JeffOne of the things that, I think, that we were talking about, which makes Sto:lo people really unique is that, other than we're separated from everybody, is that we have a gift from the water, and that's the sxwó:yxwey. And it's written in history it came from up the valley, and so many people have come and written this history, I think, hum, hum, what's his name from Sardis, Oliver Wells-

FrankOliver Wells, yeah.

Jeff-and others before him, and that's something that no one ever can take from our people, and it's a gift from the water.


JeffAnd, there's different other masks that came along in time, but this originated from there. And that's what makes us different from everybody else. And that's, and what it did to us as a people, we look to it as a gift that we got from the water. It was, it's given to people one thing, no matter, yeah no matter what we have to carry as labels amongst ourselves, when we get in a room like this, and the sxwó:yxwey comes out, we all become one level of thinking. And that's what God says, the Creator, you're all one, no matter where, what you wear, at this time everything comes off, within the spirit, and we respect that.

RikkiWell, one question I was just going to ask is what distinguishes the Sto:lo from the rest of the Northwest Coast peoples, and you just said it so beautifully right now, and that is really true. I have had opportunity, I say it "Shwey:shwey", and you say, for the mask, I don't know how you pronounce it, the "Shwey:shwey" mask?


Rikkisxwó:yxwey, yeah. And I've had opportunity to be in ceremony with that, and you know how you have to be cleansed, and certain things you didn't, you know certain people that follow what we call "the red road", is, you know, they don't really drink alcohol and they keep their life "clean", as something maybe some other people would term it. And then, you have to prepare yourself, you don't just walk into that longhouse. You prepare yourself mentally and spiritually, and you have paint on your face to honour what's happening.

So, as you speak those words, I immediately found myself mentally walking in that place again, where the masks are off and we're all one, and that's beautifully put.

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