Story of the Sasquatch
The Sasquatch has a long and rich history in the Sts’ailes Traditional Territory, for both residents and visitors. The heart of the traditional territory is the bountiful Harrison and Chehalis Lakes region. For Sts’ailes the Sasquatch is an important aspect of cultural identity and spiritual beliefs. The very word Sasquatch is an anglicised pronunciation of Sa:sq’ets, a Sts’ailes word, which tells a story of how Sasquatch is the primary caretaker who watches over the land. The Sasquatch is so integral to the Sts’ailes that their adopted logo is a stylized image of the Sasquatch, as is the Sts’ailes national flag. Their experience with the Sasquatch goes back many thousands of years and the oral stories of this history have been passed down from generation to generation as Xwelmexw – People of the Land.
"We were always told we were not to be scared of him, and that he wasn’t a monster. Red ochre is used for all our paintings at Sa:sq’etstel (Sasquatch Mountain). The paintings are 3,000 – 7,000 years old, and our people back then they were already depicting Sa:sq’ets. It is used to show the connection that we have to everything that comes from here. We have the Eagle, they come here annually by the thousands, and they come here because they are connected to the Salmon People, who come here by the millions, and you can see it is all connected. The word Slalikum in our language means supernatural, it is like a shape shifter...so if they want to be seen they are going to be seen. On moonlit nights, the way our elders told us, that is when you are not thinking when you are not distracted, you are focused on what is in front of you, so in that time if the light hits it right, you can see that, you might be able to see that. That is what I was told. If you are at the right place at the right time you will see him roaming throughout the land.”
– Kelsey Charlie, Sts’ailes Sasquatch Dancers
The form line drawing of Sasquatch is Trade Marked to Sts’ailes and has become an internationally recognized cultural icon. Today it endures as a prominent figure in Sts’ailes cultural practices and laws; is used to brand their community businesses; and to develop new product and service lines featuring this iconic Sa:sq’ets image.