Respecting Our Keyohs

The Keyoh is an ancestral territory owned by an extended family whose head manages the land.  The Keyohwudachun (Keyoh Holders) title is passed from the family head of one generation to the next generation. It is customary for the first male child or another person to receive the title of Keyohwudachun based on suitability. 

The practice continues generation after generation.

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Keyoh Holders and their families respect the authorities and titles to each others’ territories.  The practice of recognizing and respecting each others’ Keyoh is vital to maintain relationships between neighbouring families for many reasons and fosters good social relations including trade relations between families and in turn neighbours develop as strong allies.

Respect and recognition of one Keyoh to another enhances the ability of each others management and control.  Internal control is vital to the long term sustainability and relationship between the family the plants, and animals, in their Keyoh.

Each Keyohwudachun is the chief steward, custodian and title holder of their land.  Permission to use a family’s keyoh is granted by the consent of the Keyohwudachun.

The Keyoh System is the Indigenous customary land tenure system of the Stuart Lake Carrier. Recognizing and respecting each other's ownership or a family’s belonging is vital to the existence of the Keyoh system. 

In 2008 Keyoh Holders documented a protocol for recognition and respect of each other.

The head of each family is known as a Keyoh Holder, and sometimes receives a name that is passed on from generation to generation. The name, and the property, rights and responsibilities that go with this title were usually passed from one family head to his or her successor at an ilhunahodulh (gathering), a feast to which the people of neighbouring keyohs were invited as witnesses.