First Nations Tax Commission
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FIRST NATIONS TAX COMMISSION
Arms: Or on a torteau a plate dancetty charged with a maple tree issuant from and encircled by an annulus Vert.
Crest: A winter lodge of the Kamloops people set on a headband of coyote fur proper.
Supporters: Dexter an otter gorged with a wreath of fir, sinister a coyote gorged with a wreath of sage, each holding an eagle feather proper and standing on a grassy mount Vert set with a bar wavy Azure fimbriated Argent.
Motto: NESAYKA MAMOOK CHEE WAYHUT
The arms were officially granted on October 15, 2008
The central emblem is that designed for the First Nations Tax Commission (FNTC)’s predecessor body, the Indian Taxation Advisory Board, by Tom Maracle of the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. The patterned outer circle represents the jurisdiction of First Nations’ governments. The tree, strong and enduring, is symbolic of life, a habitat of animals and birds, a provider of shelter, heat, medicine, clean air, and soil stability. Its branches and leaves represent First Nations communities and individuals within these communities. As it is a maple, it also represents Canada. The yellow is associated with chalcedony, the east, and illumination. Red is the colour of the north and of spiritual purity. Green is the colour associated with the earth. The arrowhead shape of the shield reminds us of the First Nations way of life, especially related to trade and sustenance, going back countless centuries.
The winter lodge appears on the coat of arms of the Kamloops Indian Band of the Shuswap Nation, and marks the fact that the FNTC has its head office on the site of this band, a leading First Nations community in the field of real estate development. More generally, as a form of shelter, the winter lodge speaks to the Commission’s role in allowing housing to benefit the community. The coyote fur, in the place of the traditional heraldic wreath, is based on the scouting hat and refers to the Commission’s work in looking ahead and providing for the future.
The coyote was sent down by the Creator to teach humans how to develop a society. The otter has intimate knowledge of the worlds of both land and water. Just as the otter is able to move comfortably between two worlds, so too should all people be able to live in the present while at the same time honouring their past and traditions. The feather eagle is an important symbol of authority in First Nations culture. The mount of grass emphasizes the importance of land, and the representation of water refers to the role of water in trade and communications.
The Chinook motto meaning “We build a new path” refers to the Commission’s role in assisting First Nations governments to develop by means of establishing appropriate systems of property taxation. Chinook, a 19th century trade language used extensively in western Canada and the United States, was spoken by many different First Nations as well as Europeans, Chinese and Hawaiians. It was therefore multicultural and represents communications among First Nations and between First Nations and other cultures.
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