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give the gift of #landback this red dress day

As the day to honour Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women approaches local Coast Salish Matriarchs have one wish at the top of their list: their traditional unceded lands returned.

(May 3rd, 2023 –Brentwood Bay, BC) - In the spirit of honouring Missing & Murdered Indigenous Relatives #MMIR, the XAXE TEṈEW̱ Sacred Land Society (XTSLTS) is inviting settlers to participate in returning unceded territories to Matriarchs for the first time in 150 years. Through donations from allies and community members across the country, the Rematriate Stewardship #landback campaign is working to re-establish access to safe spaces, traditional foods, and medicines by restoring the sacred relationship between the Coast Salish Matriarchs and their lands and their waters. With a goal of raising $400,000 (a 20% downpayment on an acreage in Saanich) by August 5th, 2024, donations will be used to facilitate the return of ancestral lands on what is commonly known as the Saanich Peninsula and in the Gulf Islands, ensuring access for future generations of Coast Salish.

“It’s time everyone understood the impact of Missing & Murdered Indigenous Relatives and worked together to provide safe space for us - a historically underrepresented & vulnerable group. Land is critical for us to begin to heal, access and practice our culture, and access foods and medicines, ” said Tiffany Joseph, Rematriate Stewardship Project Lead.

Returning traditional lands is crucial to protecting and preserving the wisdom of local Matriarchs. #landback provides safety, housing security, environmental stewardship, access to traditional harvesting, the ability to engage in cultural practices, and much more for current and future generations of Coast Salish peoples.

“I want to impress upon this Nation that this initiative is us taking responsibility for our children’s and our grandchildren’s futures,” said Georgina Underwood, mother of 5 and great-grandmother of 14 a Saltwater Salish Matriarch born in the village of SȾÁUTW̱ (Tsawout) and XTSLS Board Member. “It is us making sure that women have voices. That women will rise up to speak on their own behalf, and find their identity. I hope all of you will join us.”

The Rematriate Stewardship #landback Fundraiser allows settlers and community members to show their support in ending the violence against Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit/gender-diverse people. An open letter to allies on their website shares a formal request for the support of settlers to share the message in addition to consider donating to the #landback campaign.

XAXE TEṈEW̱ Sacred Land Society All donations made through are tax deductible and will be used by the XTSLS to support land return and cultural restoration, including projects to remediate polluted land and waters, restoring decades of environmental damage.

The XAXE TEṈEW̱Sacred Land Society (the Society) is launching its fundraiser by hosting Red Dress Day events this weekend in the Brentwood Bay area. All are welcome to attend the Art Night, Unity March and Rally - all in support of ending violence to Indigenous Women, Girls and two-spirit/gender diverse people.

Underway until August 5, 2024. By supporting The Rematriate Stewardship #landback Campaign, each donor takes a small step to right the wrongs of the past.

About the XAXE TEṈEW̱ Sacred Land Society

XAXE TEṈEW̱Sacred Land Society is an Indigenous-led, non-profit organization & charitable society located on so-called Southern Vancouver Island. The people leading this work are Saltwater Salish people Indigenous to this region. The current initiative, the Rematriate Stewardship Project, is a call for #LandBack to house Saltwater Salish women and those affected by ongoing colonial harms. The project aims to acquire land to reclaim traditional territories, protect Indigenous rights to learn traditional language, care for the land and water, heal through culture and being on the land and water, and teach younger generations and our community these skills.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Laurel Anne Stark, Communications Consultant

XAXE TEṈEW̱ Sacred Land Society

C: (250) 216-5039