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Coast Salish Teachings

Foundational guidance on how we work together

Coast Salish Knowledge Keeper, Shane Pointe, Sulksun, has gifted six teachings to PHSA. He explains how the teachings are Coast Salish law. The teachings ground us, and offer guidance on how we may do our best as human beings and show up in relation to one another.


About the teachings: Sulksun from PHSA on Vimeo.

Accepting these Coast Salish teachings is an acknowledgement that the head offices of PHSA, and many of its many programs and services, exist on the lands of the Coast Salish people.

These teachings will guide our work, and as we bring them to other parts of the province, we will recognize and follow the protocols of the First Nations whose territories we are operating on to see how the teachings may be translated or adapted to honour their respective laws. 

You need to say the truth all the time. How you act and show up must be truthful. We need to be truthful in our work and we need our truth to be heard and not denied. We all must not deny the truth of the history and we must remain committed to addressing it.


Medicine is all things. The geography, ecosystem, water and all other living beings. As human beings we can choose, with intent, to be “good medicine” every day.  


Everyone and everything are of value and has purpose.  All living things are connected and are inherently entitled to dignity and respect.  We all need to be thankful for and take care of all things including the water, the plants and the land that we occupy.  When we know ourselves to be one we are grateful for mother earth, ecosystems, the water and all human beings.


Open your hearts and minds to what is being taught to you. When you are open you are able to do your best. 


This is a personal intention that answers: What are you going to do? All of this is about self and informs what you will do to help yourself and others. When the weight of work is so heavy and we feel weak, we need to make up our minds to be strong. When we make up our minds, the weight dissipates. We have said, “I am strong in my mind.”


‎You are in the canoe to pull your own weight. When you pull your own weight you inspire other human beings to do their best. Work hard with the intention of using your education and experience to the best of your ability.

SOURCE: Coast Salish Teachings ( )
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