What is Chiy̓áxw? It is a Squamish word that refers to protocols, ways of being, and respectful ways of conducting oneself. Many interpret Chiy̓áxw as a law – “a correct way of going about doing a task or caring for our children” for example.
Why is this project happening now? In January 2020, Canada passed legislation, An Act Respecting First Nation, Inuit, and Metis, Children, Youth, and Families. This federal law makes it possible for First Nations across Canada to legally take over full control and management of services to children, youth, and families.
In April 2021, in response to the above opportunity, Council approved a Project Team to conduct a survey of Members asking 5 questions on “whether the Nation should proceed to explore a Nation Law option for delivering services to children and families”. Over 80% of respondents favored moving to Nation Law.
In November 2021, in response to results of the Member survey, Council directed that the Project Team engage the Nation Membership in a 2 year capacity building project to conduct our own research to establish what service changes, benefits, recommendations, as well as any pitfalls or concerns Membership might identify in moving to Nation jurisdiction.
The Project Team has drafted a Terms of Reference for three Advisory Committees that will drive the work of Membership engagement. In early February 2022, a notice for applications to the following Committees was made: Community Member Advisory, Knowledge Keeper Advisory, and Technical Advisory.
It allows the Nation to exercise our inherent right to care for our own children consistent with The Constitution Act 1982, and the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
More importantly, it allows the Nation to define our law as it applies to our children and families, to develop the services that are supportive to families, and to deliver the services in a culturally appropriate way that is centered on our own values, beliefs, and ways of being.
To have constructive conversation (individual and group dialogue), family meetings and group focus meetings.
Other ways to participate: serve on an Advisory Committee; email suggestions for change; ask for an individual interview (in-person or telephone) or express an opinion through a telephone call.
October 18, 2021
Ayás Mén̓men is pleased to share their first progress update on the Child & Family Chiy̓áxw project!
The Squamish Nation Membership’s responses indicate a strong preference to have services delivered under the authority of our own Squamish laws and values. The Project Team is proud to announce that on September 9, 2021, Council signed a Band Council Resolution for us to continue our work!
Offer your input to determine how the Nation should regain our inherent right to care and deliver support services for our children and families: contact us at AmmComm@squamish.net