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Accepted Paper:

Tsá7ts7acw aylh ta Nk̓yápa (Coyote is happy): Articulating Interior Salish Land, Law and Places of Shared Happiness  
Sarah C. Moritz (Thompson Rivers University)

Paper short abstract:

Based on collaborative ethnographic research, this paper contextualises a particular Interior Salish Nk̓yáp (Coyote) transformer story in place, time and within an ongoing ethos of care for the land that instructs on shared happiness and a good life for all beings in times of radical change.

Paper long abstract:

Interior Salish transformer stories and distinctive place names about the shared characteristics, identities and actions of humans, non-humans and places, instruct on the nature, origins and changes within this relationship. They guide on Indigenous legal traditions, their origins, sources, lineages and continuity. They sustain visions and strategies for political action, environmental protection, language and cultural revitalization. They bolster the articulation of presence and ownership vis-à-vis colonial and resource-extractive policies and institutions. Based on long-term collaborative ethnographic partnership with Upper St'át'ímc Elders, this paper contextualises a particular Nk̓yáp (Coyote) transformer story in place, time and a practice of caring for the land. Frequently, this story is employed to educate on trickstery, control, disenchantment and negative reciprocity. Simultanenously, it informs about positive reciprocity, astonishment, respectful, practical and moral conduct in times of radical social and environmental transformation. It highlights a particular St’át’ímc ethos of care and law of the land that humans and non-humans employ to continuously recreate a ‘land of plenty’ toward a good life for all beings and that allows people to reclaim vital areas in the Bridge River Valley on a territorial basis also pre-empted by colonial, capitalist and industrial institutions. It serves to articulate the right way to relate to the land, all its inhabitants as well as newcomers. This particular law of the land is Tśíl in St'át'ímcets, or happiness. Lessons will be drawn for collaborative research that includes human and non-human perspectives and toward the generative politics of storytelling and naming within an inclusive community-of-life.

Panel P080b
'Taking care together': Conservation as more-than-human commoning II
  Session 1 Tuesday 26 July, 2022, -