Re-imagining S’ólh Téméxw: tunnel narratives in a Stó:lo spiritual geography




Robbins, Margaret Louise

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Stories exist throughout S’olh Téméxw, the traditional territory of the Stó:lõ people in the Lower Fraser Valley of British Columbia, of subterranean tunnels connecting disparate locations. These stories, recounted in archival records and by contemporary Stó:lõ community members, provide a gateway into Stó:lõ spiritual connections to place. Through the tunnels, I will explore the complexities of a subterraneous spiritual geography – what is significant about the tunnel stories and what they can say about the way that Stó:lõ people relate to the place world of the valley. Central to this thesis is ideas of imagining and re-imagining space. Through the exploration of the tunnel stories, and the complex and often cross-cultural research relationships that they are recounted in, I hope to show that the connections the tunnels provide can bring distant places, both physical and mental, together in a social imagination. This thesis focuses on the relationships that the tunnel narratives describe – relationships between people and places, researchers and storytellers, physical and metaphysical landscapes, and cultural ways of imagining the space of the valley.



Stó:lõ First Nation, Spiritual Geography, Tunnels, Narratives