As I Remember It: Teachings (Ɂəms tɑɁɑw) from the Life of a Sliammon Elder

Protocol for Being a Respectful Guest

Welcome, guests, to As I Remember It, a digital presentation of my life and the teachings of my grandparents and people. My name is Elsie Paul. My ancestral name is qɑʔɑχstɑles. ʔíːmòt tᶿ qʷɑ́yɩgən tᶿ kʼʷʋ́nɑnɑpɛ. ʔíːmòt θ qʷʋ́lʼ kʼʷʋ́θ níniǰi tᶿ púkʷ. I’m very happy to see you all. It’s good that you come to see me about my book.

This site is ɬaʔamɩn territory: it operates according to ɬaʔamɩn protocol. In other words, the regular rules of the Internet do not apply here. ʔəms tɑʔɑw (our teachings) are very precious, and to protect them we invoke ɬaʔamɩn guest-host protocol to govern this site and its visitors.

What do we mean by guest-host protocol? As ɬaʔamɩn, as coastal people, we travel by boat. When we visit another place, we identify ourselves, describe our relationship to the host, make clear our intentions, and ask to come ashore. When we serve as hosts, our role is to protect the community and territory, and to nurture and affirm our collective identity as qɑyəwmɩxʷ (human beings) through respectful conduct.

Once a guest is invited to come ashore, they are fed and well treated, their obligations are explained to them, and for the duration of their visit they abide by ɬaʔamɩn laws. In this case, we remind you that the stories, photos, videos, and language shared on this site are not simply content or information. Rather, they are our belongings, the intellectual property of either myself or the ɬaʔamɩn people. As our guest, we welcome you to take a moment to identify your intentions and to confirm your understanding and willingness to abide by ɬaʔamɩn protocol.

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