Xwélmexw Hakw’eles: “Remembering Ourselves” — Transformation and Other Indigenous Governing Principles

PFL 2023-2024, President's Faculty Lectures, Education + Research, Indigenous Voices, 2024, Uphold Truth and Reconciliation, Make a Difference for B.C.

The Xwélmexw People of S’ólh Téméxw have and continue to live by governing principles that are thousands of years old, one of which is the power of Transformation. This Indigenous governing principle, along with others, have seen us through at least one ice age, several landslides, volcano eruptions, famines, and floods – and will certainly see us through this current age of colonization. 

This truth is in complete contrast to the colonial narrative that Indigenous Peoples don’t have our own Governing Structures or Principles. In this lecture, the speakers shared research findings on Indigenous Governance and the ways in which these Indigenous Governing Principles are being applied to address current colonial problems.  

At this event, Sto:lo Scholar Dr. Wenona Hall shared her PhD research findings on Indigenous Governing Principles. Alongside Dr. Hall was si:ya:m Charlene Aleck and Rueben George from səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation), who shared their experiences, teachings and knowledge in abiding by our Xwélmexw Governing Principles even while living under a colonial regime.

We respectfully acknowledge that this event was broadcasted from the səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation) community on their ancestral, unceded, traditional territory.

Tue, 12 Mar 2024

This event was broadcasted live to an online audience.

The President's Faculty Lectures

The President’s Faculty Lectures shine a light on the research excellence at Simon Fraser University. Hosted by SFU President Joy Johnson, these free public lectures celebrate cutting-edge research and researchers that engage with communities and mobilize knowledge to make real-world impacts.

The theme of this year’s lectures is Making a Difference for B.C. Approaching this theme from a variety of disciplines, each short lecture will be followed by a conversation with Joy Johnson and an audience Q&A session.  

Save the date for the last President's Faculty Lectures!

  • April 30, 2024: Bohdan Nosyk - Professor, St. Paul's Hospital CANFAR Chair in HIV/AIDS Research, Faculty of Health Sciences

About the speakers

Wenona Hall is a member of the Sq’ewqéyl First Nation and is an Associate Professor and the Chair of the Indigenous Studies Department at Simon Fraser University. Dr. Hall is a mother to three young adults Jade, Justice and Alexis, and is the oldest grand-daughter of Gordon and Blossom Hall. Her parents are Bob Hall Sr. (Sq’ewqéyl) and Donna Kickbush (Settler).  

Charlene Aleck is a member of səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation) and is also from Cheam. She is currently serving her fourth term as a Councillor for the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation. She is a mother of four and a grandmother. Her (late) parents are Joe and Irene Aleck and her maternal Grandparents are Chief Dan George and Amy George. Her paternal grandparents are Fred Cheer & Cecelia Thomas. Charlene is also an actress, who you may recognize from her role in the CBC TV series Beachcombers.

Rueben George is a member of səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation), and an internationally known activist and Sun Dance Chief. He is the son of Amy George and Terry Baker and his Maternal grandparents are Chief Dan George and Amy George. Rueben is the author of the bestselling memoir It Stops Here: Standing Up for Our lands, Our Waters and Our People (2023). 

Gabriel George is a member of səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation). He is the Director of Treaty, Lands and Resources, and a member of the Sacred Trust. Gabriel holds a Masters in Education, and his greatest passion is passing on the rich culture and hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language. He is the son of Leonard and Susan George; his paternal grandparents are Chief Dan George and Amy George. Gabriel is well known as a gifted orator who shares his teachings that have led to many reclamation and changing landscape projects.

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Past President's Faculty Lectures