As I Remember It: Teachings (Ɂəms tɑɁɑw) from the Life of a Sliammon Elder


“… our communities were well organized.”

I think about the teachin’ of the old people. How our people lived and they were very civilized. They had all the tools. They had all the teachin’s. Their lifestyle, their self-government – our communities were well organized. Our people were taught things: how to look after yourself, how to take care of your children, how to respect nature, how to respect your neighbours. Treat other people as you would have them treat you. Turn the other cheek. All of those kinds of things! Not to take on other people’s issues and become bitter about other people’s issues.

And I think, if I can compare that to the Ten Commandments, the Ten Commandments say, “Thou shalt not this. Thou shalt not that,” and all of those “Thou shalts.” And I’m thinking, we had all these things in place already. It was only done differently in that it was, you know, “This is how you treat other people. This is how you look after the resources. This is how you look after the environment. This is how you look after your community. This is how you look after your children. This is how you respect the Elders.” All those teachin’s were in place.

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