“Stó:lō” is the Halq’eméylem word for “river” and the collective name for the Halq’eméylem speaking peoples who have lived in the lower Fraser River watershed since time immemorial. We, as Stó:lō, are a collective community who hold indigenous rights and title within all of S’ólh Téméxw – ‘our world’.
In 2012, an initial fourteen Stó:lō Bands came together across tribal, treaty, and political lines to form a collective dedicated to the stewardship and protection of S’ólh Téméxw, as well as the enforcing of their own Stó:lō rights and interests. This group adopted the title of the S’ólh Téméxw Stewardship Alliance (STSA). STSA membership has increased since then, and together the leadership of these Stó:lō communities form a political body that guides engagement and consultation processes within S’ólh Téméxw, in accordance with their Terms of Reference and the STSA Land and Resource Use Consultation and Decision-making Policy. Since 2014 the STSA communities have been signatories to a STSA Strategic Engagement Agreement (SSEA) between themselves and the Province of British Columbia – a document that defines and standardizes indigenous engagement for its signatories within S’ólh Téméxw. STSA are also signatories to the STSA Federal Engagement Protocol, another agreement that defines and standardizes indigenous engagement processes, but at the federal government level.
STSA give direction to the People of the River Referral Office (PRRO), the operational wing of the organization which facilities the indigenous engagement processes agreed to by the STSA.