Coast Salish witnessing ceremony honours B.C.'s former lieutenant governor Steven Point
Tsleil-Waututh singing and drumming rang through Simon Fraser University’s Saywell Hall Atrium fall 2019 celebrating B.C.’s former lieutenant governor, the Hon. Steven L. Point (Xwĕ lī qwĕl tĕl), and his work to improve Indigenous literacy in British Columbia.
In accordance with age-old Coast Salish protocol and practice, distinguished speakers at the witnessing ceremony honoured Point in Halkomelem and English for championing literacy while keeping his peoples’ old ways alive. Oral histories and traditions are affirmed at such ceremonies where witnesses recognize and acknowledge the important “work” that is taking place.
Point, who is from the Skowkale First Nation (near Chilliwack, BC), became the province’s first Indigenous Lieutenant Governor in 2007 after practicing law, serving as a provincial court judge, and holding influential positions in First Nations, provincial and federal governments.