The Shore by the Shqwun’u


To go and visit the shqwun’u (the ocean) is something that makes your heart sing, it does for me anyway.

The shqwun’u is a vast generous provider, shqwun’u brings us gifts and prosperity with every tide change and all one has to do is go to visit to see what shqwun’u has left for you that day.


Shqwun’u carry’s gifts and leaves them for us, seaweed, wood and even surprises.

Shqwun’u also graciously retreats to allow access to the food that hides beneath his waves, sweem, skwley, s’ahwa’ and tluhwtluhw all are nourished and at times protected by shqwun’u, we all are helped by him and it is up to us all to in turn protect and respect shqwun’u because without him we cannot survive. Shqwun’u is family, like everything and everyone else and it is our responsibility to take care of our family.


Shqwun’u is also very ‘uy’uy’mut (beautiful), breathtakingly so, or is suppose to be at least.

Not anymore!

This is the shoreline of unceded Salish territory I recently visited.

Can you see why it is now ugly?


What is missing is sweem, skwley, s’ahwa’ and tluhwtluhw, they are not there, the sand lies flat and dead, this beach is dead!

This shoreline should be crawling with life as it has for thousands of years,now it is not there, not even the countless baby crabs which always frequent the shoreline.


You will not find stjula’um (cockle) walking on this beach. Have you ever seen stjula’um out for a walk? Someone recently told me that to see stjula’um walk is a rare thing, it is not supposed to be rare. If there are stjula’um they will walk, that is their way, the trouble is stjula’um are becoming rare. I have seen them walking but not on this shoreline. This shoreline is restricted for the use of the people who chose to get out of their cars and take a stroll, if the weather is fair and the mood strikes them, for thousands of years this was stjula’um’s home but stjula’um is not allowed to live here anymore.


Those who consider themselves masters have deemed this is the way that things now have to be, for their benefit. The trouble is those who believe themselves to be superior are so narcissistic that they are unaware of the fact that we do not exist alone, that all life is part of a delicate web that must be allowed to maintain itself without interference. The people are not masters, we are children of the Mother like all other life, albeit very, very simple ones.


The self declared masters of all life use their great powers for the aid of thuqi’ by creating artwork on their behalf so the people will learn that thuqi’ is in danger and they like to eat thuqi’ and can trade thuqi’ for a great deal of money they do not need so to that degree they care but they create nothing to aid stjula’um, or sweem, skwley, s’ahwa’ and tluhwtluhw!


What the people also do not understand is they have harmed themselves, the people who live on the land near this shoreline cannot provide for themselves, there is no food left, not on the beach, not on the land, it is gone, they have made themselves helpless and dependant on corporate aid, they have enslaved themselves. What if their masters no longer deem them profitable and of no consequence, will they too be allowed to perish like stjula’um? Are they so confident and trusting of those they gave control of their destiny to to not be concerned? Are they so confident that their belief in their own superiority will makes them immune from the destruction and genocide of life that occurs daily all around us. How long can mammals survive without food and water even if they believe they are superior mammals?



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