a living culture
The Musqueam people have been present in what is now Greater Vancouver for several thousands of years. Current Musqueam values and teachings are based on our traditional culture. Family and relations are more closely defined in Musqueam’s teachings than in Euro-Canadian ways. It was very important that our customary system of authority be taught to the young people. Power was given and controlled within the families. When a problem arose in the community each house was represented by a person who was selected by the family to represent them – to be the head of the family on that particular issue. There was no formal structural level of government as there is today. There was no need to have the forms of government that came with the Indian Agent and the Indian Act. Our people did not always agree as one people, but the teachings were the same. No matter what the situation it could always be solved through our traditional and cultural form of government authority.