Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw 2026

Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw

2026

Introduction

The Squamish Nation Strategic Plan 2020–2023 was adopted in February 2020 after being developed collaboratively over three facilitated sessions with Nexwsxwníw̓ntm ta Úxwumixw (Council) and Directors between May 2018 and October 2019. The objective of the plan was to create a shared understanding of our organization’s vision, values, and principles to shape who we are and where we go as an organization.

In September 2021, a new Nexwsxwníw̓ntm ta Úxwumixw was elected and in late November, the update to Squamish Nation Strategic Plan 2020–2023 was initiated with three goals.

First, the updated plan is intended to communicate what the priorities are for this Council over the course of their four-year term. Secondly, the plan has a new section on values to help our staff and external partners understand how we act on our guiding principles. Finally, the plan will be monitored via key performance indicators (KPIs) to be developed after the plan is passed and which are intended to guide the plan towards successful outcomes.

When the unexpected occurs and multiple priorities come in front of us, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw 2026 helps us travel together and find new opportunities while staying true to our values and mission. Chet estetxw skwalwnchet kwis namstet ta uxwumixwcht tkwa wa tsixwnumulh (we are determined to take our people to the destination).

Our Values

Values are qualities or standards of behaviour that help us determine what is important in life. In our Sḵwx̱wú7mesh society, there are numerous values our people have used for generations. These six values were chosen to guide how we do business internally and externally. For the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw, these are a group of specific values that we need to understand to work together as a government.

Many terms in the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Sníchim (Squamish language) have various interpretations. Here is how we interpret the following.

Úxwumixw

Úxwumixw can mean village as in a physical community with inhabitants living in intergenerational multi-family housing, and it can mean people as in the parents, siblings, and children of a particular nation or community.

The Squamish Language Dictionary (2011) defines this noun as “Nation; Village [Houses and Inhabitants]; Community; People”

Snew̓íyelh

Snew̓íyelh can mean advice as in an opinion or recommendation offered as a guide to action, conduct, etc. It can also mean something that is taught as in teachings to be followed.

The Squamish Language Dictionary (2011) defines this noun as “advice.”

Wenáxws

Wenáxws can mean to respect (someone) or treat (someone) with respect. It can also mean to honour (someone) or believe (someone).

Siyám̓in

A siy̓ám̓ is sometimes used as a title for individuals and sometimes used as an honorific term of endearment for someone highly respected. It can mean highly honoured person; rich person. The suffix /-min/ or /-min̓/ is sometimes added to a word to mean a piece; half; side.

The term siyám̓in can refer to the siy̓ám̓’s area, or an area that a siy̓ám̓ is responsible for. In the late 1800s, when early Christian missionaries worked with our people to translate sections of the Bible, our people at the time translated kingdom as siyám̓in.

The Squamish Language Dictionary (2011) has no definition for this noun.

Nexwniw̓

The term nexwnínew̓ means to have the upbringing or to be well brought up. A person who is nexwnínew̓ is considered to have been raised well by their family and community because they conduct themselves well as a good person.

The term nexwníw̓it can mean to advise (someone) or instruct (someone), but refers more to advising or instructing someone in how to behave as a good person in our Sḵwx̱wú7mesh society.

The Squamish Language Dictionary (2011) defines this noun as “advice; teaching; upbringing; instructions; ways; fashion; manners”.

Stélmexw

The term stélmexw can mean a person, as in a human person. It can be understood as in the singular or a plural sense of person or people. It is often used as a counterpart to the term ḵw’ín̓exw meaning animals or s7eḵw’7eḵw’í7nexw meaning birds.

After Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Stélmexw (Squamish People) met Europeans, stélmexw took on an additional meaning to refer to someone who is Indigenous or First Nations, whereas the European newcomers were called Xwelítn stélmexw.

The Squamish Language Dictionary (2011) defines this noun as “Indian; person; human being”.

Our Principles

Principles are beliefs for governing one’s behaviour and are based on one’s values.

Each action we take to accomplish our strategic visions, goals and objectives is filtered through the lens of each of these principles. Our principles are important because how we do things is as important as what we do. They help define our organizational culture and organizational beliefs. It’s also important to us that these principles are understood, embraced, and acted upon by governments and organizations seeking to work with the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw.

These are the tools we use for all our decisions.

Listen & engage

Tkwáya7n iy Nexwnew̓ítm

It is our job to ensure that we listen to the voices of our Stélmexw, Temíxw, and Stáḵw. These guide the work that we do.

Follow the ways of the Squamish

Wa nexwniwnen chet ta nexwniw̓ tl’a Sḵwx̱wú7mesh

We are grateful for who we are, the work done to get here, and the opportunities with where we are going. It’s important to us to do things in the right way and to make time for honour and respect.

Genuinely care

Tex̱wlám̓ Ns7eyx̱

We are here for the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Stélmexw, Temíxw, and Stáḵw. We act with respect and care.

Learn the advice of the Squamish

Chet wa telnexw tina tl'a snewiyelh tl'a Sḵwx̱wú7mesh

While the teachings of the Elders and ancestors ground us, finding pathways forward in the 21st century requires constant learning and innovation.

The people go through it together

Na wa nelhnilhtway ta uxwumixw

We must work together to achieve our goals through collaboration, teamwork, and collective strategies. Strong relationships come first. We do our work together.

Assert the rights and title of the Squamish

We7us chet ta Sḵwx̱wú7mesh siyamin

We live our commitment to uphold, support, and affirm our rights & responsibilities. We maintain and defend the rights and responsibility to our lands, waters, natural resources, and ways of being. We gather resources to advance our priorities and the needs of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Stélmexw, Temíxw and Stáḵw. We require external entities to recognize and affirm our inherent rights and title and to understand our priorities come before their priorities.

Strategic Goals

Tabs:
For The People
For Our Government
For Our Land and Waters
For External Relations
Txwnam̓ ta Stélmexw

The Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw is s7eḵwí7tel, úxwumixw, and stélmexw. We honour our ancestors by continuing their work for Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Stélmexw to have a better quality of life than the previous generation. We use, create, and borrow the tools we need for our people to care for themselves and their loved ones. We offer knowledge of our ancestors to create ha7lh sḵwálwen and nexwniw̓ that can be passed on to our descendants.

Goal 1
Support wellness through access to education, healthcare, affordable housing, intergenerational wealth, and ensuring the safety of our people and communities.
Objectives
  • Bridge the gaps in healthcare services and education programs that result from a lack of funding by other institutions with Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw resources.

  • Build a healing centre in our territory for trauma, treatment, and healing programs.

  • Build Long Term Care Homes, Assisted Living Homes, and Elders Centres for current and future Squamish Elders.

  • Develop plans to expand the North Vancouver Elders Centre and a new Squamish Valley Elders Centre.

  • Increase the Living Allowance Amounts for Post Secondary Students and grow it annually to match increases in the consumer price index.

  • Build 600 or more affordable homes with 150 in Squamish Valley and 350 in North Shore to bring more people home to secure, safe, and affordable housing.

  • Support the return of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Stélmexw to Sen̓áḵw in dedicated affordable housing in the Sen̓áḵw Development.

  • Continue and grow the Rental Assistance Program.

  • Increase the financial security and wealth of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Stélmexw through innovative programs like a Citizens Pension Fund.

  • Expand the number of services and programs and supports for Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Stélmexw regardless of where they live.

  • Increase capacity to deliver more Squamish Valley programs.

  • Increase communications to Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Stélmexw so that more people are aware of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw services available to them.

  • Increase access for Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Stélmexw living away from our communities to engage in recreational, fitness, arts, and health services where they reside.

  • Develop a community safety strategy that increases the tools available for addressing key community issues.

  • Develop a long-range capital plan and develop strategies to protect and expand community buildings and amenities that meet our people’s needs.

Goal 2
Increase the incomes of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Stélmexw by creating, securing, and supporting pathways to quality jobs and careers in Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw, its entities such as the Nch’ḵay̓ Group and Hiy̓ám̓ Housing, and the regional economy.
Objectives
  • Develop a pathways strategy for connecting Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Stélmexw to current and future jobs and careers with Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw, its entities such as the Nch’ḵay̓ Group and Hiy̓ám̓ Housing.

  • Create job opportunities in the regional economy.

  • Implement an internship program for Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Stélmexw in the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh government.

Goal 3
Connect Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Stélmexw to our values, history, language, culture, and ways of knowing.
Objectives
  • Create a strategy for the protection, revitalization, and maintenance of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Sníchim.

  • Build Language & Culture Centres in North Vancouver and Squamish Valley to support our language speakers and support cultural learning for our people.

  • Use our collective power as the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Stélmexw to reclaim jurisdiction in child & family services, education, and rights & title.

  • Celebrate the development and return of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Stélmxw to Sen̓áḵw.

  • Plan and celebrate the 100th anniversary of Amalgamation.

  • Engage the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Stélmexw in a process to update the Membership Code.

Wa ta Ts’its’áp’nitumulh Chet

Our government excels at performing our governance responsibilities. We deliver services now and into the future while maintaining Sḵwx̱wú7mesh values and ways of being. We continue to assert our rightful place as decision-makers with the power to influence and control what happens on our lands, waters and in the delivery of quality services for our Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Stélmexw.

Goal 1
Identify the current and future needs of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Stélmexw in all geographic residencies, genders, and age ranges.
Objectives
  • Complete the 25-year Generational Plan.

  • Conduct a census process at regular intervals.

  • Develop and implement a data sovereignty policy.

  • Acquire more lands for housing, community amenities, and areas for economic development.

Goal 2
Create the conditions for good governance, financial sustainability, and prosperity.
Objectives
  • Increase own-source revenues.

  • Facilitate the successful construction of the Sen̓áḵw Development to produce its expected revenues for the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw.

  • Explore options and complete a plan that addresses the end of major revenue-generating leases, such as Park Royal, International Plaza, and Department of Environment and Climate Change Leases.

  • Create a Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw investment wealth fund from our non-recurring revenue sources to grow our wealth to expand our investments in our Úxwumixw and Stélmexw.

  • Transition from a Financial Administrative Bylaw to a Financial Administrative Law and develop a new fiscal relationship with the Crown based on our inherent rights and good governance.

  • Establish a department for Information Technology and Systems.

  • Implement the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw’s Policy Framework across all policies and procedures.

  • In collaboration with our partners, develop a plan to improve the good governance of the MST Development Corp.

  • Update Council Governance Policies to reflect Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw values & best practices.

  • Create an emerging leaders program to help train the next generation of Councillors, CEOs, Board members, and Directors.

Goal 3
Ensure a safe, respectful, and supportive work environment where all staff feel valued.
Objectives
  • Create a meaningful orientation program so that staff have the knowledge and cultural awareness they need to work well with Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Stélmexw.

  • Continue to create and update best practices in Human Resource policies.

  • Create and implement an employee satisfaction survey as a tool for improving workplace culture.

  • Ensure that Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Stélmexw see themselves reflected in at all levels of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw government.

  • Create more opportunities for cross-departmental learning and sharing.

  • Work with employees to evaluate and improve the benefit package offered to staff.

Goal 4
Increase the capacity to deliver innovative services that address the needs and conditions of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Stélmexw.
Objectives
  • Develop a program for annually evaluating employee performance and investing in the growth of our employees.

  • Develop and implement key performance indicators.

  • Develop service standards to guide, provide, and protect the quality of program & service delivery.

  • Build or expand facilities to meet the needs of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh government to deliver quality programs and services on the North Shore, Squamish Valley, and at Sen̓áḵw.

  • Create a community engagement policy that sets out expectations around scope and depth of community consultation on Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw government matters.

Goal 5
Assert, implement, monitor, and enforce Sḵwx̱wú7mesh rights and title.
Objectives
  • Develop a vision and process for the development of a Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw constitution.

  • Engage the Crown to affirm and implement Sḵwx̱wú7mesh rights and title, including the right to self-determination.

Txwnam̓ ta Temíxwcht iy ta Stáḵwcht

What we do on our lands and waters define who we are. We protect, take care of, and respect our land and waters. We fulfill our responsibilities to our lands and waters so that future generations can have a healthy relationship with each other and our territory.

Goal 1
Expand Sḵwx̱wú7mesh control over Sḵwx̱wú7mesh territory and resources.
Objectives
  • Review and update the X̱ay̓ Temíxw Land Use Plan and develop and complete a X̱ay̓ Shḵw’en̓ Marine Use Plan.

  • Increase our protection and control over fisheries and marine habitats important to the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh way of life.

  • Participate in initiatives for protecting lands and waters that align with Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw values.

  • Increase monitoring and enforcement of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw territory to eliminate illegal dumping, poaching, and destruction of sensitive habitat.

  • Respond to all land & marine use referrals to ensure compliance with Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw title & rights.

Goal 2
Create opportunities for Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Stélmexw – especially our youth – to connect with our land and waters.
Objectives
  • Establish a land-based learning program for all Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Stélmexw.

  • Complete the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh atlas.

  • Increase the use of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh names throughout Sḵwx̱wú7mesh territory.

  • Facilitate access for Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Stélmexw to experience and enjoy all corners of our territory.

Goal 3
Protect our way of life and our ability to sustain our people.
Objectives
  • Protect against the loss of reserve lands from erosion.

  • Develop a vision and strategy for acquiring land for purposes of additions-to-reserve and reserve creation.

  • Increase the capacity to respond to emergencies like fires, floods, and heatwave.

  • Complete the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw Climate Action Strategy.

  • Develop and support more environmental restoration programs and work with partners to protect sensitive environmental areas.

Txwnam̓ Tkwétsi na Nchém̓usntúmulhaswit

We seek to work with external relations who respect our Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw values and our inherent rights as Indigenous People. We value relationships initiated in good faith and maintained through collaboration, meaningful engagement, and accountability. We cherish our relations with Indigenous neighbours.

Goal 1
Increase understanding of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh people, communities, and culture.
Objectives
  • Develop and implement an external communications strategy.

  • Create a cultural understanding and appreciation course for people who are not Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Stélmexw.

  • Elevate Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw presence in external leadership positions (e.g. sitting on boards, commissions, and advisory committees).

Goal 2
Increase the influence of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw in Sḵwx̱wú7mesh territory.
Objectives
  • Develop and implement an external relations action plan.

  • Create or renew relationship agreements with all local governments and public bodies operating within Sḵwx̱wú7mesh territory.

  • Build strategic relationships with key leaders in various governments and other key stakeholders.

Goal 3
Work collaboratively with various governments and other key stakeholders to advance our common goals.
Objectives
  • Hold the relevant parties accountable for the action items from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Final Report, Final Report of National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and In Plain Sight, Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Health Care Summary Report.

  • Create or renew relationship agreements with all neighbouring Indigenous nations.

  • Building upon the MST Protocol Agreement, work together with Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh partnerships to create measurable benefits for the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Stélmexw.