Te’mexw Treaty Association is a non-profit society formed of five Coast Salish Nations – Beecher Bay (SC’IA⁄NEW), Malahat, Snaw-Naw-As, Songhees and T’Sou-ke. The Te’mexw five member Nations joined to support one another and to work together under one organization to negotiate five Nation-specific modern treaties with the federal and provincial governments in the British Columbia treaty process.
Beecher Bay (SC’IA⁄NEW) First Nation’s main community is on Beecher Bay in East Sooke, 30 km southwest of Victoria. For thousands of years, Beecher Bay First Nation peoples have used and occupied the lands and waters of the south coast of Vancouver Island.
The Malahat Nation is located south of Mill Bay, along the western shores of Saanich Inlet, approximately 40 km northwest of Victoria, B.C. The traditional languages spoken were SENĆOŦEN, Hul’q’umi’num’, and Samish. Nation members have family ties with the WSÁNEĆ peoples of the Saanich Peninsula and with members of the modern Hul’q’umi’num Treaty Group.
The Snaw-Naw-As (Nanoose) First Nation is located on the east coast of Vancouver Island, adjacent to the city of Lantzville, situated between Parksville and Nanaimo, in Nanoose Bay. The Snaw-Naw-As name derives from the Halkomelem word “Naus,” meaning “inside looking out” reflecting the shape of Nanoose Bay.
Songhees Nation of the lək̓wəŋən (pronounced Lekwungen) People is located beside Esquimalt and View Royal on Vancouver Island, 5 km from Victoria. They are the descendants of the lək̓wəŋən people, original inhabitants of the Greater Victoria region. The lək̓wəŋən People have hunted, fished and gathered here for thousands of years.
The T’Sou-ke First Nation is located 36 km west of Victoria, near the town of Sooke. In the Nation’s dialect, “T’Sou-ke” is the name of the Stickleback fish that lives in the estuary of the river. Contact with Europeans through the Hudson’s Bay Company saw the name changed first to “Soke” and then to “Sooke.”
Unified in our pursuit of self-governance – united culturally, socially and economically for future generations.
Negotiate just, modern treaties, ensuring our Citizens are knowledgeable and prepared to make an informed decision.
Negotiating comprehensive treaties within the British Columbia Treaty Commission’s six-stage treaty process, we are currently in the fifth stage of this process.
Collectively negotiating treaties between the member Nations, British Columbia, and Canada.
All of the member Nations are located on southern and central Vancouver Island.
(Sources as of Dec 2022: First Nation Profiles, INAC)
Our logo was designed and carved by the late Chief Rod Modeste from the Malahat Nation.
The interlocking design of the salmon, land, moon, stars and water clearly shows that each part depends on the other; one part cannot flourish without the others.
Each symbol is deeply significant for our member Nations. We are stewards of the land, taking care of Mother Earth so that she will always be able to provide the riches that allow us to thrive. For this very reason, we have chosen the Hul’qumi’num word “Te’mexw,” which means ”land” in English.
The stars and the moon guide the salmon returning to the place of its birth. It splashes in the bay before travelling up the stream that flows from the land to the ocean. Thus, like all of Mother Nature’s gifts, the salmon originates with the land.
These symbols are all significant to our people. Although our cultures are diverse, we share many stories passed on through generations of oral communication.