Words From The Elders

The Importance of our Elders

Many of our Elders live in the United States. In the 1940s & 50s, many of our relatives went south looking for work and escaping the destructive grasp of the residential school.

An important drive for Shxwhá:y Village is to provide suitable housing on out land to support our elders returning home to our traditional lands. We want to provide comfort and security for our elders and to have them home to continue their important guidance and example as role models.

Let us put our minds together and see what life we will make for our children.
— Chief Sitting Bull

Words from our elders


Our Elders are integral to our community.
Our Elders are part of our identity,
our link to our ancestors,
our connection to our past,
our culture and spiritual traditions.
Our Elders are a reflection of who we are,
where we have come from,
and where we want to go.
Our parents, our grandparents, our aunts and uncles.
Our Elders are role models for our leadership and our youth.

The world through our Elders’ eyes is hard for us to comprehend.
The old ways of doing things.
Living in parallel worlds… one of them not of their choosing.

the Indian residential schools,
the depression,
foreign diseases and other peoples’  Wars.
So much lost,
yet so much learned.
Through our Elders we are connected to our past,
to our history,
our culture,
our ancestors and our spiritual ways.

Our Elders are there for us.
Through observation: practice, and by listening, we can learn.
We just must take the opportunity.

Norma Aldridge & Francine Adams

One of the things that keep us from getting together is transportation.

We need better ways of getting up to Shxwhá:y Village. We want better ways of getting picked up state-side and driven up here.

We want better communication between Council and membership whether here or State-side.

We want to hear the goings-on on a regular basis. We would like a newsletter that keeps us up-dated 6 times a year.

Lack of Elder housing is a big reason for us staying State-side.  When we come up here, we would like to do things such as activities that represent our interests.

Language is important; we hunt & fish; we want to teach about food, how to knit and crochet, canning, jam-making