Chief siya, or Saskatoon Berry, is “the Chief for things growing on land.” Each bush is constructed of hundreds of individual shoots, the result of years of growth. The saskatoon berry represents the notion of strength that results from being in one place for extended generations.
In this way, Saskatoon berry also represents the unique relationship to the land, as the Syilx have resided on this land for thousands of years.
Chief Saskatoon Berry represents the community. All the different individual families of the community are represented in the individual shoots, leaves, and berries of a Saskatoon bush. Although a community is a construct of individuals, it is the working together of the individuals that creates community.
A Saskatoon Berry on its own is not a bush, nor is a shoot or a leaf. Put them together and they create the Saskatoon Bush and provide a place of nourishment for others. One part of creation cannot be what it is created to be without the other parts of creation playing their proper role.
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