I am proud and humbled to be called upon to join the leaders of the Secewepemc nation as Kukpi7 of
Skeetchestn. I am a powerful advocate for Rights which encompasses Title. I draw upon the knowledge
passed to me from knowledge keepers, Secwepemc culture and Secwepemc laws to advance the issues
of Aboriginal rights.
I am steadfast in my commitment to my community Skeetchestn to be transparent. This value was
bestowed upon me by my mother, the late May Draney. When she simply said to me, “It is time to be a
leader for our people.” I’m sure that those of you who have been blessed to have direct guidance from
a cherished elder know and understand how sacred these words are. She said it in such a manner that
made me understand that to be a leader is not a job that is like any other, not simply done for a wage.
She made it clear to me that to accept the honor to lead our people is a sacred responsibility and to
respect the journey. I am thankful to be able to build upon+ the foundation laid down by great past
leaders to help our community to grow.
We can not waiver, we will be sovereign. On our path to sovereignty we must hold strong to our
relationship to the land. It is our inherent duty given to us by the Creator to take care of the land, it is
sacred. Never cede our sovereignty or title to our land. By living according to our Secwepemc teachings
and laws we uphold our responsibility to future generations.
Another principle that is of great importance to us and our future generations is in the wisdom of the
1910 Sir Wilfred Laurier Memorial, where our ancestors approached the Canada Government and
outlined the struggles that their people had to endure. Most importantly, our ancestors ALSO gave
solutions that would relieve them of their struggles and make Canada great. Our obligation is to bring
the vision, laid out for us by our ancestors, to life. So, as taught to us by our ancestors, by our elders,
the tmicw is part of our blood, part of our way of life. We are tmicw. Keep our people at the centre of
all, and our youth-stsmémelt are our future. Hold all sacred.
Kukpi7 Darrel Draney
Skeetchestn Indian Band