We Nuxalkmc have had our own law since we descended from the eyelashes of the sun from the house of Alhkw’ntam. Our law includes our sliix, our stl’cw, and our sxayaxw. Put together, these summarize our roles and responsibilities as individuals and community members. Our ancestors used their teachings to create these laws and to build a complex, resilient, and effective society. They documented our knowledge system so that future generations would continue to learn and practise Nuxalk ways of being in the world.
As Nuxalkmc, we are responsible for understanding our law as our ancestors intended. It is important that we continue to use our governance system as our ancestors used it and that we continue to use our law so that it can evolve as our society evolves.
Nuxalk Ancestral Governance refers to the roles and responsibilities that uphold the Nuxalk Nation, and that tether Nuxalkmc to our territories. Nunuts’xlhuusnm is the term for the Nuxalk system of governance, which is understood through four sliix (treasures), the foundations or pillars of Nuxalk law. These pillars, and the governance role they play, are understood in the following way:
In addition to the sliix are the ceremonies, sxayaaxa (protocols), stl’cw (ethics), responsibilities, ksnmsta (land stewardship), relations, and ancestry that are the foundations of our governance system. Together, these create the system we understand as Nuxalk Ancestral Governance.