Tsawout First Nation

The Beliefs of the WSANEC Peoples:

  • It is the belief of the Saanich people that XALS put us here on this world and gave us a language of our own called SENCOTEN.
  • That the Lands around us came from XALS and the islands, points land and huge boulders were once people and are still referred to in their old names.
  • That the four winds, the trees, the birds, the animals, and the fishes too were people at one time long ago.
  • That the living things can understand us if we speak to them using special words.
  • That among us are special people who have special rights in regard to spiritual communication.
  • That the islands, the salmon, and the living things can be called upon for help to survive in this life.
  • That the fire and the water have a life and spirit too, and that they can assist in the communication beyond this life.
  • That beyond this life, life continues and that, at times, communication can take place with relatives who have left this world.
  • That the origin of the living things of this world are our ancient relatives, and that they must be treated with respect.
  • That there must be honour given to life around us, that ceremonies and rituals taught to the young will perpetuate these as time passes from one generation to the next.
  • That when our relatives leave this world, they enter the sky world.  The stars represent the twinkling of their eyes as they look down upon us a night.
  • That the Thunder Being lives in a cave in LAUWELNEW, our Sacred Mountain and that he is the communicator between this world and the sky world.
  • That the KEXMIN, Indian consumption plant, is a good medicine used to clean and open the way for the pure spirits to come near.
  • That is Saanich there is EN SKAU, a destiny based on what a person does.  If one does good or one does something not good to one another or to the living things around us, it will return to that person in this life.
  • It is the belief of the Saanich people that the SXOLE (reef net) is a gift of the salmon spirit who came to our land and took a beautiful lady from Saanich for his wife.
  • The Saanich have lived to these and many other beliefs for thousands of years.
  • When the Saanich people lived on this land ALENENEC, our homeland according to the teachings and beliefs given to us by XALS, Our Creator, life was good and plentiful.  When the Saanich people forgot the teachings and did not honour life, XALS, Our Creator, punished the Saanich people with a flood. Only the ones who lived by his beliefs and teachings survived the great flood.

These are our beliefs. This is our History. This is our Culture.

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