Tiyt Tribe First Nations and Canada strengthen nation-to-nation relationship with  signing of Letter of Understanding

News release

August 27, 2019 – Hope, British Columbia — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

The Government of Canada is renewing the relationship with Indigenous peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.

Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and four Tiyt Tribe First Nations signed a Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination Letter of Understanding (LOU). The LOU outlines priority topic areas for future discussion including the recognition of Tiyt Tribe Aboriginal title and rights; Tiyt Tribe governance issues; natural resources and environmental management; the transportation of dangerous goods; and fiscal relations and economic development.

The four Tiyt Tribe communities which signed the LOU today are Chawathil, Seabird Island, Shxw'ōwhámel and Yale.


"This Letter of Understanding we signed today with the Tiyt Tribe First Nations is an example of what is possible when we work together with Indigenous peoples to advance rights recognition and support their vision of self-determination. I look forward to continuing to work with the Tiyt Tribe First Nations on our shared journey of reconciliation."
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.,
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

"Seabird Island is proud to stand as the Tiyt Tribe. In this Letter of Understanding, we sign to honour our origins, our history and the essence of who we are as an Indigenous Tribe collective. One heart, one mind as we stand together with our neighbors present and those not in attendance. S'ólh téméxw te íkw'elò. xólhmet te mekw' stám it kwelát (This is our land. We have to take care of everything that belongs to us)."

Chief Clem Seymour
Seabird Island

"Yale First Nation is honoured to be part of the Tiyt Tribe. We recognize our historic and ancestral connections to the Tiyt Tribe. As we set this Reconciliation table with Minister Bennett today, we look forward to working with Canada to reconcile our colonial experience."

Chief Ken Hansen
Yale First Nation

"Today, my thoughts are with our Tiyt Tribe ancestors and everything they went through and all they endured. The hardships of colonialism, the impacts on our land and resources. We are here today to honour their perseverance. Their tenacity has allowed us to come together to continue the work we need to do. We sign this Letter of Understanding, at this historic village site, in their presence, as our commitment to work with Canada to find justice and reconciliation."

Chief Rhoda Peters
Chawathil First Nation

Shxw'ōwhámél First Nation embraces this reconciliation as a progressive step forward for the Tiyt Tribe. Our laws require our Leadership to look back to our ancestors 7 generations in the past and to the future 7 generations ahead.  This LOU is about protecting our future and honouring our past. Our relationship to our Territory makes us who we are. The health of our people, the vibrancy of our culture, and the welfare of our children are inextricably linked to the well-being of our lands and waters. Shxw'ōwhámél FN is proud to stand with our brothers and sisters, our families who make up the Tiyt Tribe and we look forward to building a positive relationship with Canada to honour our ancestors, our membership and its future generations.

Siyá:m Shane James
Shxw'ōwhámel First Nation

Quick facts

  • The Tiyt Tribe First Nations are located in the upper Fraser Valley between Bridal Falls and Yale  and consist of the following eight communities:  Chawathil, Seabird Island, Shxw'ōwhámel, Skawahlook, Peters, Popkum, Yale and Union Bar First Nations.

  • The Tiyt Tribe is part of the larger Stó:lō cultural and linguistic collectivity of which there are 24 member First Nations. The Tiyt Tribe is often referred to as the Upper Stó:lō.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Matthew Dillon-Leitch
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

 Jay Hope
Tiyt Tribe Secretariat

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