The Squamish Nation is a vibrant and dynamic Coast Salish Nation, with a strong culture, rich history and bright future.
The Squamish Nation has existed and prospered within our traditional territory since time immemorial. We are Coast Salish people. Our language is the Squamish language. Our society is, and always has been, organized and sophisticated, with complex laws and rules governing all forms of social relations, economic rights and relations with other First Nations. We have never ceded or surrendered title to our lands, rights to our resources or the power to make decisions within our territory.
The modern era of Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw was declared on July 23, 1923 through the “Prayer of Amalgamation.” This was the result of eight years of discussion, planning and a legal agreement signed by the 16 Skwxwú7mesh Chiefs. This document was the instrument to declare that the traditional governance of Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw, our People and lands, is still in place. The hard working Squamish Nation people of the time laid the groundwork for the growth and development of the society we enjoy today.
The Skwxwú7mesh stelmexw (Squamish People) continue to reside in the area now described as the lower Mainland of British Columbia. The largest proportion of Squamish Nation members reside on several urban reserves in the city of Vancouver, North and West Vancouver and the municipality of Squamish, B.C.
The Nation’s population is scattered among nine communities stretching from North Vancouver to the northern area of Howe Sound. Over 60% of the more than 3,600 Squamish Nation members live on-reserve and membership is determined by guidelines set out in the Squamish Nation Membership Code.
The Squamish Nation is a leader in the field of First Nations economic development. The Squamish Nation’s sources of revenue are taxation, leases and Squamish-owned businesses, such as:
- Mosquito Creek Marina
- Lynnwood Marina
- Marina Grill
- North Vancouver Smoke Shop at Mosquito Creek
- Squamish Valley Gas LP
- Superstore Gas Bar, North Vancouver
- Capilano River RV Park, West Vancouver
- Northwest Squamish Forestry LP
- The Park Royal Shopping Centre, International Plaza, and Greater Vancouver Storage Sewage Plant, are a few examples of existing tenants on Squamish Nation lands.
In addition to revenue generated from existing leases and businesses, the Squamish Nation plans to develop various parcels of lands, including proposed developments at Seymour, Capilano, Kitsilano, Chekwelp and Stawamus. Proceeds from new developments will support ongoing programs and services for Squamish Nation membership, as well as acquire new lands, provide infrastructure, and provide finance options for member housing.
From the time of the arrival of the first Europeans in the Lower Mainland area, the Squamish Nation has asserted our right to the land and resources in the territories that we have inhabited for thousands of years.
The Squamish Nation is seeking a resolution for the long outstanding claim to our traditional territories. Squamish Nation’s Statement of Intent to negotiate was accepted by the British Columbia Treaty Commission December, 1993. This is the first of six stages of the British Columbia Treaty Commission’s process. Presently, Squamish Nation is in the third stage of the process.