The right to child and family decision-making is inherent – Carrier and Sekani people have always looked after their children. Carrier and Sekani laws come from the people; the laws come from the ancestors.

Culture is at the centre of what we do

We do this work under the guidance of Elders, Matriarchs, Hereditary Chiefs and member Nations. The approach being taken is rooted in Bah’lats (potlatch) principles and values, and informed by the Carrier Life Cycle Model that recognizes everyone and everything is interconnected and interdependent. Everyone in a community has a role and responsibility in raising children. These roles and responsibilities are rooted in soh la gweh it tsih dzee (love and harmony).


Guided by the Matriarchs

The authority for child and family well-being is led by the Matriarchs and mandated by the Elders. In a matrilineal society, children belong to the clan and the decisions around children’s rights and well-being fall to the leaders: the Matriarchs and Hereditary Chiefs. Matriarchs care for the rights of children; they are the keepers of stories and laws.

Habooz dalahelh

(We are teaching them)


The collaboration and co-creation process works to identify what is currently working, what is missing and what Nations need to achieve this shared vision. The graphic below is a visual record of the discussions, teachings and themes that rose up during consultation with community Matriarchs. A shared vision is illustrated: thriving children, communities and Nations.

"Hawt'sena" means "this is the way". Carrier and Sekani people have been caring for children since time immemorial; they are the experts on how to raise children in a good way. The structure and practices that follow Hawt'sena are unique to each community and Nation, and are to be defined by each community and Nation in turn.