About Sxwpilemaát Siyám (aka Chief Leanne Joe)
Sxwpilemaát Siyám, also know as Chief Leanne Joe, is a descendant of the Squamish Nation. I am one of sixteen Hereditary Chiefs of the Squamish Nation and the first female Chief of the Lackett Joe Family. She shares her name with her late father, Sxwpelim Siyam, Chief Philip Joe and his Chieftain title was passed down to her in October 2001. She is also a descendent of the Kwakwaka’wakw speaking people (East Coast shores of Vancouver Island) and carries the traditional name of Q-Gee-Sea Loud, which was given to her by her Cheecheeya (grandmother on her mothers side). She is also has very close relations through the Thomas family of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation.
She grew up on the beautiful shores of North Vancouver and lived in the Nicola Valley for the past 10 years with her husband and son. They just recently moved back to the Coast Salish territories this fall. She is married to Tim ‘Spike’ Manuel, former Chief of the Upper Nicola Band. They have a 10 year old son, Isaac (carries an Okanagan name of skoksee and a Kwakwaka’wakw name of mandlida’as). Her husband is a traditional knowledge keeper/cultural teacher and works with youth and community to engage them in rebuilding their cultural teachings and knowledge. Isaac is their life teacher as he engages them in healing, listening, and patience.
She is a very passionate and resilient woman who is committed to working with others to keep the circle strong and continue the movement towards self-reliance.
Our legacy is our children, thus, our responsibility to ensure that their future and the generations to follow have more balanced, peace and wellness. So they have the tools to engage in the world in a completely different way than we have and can walk in two worlds with ease…using the past to make a better a future.
About N’petkuwlax (aka Tim Manuel)
Petkwmǝn, was given to Timothy ‘Spike’ Manuel by his grandmother Harriet Paul when he was quite young. It means “big nail”. In 2008, his late aunt Laura Manuel, who was the Matriarch of our family at the time, was doing a name giving and suggested that he be given another name, N’Petkuwlax, which means “nailed to the earth”. In the creation stories and in the teachings, everyone and everything had a name and purpose. Your spirit has power, Sumix, and it is through your name that reminds you of who you are and tells others the same.
Tim was born and raised in the Nicola Valley, at Spaxomin (Douglas Lake). He went to school in Merritt and has spent the majority of his life there or in other parts of Syilx Territory. His late father Herb Manuel, was from Spaxomin, and his late mother, Dorothy Saddleman, was from Coldwater. His paternal grandparents were Francis Saddleman from Quilchena and Mary Jane Captain from Coldwater. His maternal grandparents were Daniel Manuel from Spaxomin and Susan Bent from Shulus.
Tim served ten years on Band council and five years as Chief at Upper Nicola, from 1996 to 2011. After he retired from politics, he embarked on a new journey with School District #58 as a Cultural Teacher. He taught Nlakampux and Syilx cultures throughout the entire school district for the past five years. He continues this culture work through Men’s groups, youth camps, working in Schools and community work.
His passions are working with children and youth to provide them with the opportunity to be connected with their culture, language, traditional knowledge and community. He continues the legacy of his ancestors by sharing his knowledge with his son, Isaac.
Our connectivity to who we are, where we are from and where we are going is integral to our well being in each of our lifetimes.