.
“We have always been here” is how the relationship with the land is described by Stó:lō elders. The connection has been tied from their arrival in S’ólh Téméxw, through transformations of animals and fish. The Xexá:ls, or transformers, fixed the world – including the people and the animals that walk the earth. This established our current landscape.
The connection is both spiritual and physical. Answer the spirit, and it will turn into a song. The song will turn into something very important to you - an animal, the trees, the water. That song is the healing for the people.
Come together to cherish and respect the land.
Sx̲wōx̲wiyám: Legend or traditional story
Tém:éxw: Earth, land
S’ólh Téméxw: Traditional territory