Having lived in the traditional territory for thousands of years, land management systems and traditional uses of the land are essential to the survival of Xaxli’p culture.
Xaxli’pmec are connected to the land, and continue to hunt, fish, and gather food and medicinal plants in the same areas they have used for many generations. Since time out of mind, Xaxli’pmec have recognized that wise land use in their small territory was best accomplished by taking only what they need from the land. For Xaxli’p, the traditional uses of their territory take priority over any other human use of the forest.
In the St’at’imc language, the name for “land” is Tmicw, the name for the “people of the land” is Ucwalmicw, and the name of the “language” is Ucwalmicts. These three words are closely related in the language of the St’at’imc people and show how the land, the people and the language are all powerfully tied together. What happens to one happens to the others is the guiding principle of Xaxli’p attitudes toward land use. This means that when you damage one part of the three (land, people, language) you damage all.